More self-contained than an ongoing series (which may build on decades of backstory), but capable of more depth than a one-off, the mini-series may stand as the truest analog to novels that monthly comics can provide. 2015 was a banner year for mini-series, with both of the big two switching to minis almost entirely during their respective crossover events, and many more stellar minis coming from other publishers. These our our top 10 mini-series of 2015. Continue reading →
Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2015.Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 6, originally released September 30th, 2015.
Shelby: I’m a big fan of Rick and Morty, that cartoon on Adult Swim that’s basically Back to the Future on crack. Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen season one of Rick and Morty, you’re best off just skipping past the break to the rest of the post. Anyway, there’s an episode where Rick, the mad scientist grandpa, basically ruins the whole world, mutates everyone into a Cronenberg-esque monster. You think he’s going to have a clever idea to save everybody, but instead he finds a version of the world in a parallel dimension where he solved the mutation problem but he and Morty died. Rick and Morty merely take their places, and go on living in this new dimension. It’s a mind-blowing episode, one of those special moments when you realize a show is much more than a show. Now imagine that, but instead of having to find a new universe, Rick had to create a new multiverse completely from scratch, and you’ve got the end of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Overture.Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 5, originally released May 27th, 2015.
Drew: Neil Gaiman has never been shy about pulling down the curtains that separate fiction from reality. I might call it “breaking the fourth wall,” but it’s less winking at the camera, and more showing us the puppet’s strings to better appreciate the puppet itself. In that vein, it’s never been hard to see Gaiman as Dream, the raven-haired prince of stories, fighting to maintain order over his dominion of characters, settings, and situations. It makes for some fascinating commentary on the creative process, especially when Dream comes up against forces beyond his control, even within his own stories. That’s exactly the name of the game in The Sandman Overture 5, as Gaiman pulls the curtain back on Dream’s mother and brings in some surprises that even Destiny didn’t see coming. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing the The Sandman Overture 2, originally released March 26th, 2014.
Shelby: There are a few dreams I’ve had in my life that I remember very clearly. Once I dreamt I had to go to a new job, and in order to get there I had to swim underwater. On my first day, we’re swimming and swimming, and I’m running out of air but I have to stay behind my guide. Then I woke up gasping; I had been holding my breath in my sleep. Not too long ago, I dreamt I was in a dark room that was even darker near the door. I had to pass through the darkest part of the room to leave, and as I did, two hands shot out of the shadows and grabbed my arms. That was one that had me bolt upright in bed, and then turn on every light in my apartment. I think these dreams stuck with me because there was a sense of reality to them; I was actually holding my breath, I could almost feel the stranger’s hands on my arms. Dreams are like bits of reality spun together to resemble a sort of whole, a feeling that Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams have somehow captured in their long-awaited second installment of Sandman Overture.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing the The Sandman Overture 1, originally released October 30th, 2013.
Shelby: Nearly 20 years ago, I started reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Just about every time a new book came out, I would re-read the last one or two; if enough time had passed between books, I would re-read the whole series to prep for the newest. The last volume comes out in paperback in December, and I’ve been reveling in what could very well be my last re-read of this series. There’s something about reading something again, especially something that’s been a part of your life for so long. The characters are like old friends, the settings and stories like places you’ve been before and can’t wait to re-visit. I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and I adore Sandman; I have been eagerly (and somewhat impatiently) waiting for Overture. From page one, it was like a reunion with an old, old friend.