October 27, 2012


Just in time for Halloweeeeen

Seems like I'm getting back to my Sandman roots this month,
it was the first graphic novel series I read as a teenager!

It wasn't the very first graphic novel I'd ever read - that would be the formidable "The Dreamer" by Will Eisner, which forever changed my life - but it was the first series I'd read, and one that lasted an astounding 75 issues, and 10 collected volumes. (I think it was 10, right?)

I know that The Walking Dead past it's 100th issue, which is also a landmark, but I haven't the inclination to dedicate my eyes to that kind of gore anymore.

I know The Walking Dead is one of the best titles out there, in terms of character development and storytelling, but I just can't handle the bleakness.

THE   B L E A K N E S S   !

I'm already at my limit with the TV series - which I adore and am repulsed by simultaneously.  I'm so emotionally invested in all the characters!!  

It's the same reason I can't start watching the Sopranos or Mad Men - I'm too emotionally committed, I feel like they are real people, because I think of real people who have experienced these things.

I'm much more sensitive at 27 than I was at 17.

At 17 I could watch Taxi Driver, A Clockwork Orange and whathaveyou, and still maintain that "it was just a movie".  I think because the human aspects of it were still foreign to me.
But like Mary Shelley writes:
"... it was the offspring from happy days, when death and grief were but words, and found no true echo in my heart."

The real-life experiences you have start to be recalled when you see them in a film or book, or even a painting.

At least they do for me.

So it's harder for me now, even as an adult, to open myself up to depressing material or horror stuff.

I guess I need to build up that barrier again.

I found this on Tumblr the other day, and it made me feel very happy to know that my other cranky-old-man-in-comics mentor, Alex Toth, felt similarly:

and the second...


  1. Sandman was the first comic I read! Though I had been reading manga before that..but I think they are fairly different. I don't mind bleak stories (I love Mad Men!), but I can see how people would yearn for more hopeful stories. I think grief can make a more lasting or at least larger impression on us, which may be why sad stories are so prolific.

    1. Mad Men really looks amazing, I haven't seen it in order, but when I catch an episode it's just so wonderfully acted and written!

  2. The Dreamer is great! My favorite bit is Jack King (who I imagine is Jack Kirby) standing up to the rather pushy cleaner service.

    1. Ahh interesting, at that age I didn't get the reference

  3. Yup that's Jack Kirby-- also in the story are George "Inky" Rousso, Bob Kane and Stan Lee.