I think it’s fair to say that I read a lot of books. I mean, I’ve got a book blog, for crying out loud, so this is a major case of “no shit, Sherlock”. Yet, despite being an avid reader, I never read comic books. The only thing I ever read (and I only just remembered this) is W.I.T.C.H., which I loved – and never finished, come to think of it.
Anyway. The point of this post is that recently I did read two comic books, because my boyfriend owns a few and I got curious. In August, I read Neil Gaiman’s Preludes & Nocturnes, which is a collection of the first 8 installments (or whatever they’re called – let’s remember I’m a rookie) of The Sandman. And then just this week I finished reading Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
Turns out, I quite like comic books. I wasn’t blown away by either, but I did really enjoy reading them. Plus, they’re nice quick reads for my Goodreads challenge; let’s not pretend that wasn’t on my mind as well.
The thing I have found to be a little annoying with comic books is that there’s so many volumes, though… Before you know it, you’ve finished the first one, and then what? Just buy all the rest of them? It’s all so cliffhanger-y, but buying the rest of the series in one go seems a little excessive…
The Sandman Volume 1 – Preludes & Nocturnes ★★★
By Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III
An occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power.
The premise of this story had me really excited. It’s about sleep and dreams and I’m really fascinated by both those concepts. In fact, I’ve been planning a novel that centers around dreams, which made reading this even more interesting. I loved Morpheus – he’s an amazing and at times scary character. He had some interesting things to say about dreams which helped me form my own story. The most important one is: “It’s NEVER ‘only a dream’.” Or this one:
“People think dreams aren’t real because they aren’t made of matter, or particles. Dreams are real, but they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes…”
I did feel like there was a lot of stuff going on, though, which made the story feel rather disjointed at times. In his afterword, Neil Gaiman says he thinks many of the stories from this first volume are “awkward and ungainly”, and while I wouldn’t go as far as calling them ungainly, I think I can get behind the “awkward” part. I do think I want to read on, though, because there’s so much potential for something really cool!
Saga, Vol. 1 ★★★
By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.
I think I would’ve enjoyed this one more if I’d read it in one or two sittings. Instead, I took almost three weeks. I’d read a couple pages (or one chapter) and then I’d put it aside again because I wanted to make it last or didn’t have more time. Because of that I never truly got into the story before it was already over.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, though. I think the art in Saga is really well done. I especially liked the facial expressions; they were just so expressive and on point! They conveyed the characters’ emotions really well and I also think they added an extra bit of depth to the characters.
I’m curious to read on, because it seems like a lot of different things have been set in motion for future plot, and I’ve really come to like Alana as a character. Who knows when I’ll be able to get my hands on the next volume, though. We’ll see!
So, those are my first experiences with comic books! Have you read these? Did you enjoy them? And do you have any other good comic book recommendations for me?
12 thoughts on “My First Foray Into Comic Books: The Sandman and Saga”
Comic books, graphic novels, and manga are buckets of fun. I’ve dipped my toes in and out of them, usually going a few years in between series that i absolutely must have the next volume of the very day it comes out! I read the first two Saga graphic novels and liked them, but didn’t go back to the series. I find Japanese Manga a little easier to read – the plots and pacing feels more like a novel, and i usually like the artwork more.
They really are! I don’t know why I haven’t read more of them up until now. I don’t think I’ve read any manga – perhaps I should give that a go as well. Not being able to keep reading straight away definitely puts me off a little, and it can be quite expensive to buy all the volumes! I’m not sure what to do yet. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!
Gaiaman’s novel American Gods takes a lot of the myths and ideas from Sandman and expands on them. Gaiman is a very talented writer that’s able to practice his art in multiple areas.
I’ve heard many good things about American Gods! Perhaps I should finally add it to my To Read list. I haven’t read any of his novels, but I enjoyed his writing and his ideas in The Sandman, so I’d like to give it a go 🙂
It’s one of my favorite books.
Gaiman also has a graphic novel adaptation of “The Graveyard Book” (it’s about a recently orphaned boy named Bod who is raised by a graveyard of ghosts) – it was originally a novel, but I believe the graphic novel version trumps the original. It’s got amazing art and is a well-crafted story!
I also recommend (if you are so daring to make a foray in to the wide, wide world of superhero comics) to read Gaiman’s Batman book entitled “What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader.” Great read, no background info needed as long as you have a good grasp of Batman from movies, pop culture and such.
I’ve heard about that one as well! I think I recently saw it in a book store. I’ll have to check it out some day! Thanks for the Batman recommendation as well. I’ve never read a Batman comic, but I do have a basic understanding of him as a character. 🙂
Both interesting reads ☕️🙂
Yes, they were! 🙂
Some of my favourite comics!
Nice! Have you read the entire series of these two?
I’ve read the entire series of both and they are brilliant. I’ve got my girlfriend into them now 🙂