Never let it be said that reading can’t catch you a man. Now, whether or not you want to catch that man (quick, throw him back!) is another story altogether.
Mr. Neil Gaiman, despite being one of my all-time favourite authors, is going to be the death of me, as a large number of his books have been responsible for “rando” men in my life. This particular instance was brought on by his classic graphic novel series The Sandman.
I recently shared with an acquaintance, a friend of a friend really, that I owned the entire Sandman series, all ten books. When he expressed his desire to read them, I enthusiastically offered them up–my poor sacrificial lambs. What can I say? I get excited whenever anyone wants to read, particularly when someone wants to read Gaiman. When the acquaintance asked to borrow the books a few days later, I imagined a quick swap over a beer. In reality, the speedy exchange into a gracious, though very unwelcome, sneak date over dinner (his).
But the books . . .
I feel as though they should inscribe the front of each of Gaiman’s book with the following: Aspiring authors, take heed. Those who wonder how worlds are woven and created, watch the master at work.
Morpheus / Dream / the eponymous Sandman takes center stage in this series, accompanied by his Endless immortal siblings, as they manipulate and tool with humankind in the dream world. Dreams permeate the waking world more often than we give them credit. What would happen if you hid things, such as secrets, objects, treasures, in your dreams? What if, as you dreamt, you could shape the waking world? What if you could control everyone’s dreams? Within the world of Dreaming, Gaiman creates an entire kingdom of dreams for Morpheus to rule over and for dreamers to love, live, and kill. There is, as often in dreams, evil and there is goodness, all mixed together. And when we think about how broad, wide, and all encompassing this kingdom is, we get a little peek into Gaiman’s own head.
So it’s not necessarily a coincidence that Morpheus / Lord Dream looks a bit like @NeilHimself: a dark, lanky, brooding character with masses of unruly hair. Women fainting in his footsteps. Classic Gaiman.
Unfortunately, my fellow comic book borrower was neither dark, lanky, nor brooding and I wasn’t fainting at any point of the evening. At the end of the book exchange, without thinking, I foolishly told my “date” to enjoy and maybe we could discuss the books when he was finished–to which he responded, “Yes, and we can go out for drinks again!”
Commence thumping forehead against wall.