The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

The Sandman’s 20th Anniversary and Neil Gaiman’s 48th Birthday

Posted by invizweb on December 3, 2008

When I was a junior high school geek, I was a huge fan of the Japanese artist, Yoshitaka Amano, the character designer for the Final Fantasy series (and Vampire Hunter D). I was elated to know that he was collaborating with a writer for an American comic book: Neil Gaiman. Living in the South Bronx during my youth I only hearing in passing of The Sandman by Neil Gaiman as the issues were not sold in my vicinity.

In the year 2003, the ennui of post Industrial American society hit me. Although I was struck with the epiphany of the 9-5 dot com era corporate society’s perversion in 1999, my depression peaked for a long period in 2003. As an attempt to combat this I decided to take a Philosophy course with a non-vanilla view of the world (I am sorry Rousseau really doesn’t cut it for me): “Introduction to Nietzsche.” Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th Century German philosopher was a revivalist of the Pagan undercurrent (which some Ariosophists would exploit) with his concept of the “Apollonian” and the “Dionysian” undertakings of art. When implementing “mythology” as philosophy, the name most associated with this metaphysical outlook is Joseph Campbell. An Amazon search will direct one to a book comparing Campbell’s philosophy to the works of Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman was born November 10, 1960 in the British town of Portchester in Portsmouth. His early career consisted of him writing for 2000 AD, the popular British comic book series. Early in his career, he was the protege and confidant of Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who fame), and then also of Alan Moore. In November 1989, DC Comics released first issue of The Sandman for its Vertigo imprint.

(C) Neil Gaiman

(C) Neil Gaiman

Although The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes was not first trade paperback I read in a decade (or first comic I had read since my 4 year hiatus since 2000) as that distinction goes to The Watchmen (coming to theatres near you but without creator Alan Moore’s blessing), it had a significant influence on my changing world view: 1) comic books are in fact art to be treasured even by hipsters and elitists 2) I cannot hitherto be judged as a psycho for my growing occult perspective, as many people believe that there is more than this materialist world. I consider Season of MIsts and A Game of You some of the finest writing I have ever read. His characterizations of the titular Morpheus (personification of Dreams), Death, Lucifer, and Hobs Gadling has made them some of th most memorable personages in literature. In addition, anyone who has not read American Gods should do so (fastest book I have ever read).

So thus the Invisible Web wishes Neil Gaiman a belated Happy 48th Birthday and extend a belated Happy 20th Anniversary to The Sandman.

The Sandman Library Volume I:Preludes and Nocturnes **** 3/4

The Sandman Library Volume IV: Season of Mists *****

The Sandman Library Volume V: A Game of You *****

American Gods *****

Below is an article by Jennifer Ferris for Finding Dulcinea.

Neil Gaiman transformed a writing career penning rock and roll biographies into a multinational success story. In less than three decades writing comics, graphic novels and various works of speculative fiction, he has earned legions of loyal fans, produced Hollywood blockbusters adapted from his work and been named one of the 10 best authors living today.

Read more.

Neil Gaiman’s Batman story arc, “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” debuts February 11, 2009.

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