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February is here, so it is time for month two of our journey. In this second monthly thread, feel free to discuss the events, themes, words and art of issues 9 through 16 (as collected in Volume 2, The Dolls House).

This is a reread thread, with spoilers expected and indeed encouraged. If you are a first time Sandman reader, there is a spoiler-free thread for you here.

My favorite single issue of any comic coming up this month . . .
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Re: [Sandman] February - The Doll's House. SPOILERS . . .
nycavri wrote:

My favorite single issue of any comic coming up this month . . .



"Hunting rabbits again, Vicar?"
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Re: [Sandman] February - The Doll's House. SPOILERS . . .
Issue 9, Tales In The Sand.

And what a pretty, pretty play on words this title is. If The Sandman is about anything, perhaps it is about stories . . .

The green glass stone the boy/man finds - looks an awful lot like Desire's sigil. "And Desire is always cruel." I enjoy the dual meaning every time the Endless, the capital Ds, are personified. Desire is already messing with Dream at the dawn of humanity. Do we ever find out why s/he hates him? Or is it just sibling rivalry?

Nada states that "only disaster" (another D) can come from their love, "disaster for you, disaster for me, disaster for my people." Disaster for her people follows almost immediately, and we have already seen (in A Hope In Hell) the shape of her own disaster.

Is the rest of the series the chronicle of Dream's disaster?

I found it interesting that this issue was described as "filler" in the first read thread. Did I think it was when I first read it? Possibly. But not in the same way that Passengers can be considered filler.

For certain, I didn't know the role Nada would play / trigger in Dream's downfall.

This is the first of many fashback / standalone tales, but it is far from filler. I'm pretty sure none of the others from here on out are either.
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Issue 10 and 11, Doll's House Parts One and Two.

Interesing to see the sigil shown in Desire's gallery - Death, Destiny, Dream, Despair and an empty space (first reference to Destruction?). Is that Delerium's sigil just seen at the edge of the panel?

I like the idea that Despair always listens to Desire. And she always fixates on the bad news - "The Pridigal is still missing." Second reference to Destruction? Not that we know who he is yet . . .

I'm always struck by the line "It's so green" flying into London Heathrow. It's a feeling I am very familiar with. Flying back and forth between New York and England, I am always amazed that the green of the grass and trees is so very different. When i started travelling regularly to Northern California 15 years or so ago, a whole nother green is thrown into the mix. Got to be to do with the huge variance in rain in the three locations - I assume the wet wet wet weather of Washington State gives a very similar green to that of England . . .

Anyway (to quote Family Guy), I digest.

More screen time for the Furies again - almost as much to date as Dream - and possibly as frustrating to readers as they are to rose. "Every name is just a part of the whole."

And here's another favorite character making his appearance - Matthew keeping his eye on Rose's appartment. So comforting to hear his familiar speech patterns when he's chatting with his "Boss". Reminds me that he might be Dream's only friend (other than Hob) by the end of the story . . .

And as if to remind us quite what a different world it was when this was when written, Rose is typing a letter! On a typewriter!
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I have totally been putting off reading this as... real life stuff happened (dun dun duuhhhhhhh!!!). However, will get on it ASAP.


I'll leave you with this though. I forget which issues it is. But the manager/proprieter of the hotel where the Cereal Convention was taking place... did he look like Wolverine to anyone else? With the flannel shirt and the mean look. It's been a while since I read that issues, but let's see if my brain can survive 3 concussions and see if I can recall that correctly.
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NostraDouglas wrote:
I have totally been putting off reading this as... real life stuff happened (dun dun duuhhhhhhh!!!). However, will get on it ASAP.


I'll leave you with this though. I forget which issues it is. But the manager/proprieter of the hotel where the Cereal Convention was taking place... did he look like Wolverine to anyone else? With the flannel shirt and the mean look. It's been a while since I read that issues, but let's see if my brain can survive 3 concussions and see if I can recall that correctly.


Yep, turns out my memory is crap. The hotel clerk was not wearing a flannel shirt. He was wearing a cowboy hat and said "bub" so that may have made me think of Wolverine, but then down on the page, he is tall and blonde soooo.... nevermind. Whoops.
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Issue 12, Playing House

Anyone else feeling a little lonely out here? I'm enjoying the reread, but have a sneaking suspicion that I could be doing it without the good folks of Chit Chat . . .

My hardcore DC collector friends love this issue for all the DC history - something about Lyta's later role in one or more of the big, big events that I loathe so much - but I just enjoy the small but beautifully crafted story.

Dream says, "Humanity, how I love you," yet immediately turns around and shows none of his own in dispatching Hector without ceremony in front of his (30 months) pregnant wife. Clueless? Or intentionally pissing off Lyta? He has already seen that the child (Daniel) will have a role . . .

That said, Daniel being gestated in dreams seems to have not been caused by Desire (as so much else has been / will be).

Looking forward to revisting the first appearance of Hob Gadling . . .
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Issue 13, Men of Good Fortune

As Hob puts it, "Oh, yes."

This was the first issue of a comic to blow my mind. It was the first comic I scoured the world's comic book stores for a copy (paid, I think, $13 for it in a store in Santa Cruz, CA). The first time I stood in line to get a comic signed (by Gaiman and McKean).

Was also the first time I wrote a letter to a comic book company - I actually wrote a poem, lost to time, which began, "I will meet with Sand and Hob in 2089 . . ." It was never published. (I had to wait another 15 years to have a letter published in a comic - an issue of Paradigm from Image.

I wanted to be Hob when I grew up.

This issue (and to a lesser extent, the novel Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins) colored my thinking through my 20s.

And it holds up after all these years.

I know I'm behind. I should finish Volume 2 over the weekend and get back on track . . .
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Read the rest of Volume 2 last week, but only now getting around to writing up my thoughts.

Issue, 14, Collectors.

All about names, again: "They've called him the Eye Guy and the Dark Angel and the Shades and maybe a thousand others."

I have never quite had a handle on the Corinthian - is he supposed to have created the whole notion (nightmare) of serial killers while Dream was imprisoned? Is it really such a recent concept? And every serial killer since this issue in the early 90s - are they supposed to be "fake" somehow since not inspired by the Corinthian?

I like Gilbert.

Issue 15, Into the Night.

Perhaps it is due to the real cohesion of the storyline of (April's) Season of Mists, but I also have problems with the whole Vortex storyline. Even Dream brushes us off with a "yeah, I don't know why or how, it just is" sort of explanation.

The journey is enjoyable, but the internal logic turns out to be just a little too fuzzy for me to really love this arc. I can see where first time readers might be having doubts . . .

That said, I *love* the teaser of Barbie's dream world. Poor Martin Tenbones . . .

And we might have disovered the character we can relate to what's going on here in Matthew the raven. Again, DC historians can tell you all about his previous life (and why he hates hospitals) but he also works fully formed here as an entity in himself. He's clearly lost, but just getting on with it - which is a decent way to read The Sandman not to mention to go through life!

Issue 16, Lost Hearts.

One more reference to the lost brother. Are people starting to guess who he might be (or "D") in the first read thread?

The final scenes of this story with Desire spell out that Dream is unaware of the "bad things" that will happen if he kills Rose - "one of our blood". Perhaps he researches after?

Nice conceit that both gods and man view the other as dolls.

Almost 3 weeks remaining to read (and discuss) the 4 issue of Dream Country . . .

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It's funny you say that you want to be Hob when you grow up... because I always say the same thing. I don't know why I love that issues or Hob so much. It is one of my favorites. And to this day I try to convince myself that "Death is a mug's game." He has no powers, other than immortality apparently, but he just seems laid back and likes to have fun. Later in the series, we see he is deeply troubled by what he has done in his past, and it is understandable. He just seems to be this cool guy who rolls with the punches.

I hated every minute of the last 80 years.

So, you want to die?

Hell no, I have too much to live for.

Just freakin' awesome. I guess I like seeing characters in "real life situations". Some of my favorite X-men books are where they are just hanging out at the bar. So, kudos to Mr. Gaiman for making such a cool character. More to come...
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nycavri wrote:
One more reference to the lost brother. Are people starting to guess who he might be (or "D") in the first read thread?


I know I sure was. The mythology Gaiman creates with the Endless is my favorite part about the series as a whole. I couldn't wait to learn more about their brother.

nycavri wrote:
The final scenes of this story with Desire spell out that Dream is unaware of the "bad things" that will happen if he kills Rose - "one of our blood". Perhaps he researches after?


And this is what I'm really enjoying about this re-read: the different opinions.

I did not get that impression at all from that conversation. In fact, I went back and read it this morning after reading your comment, and I have to say that I'm still pretty sure Dream knows exactly what will happen.

Even though he threatens Desire right at the end, there's still his line several panels up in which he says something like "Was your plan to have me kill one of our own, with all that would entail?" That sentence in particular makes me feel like he knows exactly what would happen.

So then, for me, the question is more like "what was Dream threatening to do?" Was he actually considering killing Desire and to hell with the consequences? Or did he have a different type of punishment in mind?

Also, I'm not a big fan of this collection in general, but I LOVE Dream and Desire's conversation at the end. It makes the whole book worthwhile. To see Dream's perspective on their relationship with humans, and to see the fallibility of Desire, and by extension the rest of the Endless as well. They all have weaknesses despite what they are. I really love it.
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