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Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III

Written by Arion on Thursday, May 22 2014 and posted in Blog
Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
Dreams are intangible, unhindered by space or time, they have no substance and yet, in their ethereal nature, they can be stronger than the most profane of realities. Neil Gaiman understood the true power of the oneiric realm and, surely, that is why Lord Morpheus played such an iconic role in the 75 issues of Vertigo’s most acclaimed title: “The Sandman”.

And now, in chapter 2 of Sandman Overture, the British writer remembers that all dreams are ubiquitous and yet forever elusive. Perhaps that is why the Lord of Dreams has such a hard time acknowledging his other selves, thousands of incarnations, humanoid, anthropomorphic, purely animalistic, alien, mineral, vegetal or cybernetic among plenty of other countless alternatives, all from every possible world, dimension, era and plane of existence, within reality or outside of it. Because even if they are everywhere and everywhen, they cannot grasp each other. 

Nevertheless, this rendezvous is not a good omen. Although theoretically infinite and immortal, someone or something has managed to kill one microscopic fraction of Sandman’s, one of his alternative versions. And that murder is enough to be a matter of concern for the Eternals and the entire universe.

If J.H. Williams III surprised us with his exquisite art on the first issue, on this occasion he confirms his unlimited talent. Let’s take, for instance, the double page spread that depicts Lord Morpheus and Mad Hettie (a well-remembered character from the original “The Sandman” series) incursion into an abandoned asylum is simply astonishing. Mixing elements of Gothic architecture, supernatural horror and organic monstrosities, the artist presents an abandoned house that is deeply rooted in reality and, at the same time, caged in a dreamlike state.
Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
Sandman & Mad Hettie

The gathering of Dream Lords, encompassing several pages, is also a visual feast of unparalleled richness. Dozens of delightful designs and an imaginative panel arrangement turn these sequences into something truly unforgettable. I advise you all to patiently admire the work of the artist, not only because it’s absolutely beautiful but also because it’s full of hidden visual clues, small graphic secrets that can only be unearthed and enjoyed with an attentive eye. I would also like to highlight a peaceful and portentous conversation between Lord Morpheus and a feline version of himself, in which we find each panel inside of another panel, as if were excavating further into the protagonist’s unconsciousness.
Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
Thousands of alternative versions / miles de versiones alternativas

Finally, I’d like to share my opinion about the cover: a fantastic combination of the Lord of Dreams and the asylum; there, the human figure and the building seem to discard the rigidness or reality, embracing nightmare and madness.

Los sueños son intangibles, despojados de espacio y tiempo, no tienen sustancia y aun así, en su naturaleza etérea, pueden ser más fuertes que la más profana de las realidades. Neil Gaiman entendía el verdadero poder del reino onírico y, seguramente, es por ello que Lord Morpheus jugó un papel tan icónico en los 75 números del título más aclamado de Vertigo: “The Sandman”.
Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
Extraordinary graphic narrative / narrativa gráfica extraordinaria

Y ahora, en el capítulo 2 de "Sandman Overture", el escritor británico recuerda que todos los sueños son ubicuos y no obstante siempre elusivos. Tal vez es por eso que al Amo de los Sueños le resulta tan difícil reconocer a sus otros 'yo', miles de encarnaciones, humanoides, antropomorfas, puramente animales, alienígenos, minerales, vegetales o cibernéticos, entre incontables alternativas, todos de cada mundo posible, de cada dimensión, era y plano de existencia, dentro y fuera de la realidad. Porque incluso si están en todas partes y en todos los momentos, ellos no pueden acercarse entre sí.
Sandman Overture # 2 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
At the edge of the universe / Al borde del universo

Sin embargo, este encuentro no es un buen augurio. Aunque Sandman es teóricamente infinito e inmortal, alguien ha logrado matar una fracción microscópica de él mismo, una de sus versiones alternativas. Y ese asesinato es suficiente para causar la preocupación de los Eternos y de todo el universo.

Si J.H. Williams III nos sorprendió con su exquisito arte en el primer número, en esta ocasión confirma su ilimitado talento. Tomemos, por ejemplo, la página doble que muestra a Lord Morpheus y la Loca Hettie (un memorable personaje de la serie original de “The Sandman”) incursionando en un asilo abandonado: simplemente impresionante. Mezclando elementos de arquitectura gótica, terror sobrenatural y monstruosidades orgánicas, el artista presenta una casa abandonada que está profundamente enraizada en la realidad y, al mismo tiempo, enjaulada en el ámbito de los sueños. 

La reunión de los Señores del Sueño, que abarca varias páginas, es también un festín visual de una riqueza incomparable. Docenas de deliciosos diseños y un imaginativo orden de viñetas hacen de estas secuencias algo realmente inolvidable. Les aconsejo admirar la obra del artista pacientemente, no sólo porque es absolutamente hermosa sino también porque está llena de pistas visuales ocultas, pequeños secretos gráficos que sólo pueden ser desenterrados y disfrutados bajo una mirada atenta. También me gustaría resaltar una pacífica y portentosa conversación entre Lord Morpheus y una versión felina de sí mismo, en la que vemos a cada viñeta dentro de otra viñeta, como si estuviésemos excavando en el inconsciente del protagonista.

Finalmente, me gustaría compartir mi opinión sobre la portada: una fantástica combinación del Amo de los Sueños y el asilo; allí, la figura humana y el edificio parecen descartar la rigidez de la realidad, abrazando la pesadilla y la locura.

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About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


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