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GAIMAN, NEIL & DRINGENBERG, MIKE - THE SANDMAN #3 – DREAM COUNTRY. 1990 DC COMICS.  

 

A quartet of stories about different aspects of dreaming. In The first, a writer with severe writer’s block hits on the supreme idea for a cure. He kidnaps the muse of the arts herself, Calliope, (Her name is used as the title of the story) and forces her to give him inspiration. She gives him more than he could hope for, by saturating him with so many ideas that he cannot write fast enough. He ends up cutting himself severely to even write in his own blood to keep up with the flood of creative energy she unleashes in him. In another story, Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare is invited to stage a play for a group of fairies, which inspires his own Midsummer Night’s Dream, and sets the scene for the closing story of the Sandman conclusion in Book Ten, The Wake, when Shakespeare again meets The Sandman. The best work here is The Dreams Of 1,000 Cats which tells the story of a cat who dreams that one day cats will change the word with their dreams, and come to subjugate humanity. His owner rolling about in his sleep sees the little kitten, and the owner thinks it looks cute, unaware that he is generating the seeds of the destruction of our civilisation. Façade is the most unusual story in the book, ad the first of the series about dreams and aspirations not to directly involve The Sandman. It focuses on a lonely super heroine, an obscure character from the DC heroes Universe.  Now in retirement, and severely depressed, she contemplates suicide, but her elemental nature keeps restoring her to life. Her death is finally assisted by Death, a relative of Morpheus, The Sandman. Death advises her to call on Ra, the Sun God from whom she gained her power in the first place, and Ra obliges  by reducing her to blissful metrification. An unusual death story for a neglected comic book persona, taking a comic strip idea to a whole new dimension. Unique and wonderful stories  told  with a dream like quality that hooks into the mind and refuses to let go. http://www.dccomics.com/

 

Arthur Chappell

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