Preludes & Nocturnes

Preludes & Nocturnes

Book - 1995
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Written by Neil Gaiman; Art by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones, III; Painted Cover by Dave McKean A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings" which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death.
Publisher: New York : Vertigo : DC Comics, c1995.
ISBN: 9781563890116
1563890119
Characteristics: 233 p. :,col. ill. ;,26 CM.

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IndyPL_SteveB Apr 17, 2020

Neil Gaiman’s first major success was as a writer of comic books, especially this unique blend of folklore, mythology, fantasy, and horror in the long-running series, *The Sandman.* Originally published as individual comic book issues, they were eventually collected in what is now up to 12 graphic novels.

This first volume opens in 1916, when a power-mad occultist seeking to capture Death so he can live forever instead captures Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams. For decades this disrupts the ability to dream all over the world. After many years, Morpheus is released from his prison and sets out to rebuild the Dreamtime and to right as many imbalances as possible. We also meet his sisters, Death and Desire, plus many other residents of the Dreamtime, some of whom are horrific nightmares. I was impressed with the story complexities and the wide variety of artwork. It is hard to see how the story sections fit together at first, but re-reading some sections showed me that it really was one long story. A MAJOR series for graphic novel fans.

IndyPL_SteveB Apr 17, 2020

Neil Gaiman’s first major success was as a writer of comic books, especially this unique blend of folklore, mythology, fantasy, and horror in the long-running series, *The Sandman.* Originally published as individual comic book issues, they were eventually collected in what is now up to 12 graphic novels.

This first volume opens in 1916, when a power-mad occultist seeking to capture Death so he can live forever instead captures Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams. For decades this disrupts the ability to dream all over the world. After many years, Morpheus is released from his prison and sets out to rebuild the Dreamtime and to right as many imbalances as possible. We also meet his sisters, Death and Desire, plus many other residents of the Dreamtime, some of whom are horrific nightmares. I was impressed with the story complexities and the wide variety of artwork. It is hard to see how the story sections fit together at first, but re-reading some sections showed me that it really was one long story. A MAJOR series for graphic novel fans.

Hillsboro_RobP Sep 05, 2019

Very dark and memorable. The Sandman is at the cornerstone of comics for a good reason-it's a story well told that defies many of the usual conventions and yet still manages to be compelling. As firmly rooted in myth as most of Gaiman's work, this often spins of the absurd to the grotesque, the frightening to the fun and is better for it.
Some of my quibbles include readability-it's sometimes hard to tell which panel I'm supposed to be reading, or what order the dialogue is in-and unclear resolutions that are clever enough, but usually have to be explained in the text afterward. Its brightest spots are the predictably disastrous results of mankind's hubris and the occasional kind moment that Dream provides.

Does anyone else read Dream's voice as Neil Gaiman's? I mean, they do look suspiciously similar.

s
SarahTink
Aug 31, 2019

I don't know why it took me so long to get into this series but I'm glad I did. Dream/Morpheus/The Sandman is a wonderful character, both remote, godlike, and alien, but also poignant. The cameos of various DC characters seeded in with countless vignettes of civilians regularly having their lives uprooted by an unstable universe helps bind the DC universe itself into something very visceral and palpable. I can't wait for the next volume!

IndyPL_DagnyV Aug 19, 2019

This is the first book in a masterful series. Preludes and Nocturnes is a great introduction to Morpheus, the dream king, who is being held prisoner while his realm falls into chaos. It also introduces readers to other recurring characters like his sister, Death who adds her own dark comedy to the mix. The story is eerie and captivating with unique characters and beautiful artwork. This is soon to be made into a television show so if you like to read the book before you watch now is the time to pick up a copy.

a
Archeteuthys
Jun 19, 2019

I’d known about this series since middle school, and since then, I’ve tried a number of times to get into it as I would any creative work that artists I admire appear to repeatedly rave about. Try as I might, I just couldn’t follow the story; it all felt simultaneously disjointed, abyss-deep, and way way dark to the point where I wondered if the wonderlands within were worth it.

I’d been fortunate enough recently to run into volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the library all together - and I decided to give it another try. Super glad I did. At this point in my life, for whatever reason, I am better able to synthesize these sparkling webs and shadows and shards for sums grander than all those disparate parts in years past!

Warning: things do indeed get dark. This isn’t for everyone, and the art, while amazing, uses a more traditional comic print style. This does include the hip fashion absolutely screaming ‘90s (it was made then after all). And while you’re sorting out these disparate threads of beginnings, remember to have a little bit of faith, too. I still needed mine; my transformation into this type of Adult Comic Reader has been a gradual and human one.

Just know that once Morpheus enters the scene, things begin to make a lot more sense. At the very least, we now know that whatever might be going on, he will be nearby. It all ties together through him and his expansive reach as one of the Endless. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and getting to know the other members of his family.

a
annaburger
Nov 05, 2018

plot - "urban fantasy"A genre defying first on a series

JCLS_CentralPoint Aug 08, 2018

Now be aware, this is an adult series of graphic novels and a dark one at that. It speaks of the things of dreams and nightmares in the way that only Neil Gaiman can do.

I highly recommend it for those who love myth, legend, and dark humor. It centers around the doings of the incarnation of Dream and his likewise immortal family but ultimately there is an endless cast of characters, ranging from famous writers and familiar DC characters, to odd individuals who are somewhat familiar, as though you met someone like them...once...

b
bolenk
May 18, 2018

I’ve never been one for comic books or graphic novels. On paper it totally should be my thing: I love art, I love sf (science fiction) especially with heroes and villains and anti-heroes and....., I love pretty much every tv show or movie that’s been translated from comic books and graphic novels, so why does this format not draw me in, not tempt me. I am reading the Sandman by Neil Gaiman which I’ve heard, from some of my most discerning compatriots of sf/fantasy critical thought, will be the true test. If I don’t like this then I should just give up the genre and go back to my books, movies and tv. High praise Mr. Gaiman, high praise that fuel lofty expectations.
Before the introduction, before the dedications, before the first graphic image (other than the cover art), the first thing I see is a Book of Job quote, and it is compelling!
As I delved into the first few pages I remembered why I had such a hard time getting into Sandman. It’s an unfortunate case of expectations interfering with the experience. So many people have told me how innovative it is, so when I look at the first page of artwork I am expecting work that’s taking graphic art in a completely new direction. I expect something like the cover art with its mix of the real-world with the drawn-world artwork. This expectation added to the fact that I’m not well versed in graphic art makes my first impression of the art somewhat lackluster. That’s at first glance. Then when I started reading it and really looking at the art form, even down to how the images/text are arranged, it’s hard not to be impressed with its ingenuity.
One of my favourite quotes: Dr. Destiny, “I was a real doctor. Not a medical one. A scientist one.” Hahahaha. That being said I don’t like these throwbacks to the JLA and other DC folks. They kinda fall flat and seem to fight against what Sandman is trying to become. Oooo, except for Constantine. I love him. He totally works with the feel and look of Sandman. Ok, it’s several days later and I’m done reading the first volume and am on to reading the afterword, in Gaiman’s own words, “coming up with the Lord of Dreams seems less like an act of creation than one of sculpture: as if he were already waiting, grave and patient, inside a block of white marble and all I needed to do was chip away everything that wasn’t him.” It feels like these throwbacks to DC characters like Martian Manhunter were some of those bits that needed to be chipped away. What am I’m trying to say?? It seems to me that the collection of stories in Vol 1 are the growing pains the Sandman went through in order to become the legend that he is today. I’m looking forward to seeing the sculpture in it’s further evolution as there were many nuggets of greatness throughout that I can’t wait to see evolve.

j
janajee
Oct 25, 2017

"CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

MORPHEUS: I am hope."

I've read a lot of dark books, more than I probably should be considering how emotional I can get. But there's a reason for that I suppose. Because every dark book I read, every dark situation I find myself in, every dark event that I face - I have hope. Hope that things would get better, that things might actually become more than what is happening.

And that's why even though this book is morbid and intensely creepy, it ranks as one of my favorite graphic novels ever.

Because of hope.

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therhiannamater
Oct 14, 2016

therhiannamater thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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LamiiaBlue
Jul 10, 2015

LamiiaBlue thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

Nakkid thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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Octillion
Feb 05, 2014

Octillion thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

jwalton1980 Apr 07, 2012

jwalton1980 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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JenMarquis
Aug 14, 2009

JenMarquis thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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noob123
Jun 18, 2008

noob123 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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jabey
Jun 16, 2008

jabey thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A moderate amount of gore in this, some of it's intense. One chapter is based on British horror, and contains fairly intense scenes of self-mutilation. Towards the beginning, a character is shown to be punished, and his face is shown exploding in detail. Another chapter shows a decomposing woman whose insides have stretched to cover the walls of her house.

n
Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

Coarse Language: Some moderate swear words are used.

n
Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

Sexual Content: There are maybe 3 or 4 short panels of sexual intercourse. It's nothing too graphic, and in 2 of them, the sex is just implied, not even shown.

a
andreareads
Jul 28, 2013

Violence: mutilation and murder

n
noob123
Jun 18, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

n
noob123
Jun 18, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

j
jabey
Jun 16, 2008

Sexual Content: Sexually suggestive language and some drawings of women's chests.

j
jabey
Jun 16, 2008

Violence: Some gruesome killings.

Summary

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n
Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

The story starts off with an occult magician and his group trying to capture Death so that they may live eternally. Instead however, they capture Death's little brother, Dream (aka Morpheus). After 70 years of imprisonment, Morpheus finally escapes, and must now find his tools so that he can fix his world of Dreams, which has been deteriorating since his disappearance and is affecting humanity.

j
jabey
Jun 16, 2008

Morpheus is captured and eventually breaks out of captivity and tries to repair the Dreaming and recapture his power.

Quotes

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ReadingAdviser_Sally Oct 11, 2017

"d is for lots of things" John Dee.

"I awake in darkness, too weak even to summon a LIGHT."

n
Nakkid
Jun 24, 2014

"I am Hope." - Morpheus

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