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Bender, Hy. The Sandman Companion. New York: DC Comics-Vertigo, 1999. 274 pp. ISBN 1563894653 (hc).

Find in a Library with WorldCat

[additional cover copy: "A Dreamer's Guide to the Award-winning Comics Series.  Featuring in-depth interviews with Sandman writer/creator Neil Gaiman.  Plus interviews with the Dozens of Artists and Other Talents Who Worked on The Sandman."]  

Acknowledgments ... ix
Introduction ... xi

1.  Getting Started with Sandman ... 2
2.  A Dream s Born ... 12

3.  Preludes & Nocturnes ... 28
4.  The Doll's House ... 41
5.  Dream Country ... 62
6.  Season of Mists ... 89
7.  A Game of You ... 110
8.  Fables and Reflections ... 131
9.  Brief Lives ... 159
10.  World's End ... 176
11.  The Kindly Ones ... 186
12.  The Wake ... 203

13.  Secret Origins ... 232
14.  Music, Poetry, and Patterns ... 250
15.  Struggles and Triumphs ... 258

A.  Sandman Credits ... 264
B.  Additional Sandman Tales ... 271
C.  For More Information... ... 272

[16 pages of color ilustrations follow page 114.]

  • Clark, Audrey M. [review.] Rambles n.d. online

Review for by K. A. Laity:
It was no surprise to find that Bender has written several “Dummies” books; by page two of the introduction, I was asking myself “Who is this idiot?” He actually has a section entitled “The Purpose of This Book.” Bender appears to have a huge database of epigrams (enough for every chapter and all the “appendixes” [sic]) and no idea who the audience for this book might be.

No reader drawn to Gaiman’s multi-leveled dark fantasy title needs to be convinced that “comic books are just as legitimate a medium for expression [as film].” Yet Bender seems to find it necessary to address “Why should I read a comic book?” in a section full of over-generalizations about American comics (and seemingly ignorant about comics in the rest of the world). He even implies that it was only Sandman’s success which gave DC the idea to collect individual issues. Bender’s interviews with Gaiman tell us far too much about the interviewer, sometimes leaving Gaiman with a single word answer. Insultingly, interviews with Sandman collaborators, like Dave McKean and Todd Klein, are reduced to tiny sidebars. Way too many pages are wasted on Bender’s awkward prose recapitulations of Gaiman’s memorable stories.

The amateurish typography adds a sense of busy claustrophobia. The art reproductions fail miserably: the black and white art looks like Xeroxes; the color, too dark. No novice will pick up this book and be inspired to seek out Sandman. Any Sandman fan who buys this book will feel patronized—and ripped off.

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This Page Last Updated 21 January 2007.