Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tradio #45 - The Sandman: The Doll's House

Welcome to week two of the Summer of Sandman!  This week we look at Volume Two which is titled The Sandman: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman and a whole passel of artists including some very early work from Chris Bachalo and published under the Vertigo banner by DC Comics.

The Doll's House consists of a large over arc with a couple other stories thrown in for good measure.  The main thrust of the trade deals with a young lady named Rose and her family.  As it turns out, Rose's grandmother is Unity Kinkade, who we met in the first trade as one of the people who was affected by Dream being imprisoned for so many years and had basically lived in a coma for the entire time.  During this time, she was raped and gave birth to a child who is Rose's mother.  As it turns out, Rose is a vortex of dreams and her very existence could bring about the end of the world in which she destroys the walls separating all peoples dreams. Throw into to this a search for Rose's brother, a serial killer's convention, and Dream looking for some of the lost denizens of the Dreamlands and you get a very twisty tale full of disturbing images and heartfelt emotion that is very well-crafted and laid out.

Again, Gaiman crafts an amazing tale and you can tell that he is getting better and better with the subject and the characters.  The interweaving of the main story will keep you guessing up until the end and the introduction of his sibling, Desire, is interesting, if not a little confusing.  But I trust this will be explained more in time.  The lead in story is good, but really doesn't seem to pertain to the overall arc, which is fine, but the story in the middle has nothing to do with anything and really kills some momentum.  It is a good story about a man living forever and his relationship with Dream, but it breaks up The Doll House, just when you want to know what will happen next.  I am guessing it was an art issue that did it.  Speaking of the early Bachalo.  I am not a big fan of Dringenberg, but it works and he does seem to have a range, it is just his usual style does nothing for me.  Anyway, another great trade in a series that really seems to be getting better.  If I do have one complaint, it is the design of the interiors of the new editions of the Sandman series.  The lettering has a very Se7en feel that is hard to read and distracting.  I have no clue for the change, but I am glad that this is my only edition in this style.  Next week, Dream Country...can't wait.  Till then...

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