15 November 2008

Sandman: The Dream Hunters #1

The much anticipated, and not just by me, first issue of Sandman: The Dream Hunters proved to be just as gorgeous as I hoped.

The Neil Gaiman story is fairly simple and fits squarely into his familiar territory of magic and myths.

That is not meant to belittle it at all as an "average" Neil Gaiman story is well worth reading, and the simplicity and slowness of the plot allows both the prose and art to flourish imaginatively.

And imaginative artwork is most definitely where P Craig Russell has always triumphed!

The first picture here is the cover which sets the scene. We have Neil Gaiman's version of the Sandman and that tells us that this story involves the world of dreams.

We also see the fox, one of the main characters in the story.

But most of all, we see trees contorted in to delicate shapes and rich pink blossom that contrasts with the dark blue background and makes the scene tranquil and enticing.

Further in to the story we are treated to this page of artwork, taken from P Craig Russell's own web site and showing the art before the lettering is added.

Here the first thing we notice is the unusual layout of the panels, rather a change from the square panel layout the most of us grew up with in comics like the Beano.

We also notice that not much happens, there is little dialogue and no discernible action.

So we linger and look at the art work more closely and then we see exquisite detail, subtle colours and imaginative shapes. And demons. Without knowing the author or what the story is about we can tell that this is something that we are going to enjoy reading.

The bad news is that I now have to wait a month for issue 2 and the worse news is that there are only four issues altogether.

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