So we waited. And waited. And it was worth every second,
Sandman Overture #2 is published today, and it is as beautiful and wondrous a comic book as issue 1 last year. Any excuse to read that first issue should be taken and here it is.
For those of you wishing for nostalgia we have the Daniel Dream meeting Mad Hettie. We also meet the Dream Of A Thousand Cats again. For those wanting the new, we have the earlier Dream meeting so many facets of himself and gaining a greater knowledge of himself. Something he would have time to ponder when trapped for three quarters of a decade.
But this is one of those comics that seems a perfect meld of two creators, both firing on all possible cylinders. This is a comic book that Neil Gaiman has thought about for a very long time. And it's a comic that JH Williams III has pored so much into, each page is like reading a different comic book, a different style, a different take on what it means to be comics. Even the art style from character to character changes. As a result we get something full, something meaty, with many ingredients, separate but working together, something to obsess over and revisit. I'm writing this now and I just want to read it again. It feels like the richest of chocolate tortes, so filling that other dishes seem like wafer-thin mints in comparison.
It's also been commonplace for comic books to delve into HP Lovecraft. From Shadowman to Hellboy to Neonomicon, there has been plenty of Old Ones making their way into the world of comics. And in this issue, Neil Gaiman does the same, giving us the first Dream and the creatures that he was the Dream for, tentacles slipping between the panels, and presenting a nihilistic take on everything. This book was originally called Sandman Zero and this, right here, lives up to that promise.
It is remarkable that, in comparison to issue 1, so little "happens". This is not a plot rich issue. It is an experience rich issue. You could summarise it in a sentence but to do so would be a crime against art.
I want to read it again. So I will.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London, with a massive Transformers #100 signing this Saturday…