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Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III

Written by Arion on Tuesday, October 14 2014 and posted in Blog
Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
Writing about the Endless would have been an impossible task for most writers. Perhaps it was also a difficult task for Neil Gaiman himself, right at the very beginning, when only Morpheus would grace the pages of “The Sandman”. The family portrait would not be seen until several issues after the inaugural chapter.

The Endless are the immortal notions that rule the lives of all living creatures throughout the universe. Dream, Death, Destiny and the others have outlived gods and galaxies. So as a writer it could be very complicated to think of possible threats and challenges for the Endless. Is fear a possibility for someone who has existed since the beginning of time? What could worry Morpheus? Certainly not death: “I did not die because I do not live. Not in any way that you understand”.

Perhaps the fears of the Dreamlord have more to do with his own desires than anything else. “The Floating Word Scratches” takes the reader into a strange land visited by the protagonist and his cat. There, they find a little girl whose father has been killed and they decide to make of her a travel companion.

It is during this journey when Morpheus remembers his painful past and how he was temporarily apprehended by two powerful gods that tried to invade his kingdom. Trapped and desperate, the Lord of Dreams holds the vigil of his brothers and sisters, but most don’t even answer his call. Delight does, but she is at war with herself, losing her own mind and about to change into Delirium. Desire answers and explains that all she can do is play with his brother’s intimate desire, and so she gives him a lover, a lady of light that helps Morpheus escape. Together, as a couple, they triumph over the conquering gods. But after victory, love between them becomes more and more tenuous. They both have wishes, and their hearts desires are not in synchrony. Eventually, Morpheus must make a hard decision: to exile the woman who saved his life.

Fear and pain, therefore, are part of the life of an Endless. Neither fear of death, nor physical pain, but something far more profound and profane. Because for an immortal, a broken heart can last longer than the glow of the sun.
Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
different artistic styles / estilos artísticos diferentes

In this third chapter, the entire universe is preparing for the ultimate war. Perhaps to prevent it or simply to understand its reasons, Morpheus is now heading to the City of Stars. Therein he might find something quite frightening: the possibility of a family reunion.

Waiting several months for the next issue of Sandman Overture makes perfect sense when one admires the gorgeous pages of J.H. Williams III. There is such an exquisite level of details side by side with amazing graphic experimentation. Furthermore, in some pages Williams seems to be able to channelize the style of legendary artists such as Bernie Wrightson, Moebius, Alex Ross and Burne Hogarth, among others. 

Turning frames into part of the visual narrative is also a great idea. And the double page format certainly does lend strength to Williams proposal. Certainly, violence is also beautifully rendered by the artist as we can see on the pages that show the skirmish between Sandman and a couple of aliens that have eviscerated the little girl’s father. Finally, the landscape and the giant holding everything together, like a modern and extraterrestrial Atlas, was a strong and unforgettable illustration, and I consider it a true example of artistic imagination.
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Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
clever use of frames / ingenioso uso de viñetas

Escribir sobre los Eternos habría sido una tarea imposible para la mayoría de escritores. Tal vez también fue una tarea difícil para el propio Neil Gaiman, justo al comienzo, cuando sólo Morpheus agraciaba las páginas de “The Sandman”. El retrato de la familia no sería visto sino hasta varios números después del capítulo inaugural.

Los Eternos son las nociones inmortales que gobiernan las vidas de todas las criaturas vivientes del universo. Sueño, Muerto, Destino y los demás, han sobrevivido dioses y galaxias. Así que como escritor podría ser muy complicado pensar en posibles amenazas para los Eternos. ¿Es el miedo una posibilidad para alguien que ha existido desde el inicio del tiempo? ¿Qué podría preocupar a Morpheus? Ciertamente no la muerte: “No morí porque no vivo. No de una manera que tú podrías entender”.
Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
an eviscerated alien / un alienígena eviscerado 

Tal vez los miedos del Amo de los Sueños tienen más que ver con sus propios deseos que con otra cosa. “El mundo flotante rasca” lleva al lector a una extraña tierra visitada por el protagonista y su gato. Allí, encuentran a una niña cuyo padre ha sido asesinado y deciden hacer de ella una compañera de viaje.

Es durante este viaje que Morpheus recuerda su doloroso pasado y cómo fue temporalmente apresado por dos poderosos dioses que intentaron invadir su reino. Atrapado y desesperado, el Amo de los Sueños sujeta el amuleto de sus hermanos y hermanas, pero la mayoría ni siquiera responde a su llamado. Delicia lo hace, pero ella está en guerra consigo misma, perdiendo su cordura y a punto de convertirse en Delirio.Deseo responde y explica que lo único que ella puede hacer es jugar con el deseo íntimo de su hermano, así que le da una amante, una dama de luz que ayuda a Morpheus a escapar. Juntos, como pareja, triunfan sobre los dioses conquistadores. Pero después de la victoria, el amor entre ellos se hace más y más tenue. Ambos tienen deseos, y el deseo de sus corazones no está en sincronía. Eventualmente, Morpheus debe tomar una difícil decisión: exiliar a la mujer que salvó su vida.

Miedo y dolor, por lo tanto, no son parte de la vida de un Eterno. Ni el miedo a la muerte, ni el dolor físico, sino algo más profundo y profano. Porque para un inmortal, un corazón rato puede durar mucho más que el brillo de un sol.
Sandman Overture # 3 - Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III
an impossible journey / un viaje imposible

En este tercer capítulo, el universo entero se prepara para la guerra definitiva. Tal vez para prevenirla o simplemente para comprender sus razones, Morpheus se dirige ahora a la Ciudad de las Estrellas. Allí podría encontrar algo bastante aterrador: la posibilidad de una reunión familiar.

Esperar varios meses hasta el próximo número de Sandman Overture tiene sentido cuando uno admira las preciosas páginas de J.H. Williams III. Hay un exquisito nivel de detalles al lado de una asombrosa experimentación gráfica. Más aún, en algunas páginas Williams parece capaz de canalizar el estilo de artistas legendarios como Bernie Wrightson, Moebius, Alex Ross y Burne Hogarth, entre otros. 

Convirtiendo viñetas en parte de la narrativa visual es también una grandiosa idea. Y el formato de página doble ciertamente añade fuerza a la propuesta de Williams. Ciertamente, la violencia también está hermosamente retratada por el artista tal como podemos ver en las páginas que muestran la escaramuza entre Sandman y un par de alienígenas que han eviscerado al padre de la niña. Finalmente, el paisaje y el gigante que lo sostiene todo, como un Atlas moderno y extraterrestre, fue una poderosa e inolvidable ilustración, y la considero un verdadero ejemplo de imaginación artística.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/10/sandman-overture-3-neil-gaiman-jh.html

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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 -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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