Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman

I have written about Neil Gaiman before, the author of American Gods, Mirror Mask, and my personal favorite, the Sandman comics. Rather than comics I would actually call them graphic novels. I cannot possibly praise his work enough because for the last few years he has been my favorite fiction writer. I purchase pretty much any of his works that I can get my hands on. There are ten volumes that have been released of Sandman of which I only have the first 7. The book stores I visit never have stock of the last 3. However during my last trip to HK I managed to scoop a copy of Endless Nights.

To tell you what Endless Nights is about I would have to explain the premise of The Sandman comics. They are graphic novels of whom the pivotal character is Morpheus aka The Sandman, The King of the Realm of Dreams. He is only 1 of 7 siblings known as the Endless, Death, Destruction, Despair, Destiny, Desire, Delirium, and Dream. And although The Sandman comics revolve mainly around Dream, his siblings also make significant cameo appearances. Only by reading the comics could one possible appreciate the depths into which Gaiman has traveled to create such fascinating and unfathomable characters. Endless Nights was written a while after The Sandman series had been laid to rest. It serves as a collection of 7 stories, 1 about each of the siblings. All written by Gaiman but each borrow the skills of various artists and letterers.

In my opinion each of the 7 stories was mesmerizing and I enjoyed the entire collection thoroughly. But that is not surprising because like I said, Gaimans writing has really grown on me. That allows me to read him without being critical and just trusting where he is taking me. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else. What was exceptionally mind-blowing about this book though is the art work. Each of the stories is so unique and it is amazing to see how each artist has translated Gaimans work into a visual opus. After reading each story I literally went back and looked over them twice over to enjoy them. Numerous artists have contributed to this book such as Milo Manara, Frank Quitely, Dave McKean of course, and many more.

I do not want to take away from the beauty of the book by scanning the images and uploading them to the internet. Nor do I want to fuck up the spine of my book by doing that. But these guys really take graphic novels to a whole new level by combining digital art with traditional ink and paper. Some of the stories daringly break so far away daring from traditional comic book form that theirs must be commended for being so bold. A collection like this is something one could make a feature documentary about. I honestly wish they had exhibitions for these artworks, that is something I would love to see. I am not a person who is overly hung up on possessions apart for sentimental shit, good books, and music. And Endless Nights is a book that I will enjoy reading over and over again for a long time.

No comments: