Top critical review
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some beauty,some magic- but the weakest-ever Sandman volume
on 9 February 2005
An addendum to the Sandman canon, a celebration of the series, and a chance for Gaiman to
work with some of the greatest graphic artists of the age.All laudable aims- and with talent such as P.Craig Russell, Milo Manara, and Frank Quitely on board, not to mention the legendary Barron Storey and the design talents of long-time collaborator Dave Mckean, this was never going to be a
complete waste of time. And yet.......
And yet, this is an average collection of tales,and Gaiman is NOT an average writer. Too many of the stories leave the reader thinking "So what?"..a particular offender here is the Destiny tale, beautifully illustrated by Frank Quitely, but bereft of plot or interest. This heightens the fact that Gaiman never knew what to do with Destiny in the series proper,other than having him wander around omniscient
and aimless- an atheist's idea of Destiny, perhaps. Likewise Despair-ugly and gripping illustrations, yes, but ultimately pointless. The Destruction tale- a cast-off RA Lafferty idea reads like a cast-off Twilight Zone episode. Gaiman-and we-deserve better than this!
There are bright spots. As always with Gaiman, Death and Dream inspire him to write interesting stories,and these tales come to life, though the Death tale is essentially "Masque of the Red Death" revisited, and the Dream tale is really a nod to DC comics continuity, though appealingly done.
Is it worth the money?For the art, the design, the presentation-emphatically, yes! A beautiful presentation. For the content ..no. This is Gaiman at his worst,derivative,aimless, sometimes twee. Do NOT read this as an introduction to Sandman..it will put you off what was an astounding work of imagination and a genuine piece of graphic literature.This isn't.