Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Overrated, but good nonetheless
on 12 March 2004
Bender's "Companion" is not so much a companion as I was led to believe it was; the general vibe seemed to suggest it would take you through the grand arc of "The Sandman" graphic novels, pointing out interesting little tidbits of information here and there which would provide a deeper understanding of just what Gaiman has done.
This it did not do. Bender, instead, conducted numerous interviews with Gaiman on each story arc. While Gaiman does himself provide the odd tidbit, the focus is more on the gestation of the stories and how Gaiman transfered them from his rather dark mind and onto the page. Which is fascinating, of course.
The main problem I have, though, is that there is not enough of Gaiman in this book. Since it's Gaiman who produces all the interesting information, 'why' I ask myself 'must Bender devote so many pages to her own description of the stories?' After all, there is probably one person on this planet who read this book before reading the graphic novels themselves, so we all know the plots. Equally, most of us will have noticed what Bender describes as 'Some things worth noticing'; almost everything she points out will be immediately obvious to a careful reader.
However, I would still recommend a Sandman fan buy this book, since Gaiman's interviews are fascinating reading, as is his account of how he got into comics and how he wound up revamping "The Sandman" in the first place.