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sandman death wings preview

Time for some fun with everyone's favorite personification of Death!

8 Pages from the story "The Sound Of Her Wings", which is 24 pages total. From The Absolute Sandman, Volume One.

This is probably my favorite Sandman story from this collection. I was thinking about posting the diner story with Dr. Dee, since someone requested it. That one is another one of my faves, but it's also really creepy and messed up and I'm in a happy mood now! Maybe another time? Anyway, I think this one is enjoyable even if you've never read Sandman, so here goes!

This story is about the different ways people think about Death. Some people fear it, some will solemnly accept it when it comes, and others can laugh it off, or at least not take it too seriously. I think it's always good to be reminded that we're all just meat-sacks that can somehow think and create and love. It's probably not healthy to think about dying *too* much, but Death and Life are two sides of the coin.

We find Dream in the park. He's gone through...quite an ordeal, and he's being moody. Then we get...the first appearance of Death in this title! Time to depress the poor guy some more, right?

Death then asks Dream what's buggin him, he unloads his story, she berates him for being a dope. It's a great scene and I wish I could have posted more pages.
This next page is all for Death's peeved face and Dream in the last panel. Poor guy!

Then she has to go to work, and he comes with her. For cheering up, y'know!

The comedienne is pissed off that she died on stage, of course.

We also get these lines:
DEATH: ...gets me down too. Mostly they aren't too keen to see me. They fear the sunless lands. But they enter your realm each night without fear.
DREAM: And I am far more terrible than you, my sister.

Uggh...that page with the baby gets me every time.

We see a montage of dead people they visit. Dream thinks about what humans think about his sister's "gift", how they don't appreciate it.

There's a nice poem he recites. He thinks, "I walk by her side, and the darkness lifts form my soul. I walk with her, and I hear the gentle beating of mighty wings..."

I think everyone should hang out with Death for a day. I'd cheer up, wouldn't you? Go out and live your life; we all get just one.

Neil Gaiman, writer
Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III, artists
Daniel Vozzo, colors
Todd Klein, letters
Art Young, assoc. ed.
Karen Berger, ed.

Date: 2009-11-22 01:19 am (UTC)
stig: "It Was A Boojum..." (Default)
From: [personal profile] stig
Gaiman likes to sneak in little gags from the Joker without the big man himself ever appearing, like when he wrote that vignette of villain-themed news stories that ended with a familiar figure in purple poisoning an on-the-street newsreader.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider this: only ONE person gets to do stand-up about Batman, see?

(Seriously, joking. But it'd be kinda cool, no?)

Date: 2009-11-22 05:27 am (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
That is officially canon now. THIS IS COMMAND!

Date: 2009-11-22 01:37 am (UTC)
iskander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iskander
There used to be this nutjob on LJ that claimed she was the inspiration for Death.

Date: 2009-11-22 03:07 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Well, there were at least a couple of people who were sort of retroactive inspirations for Death, in that the Gaiman and the artist met or saw people shortly after or during the creation of this story, so it's not exactly far-fetched.

But it's not something I'd really be proud of.

Date: 2009-11-22 03:25 am (UTC)
iskander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iskander
Well in this case the girl claimed it on her fetish model website and all over the Internet as her claim to fame. NG publicly debunked her in two interviews.

Date: 2009-11-22 07:14 am (UTC)
arcath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arcath
I was always under the impression it was Tori Amos.

I remember a interview somewhere stating as much.

Date: 2009-11-22 07:42 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
. . . no.

At least, according to The Sandman Companion as quoted by Wikipedia, it was an associate of the artist, Mike Dringenberg, named Cinnamon.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; wikipedia even goes further, down below, saying that Death is not inspired by Tori Amos. Considering his working relationship with her didn't even begin until long after Death was an established character, I believe Wikipedia, here.

Date: 2009-11-22 11:02 am (UTC)
iskander: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iskander
Tori Amos is Dilerium.

In Her Words:

Date: 2009-11-22 12:09 pm (UTC)
stig: "It Was A Boojum..." (Default)
From: [personal profile] stig
"On bad days I talk to Death constantly, not about suicide because honestly that's not dramatic enough. Most of us love the stage and suicide is definitely your last performance and being addicted to the stage, suicide was never an option - plus people get to look you over and stare at your fatty bits and you can't cross your legs to give that flattering thigh angle and that's depressing. So we talk. She says things no one else seems to come up with, like let's have a hotdog and then it's like nothing's impossible.

She told me once there is a part of her in everyone, though Neil believes I'm more Delirium than Tori, and Death taught me to accept that, you know, wear your butterflies with pride. And when I do accept that, I know Death is somewhere inside of me. She was the kind of girl all the girls wanted to be, I believe, because of her acceptance of "what is." She keeps reminding me there is change in the "what is" but change cannot be made till you accept the "what is.""

Date: 2009-11-23 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] shadur
Tori mentions Neil thinks she's got a lot of Delirium in her in the foreword she wrote for Death: The High Cost of Living. It's a good read.

Date: 2011-05-06 08:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] shadur
Both Tori and Neil insist that resemblance between Tori Amos and Delirium at least started out unintentionally...

Date: 2009-11-22 01:39 am (UTC)
sandoz_iscariot: A young man looks thoughtful, his chin resting on his hand. (X-Men: Inferno)
From: [personal profile] sandoz_iscariot
Such a classic. I'm so happy someone is getting me the Absolute Death book for Christmas.

I wonder what it must have been like to read this when it first came out 20 years ago. The series had been pretty much straight up horror until this point, and this was the first glimpse of how whimsical and uplifting Sandman could be. The first reactions to Death must have been interesting, since she was obviously not what people were expecting after her first mention in Sandman #1.

Date: 2009-11-22 01:48 am (UTC)
dalf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dalf
...That title is really badass.

Date: 2009-11-22 01:51 am (UTC)
sandoz_iscariot: A young man looks thoughtful, his chin resting on his hand. (X-Men: Goblyn Queen)
From: [personal profile] sandoz_iscariot
I might have to explain that one to my grandmother on Christmas Day...

Date: 2009-11-22 02:07 am (UTC)
dalf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dalf
Please, refrain yourself from wearing an upside-down cross and an aggressive dose of eyeliner when you do it.

Date: 2009-11-22 02:24 am (UTC)
kiplingkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kiplingkat
I can't say for sure how it was for people reading the transition before and after, but I will say that issue got a LOT of word of mouth advertising and hand to hand circulation. That is how I came to discover the series, a friend of mine handed this issue to me on campus.

Date: 2009-11-22 02:02 am (UTC)
mullon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mullon
This story always makes me feel better.

Date: 2009-11-22 03:25 am (UTC)
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanekos
wow, we all really do get a lifetime.

Date: 2009-11-22 04:38 am (UTC)
bluejaybirdie: Oracle is depressed (feeling alone)
From: [personal profile] bluejaybirdie
Oh god. Oh god. This month was not a good month to read a story about a freaking baby dying.

Date: 2009-11-22 04:58 am (UTC)
merseybeatler: Your king volcano. (Default)
From: [personal profile] merseybeatler
Hahaha, after reading this issue for the first time last winter, I went out dressed as Death (makeup, clothing, ankh, and all) and fed ducks on the canal. Some random guy ran over and asked reverently if I would "spare a hug for an old veteran" and was absolutely delighted when I did.
He'd never heard of Neil Gaiman before, he just thought I gave off sweetness vibes.

Before you ask, he didn't drop dead the next moment. :P

Date: 2009-11-22 01:20 pm (UTC)
joysweeper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] joysweeper
Awww. That's adorable.

Date: 2009-11-22 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-mondegreen.insanejournal.com
I'm missing the uplifting part. Where is it?

Date: 2009-11-22 07:48 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Well, the lesson Dreams takes from it is "Even when you're feeling down, your purpose can see you through the bad times."

As even Dream comments, it's probably not what he was supposed to take from it.

The point, however, is something Gaiman embellishes later on in Sandman, several times, in fact (Brief Lives, in particular): endings are what make journeys mean anything. Usually, the "ending" Gaiman uses is dying.

Date: 2009-11-22 08:32 am (UTC)
just_kazari: (Default)
From: [personal profile] just_kazari
All I can say is, if this incarnation of Death shows up when I die, I can die unfrightened and strong, ready for the next step. Here's to hoping.

Date: 2009-11-22 11:24 pm (UTC)
promethea4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] promethea4
Totally agree.

Date: 2009-11-22 09:08 am (UTC)
nothingbutcake: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nothingbutcake
I have these sunglasses that, every time I put them on, I say, "Peachy keen!"

Date: 2009-11-22 06:23 pm (UTC)
marfisa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marfisa
I tried to get into Sandman once, but I find the art really off-putting. Depending on artist, it seems to wander between average at best and horrible as its worst. Which is a pity, since Gaiman's stories seem to be rather interesting. Like here: compelling story, as far as the excerpts allow a judgment, but I find the ugly art quite distracting.

Date: 2009-12-04 12:37 am (UTC)
freddie_mac: (bones_503-1)
From: [personal profile] freddie_mac
Love this --- hands down, my fave Sandman issue ever. Fun fact: Sandman was hovering on the brink of cancellation, and Karen Berger (et al.) decided to do something radical. Issue #8 was comp'd to retailers based on the number of copies they'd ordered (ordered 0 copies, got 1 free, etc.), with the hope that people who'd simply passed over it in the catalogs would take a look at the freebie and see what they'd been missing.

I remember those charts, and remember how Sandman took off after that ... when's the last time a publisher just *knew* they had worthwhile product on their hands *and* took steps to widen the market? There's so much drek flooding out into the LCS that quality books are buried -- must order 70 gazillion copies of each Wolverine book, so any non-Wolverine/Mutant/etc. title is lost. *sigh*


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