Wednesday, August 29, 2007

TOP TEN :: Top Ten Single Issues Ever :: #5

Sandman #8, "The Sound of Her Wings"
by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III

August, 1989....My mother had just passed a away 4 months earlier. I was a young man getting on with life but still reeling from the experience when Sandman #8 appeared in my new releases box one pleasant Saturday afternoon. All of fandom was searching for the next Alan Moore to arrive in the comics mainstream--another intellectual British comics writer who was going to turn the comic world upside down once again. Neil Gaiman partially succeeded with the first Sandman story arc, but it was the 8th issue and the introduction of Dream's sister Death that left us all in gape-mouthed awe.

The story: Dream is pouting because of the events that took place in the first 7 issues and he meets with his big sister in Greenwich Village. They sit and talk and continue the conversation as Dream follows Death while she goes about her business; managing/witnessing every human death. She is presented as a sympathetic, hip, stylish and pale punk/goth girl in her early 20s. Now through popularity and imitation the 'adorable' Death has turned into a cliché; however in 18-odd years ago and in Gaiman's competent hands the image was new and a blinding stroke of genius. With this single inventive story, the tapestry for the Sandman universe exploded with possibility, a new British writer had ascended the superstar throne; and most importantly to me, Death suddenly didn't seem so bad and I felt comfort that my mom wasn't alone after she had left us.


Phil Southern said...

This was when Sandman became Sandman. I've said it before-Neil Gaiman should write the first six or seven issues of his series, but have none of them illustrated until the seventh or eighth, releasing that as issue number 1.

Look at Miracleman, 1602, Eternals...they didn't pick up any momentum until the last (or later) issue(s).

Shawn Reynolds said...

That was a very touching review Andy.