The Sandman Papers
Neil Gaiman's Sandman is a phenomenon — a mass-circulation comic book that caught and held the attention of serious readers. Besides its mass appeal, The Sandman has long interested students and teachers in myriad disciplines, and they have begun sharing their reactions by writing analytical essays. This book gathers some of the best of this criticism, mostly by young scholars and all written in readable, jargon-free language. The book contains 12 wide-ranging essays of criticism, exploration, and appreciation. The first half of the book addresses aspects of Sandman more or less in order of publication and the individual essays discuss particular Sandman episodes or story arcs, such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Kindly Ones," and "Ramadan." The second half widens the net and examines Gaiman's Sandman stories in relation to Gaiman's other work and work by other writers — such as Jorge Luis Borges's interest in variable truths or Terry Pratchett's adaptations of ancient myths for modern audiences. Others examine how Gaiman's stories relate to other genres such as horror fiction and to social and cultural concerns about the roles of women. Each grapples with questions of how script and art combine to make The Sandman an especially complex, rewarding comic. This book of criticism is aimed at a non-academic, general readership who enjoy Gaiman's work as modern graphic literature and want to compare intelligent literary responses to their own. There is no comparable, competing collection available.