In the eleventh issue of The Sandman, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.
Oh, I take it back. Now I really don’t know what’s going. At least until the last page of this issue, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so confused and lost by a fictional narrative. I’m getting the sense that this is for a point, and the final reveal of what’s happening to Jed helps put a lot of this in context for me. But wow, this shit is weird.
Honestly, though, I’m okay with that. This graphic novel is already taking me to an uncomfortable place, and I really like that is challenging what I do for Mark Reads. I have to think about how I write about these issues so much differently than what I’m used to. Where I normally split things up by chapter, I’m instead focusing on entire issues, which can be both shorter and longer than what I am accustomed to writing about. I’m doing my best to factor in the visual aspect of this novel, and now I’m accepting that even the way this is written is really unlike anything else I’ve done for this site.
Well, not anything. It’s not surprising to me that the only other time I’ve felt anything close to this sensation was during American Gods, and I can tell that a lot of that novel came out of writing The Sandman. There are some thematic similarities, obviously, but I find that the storytelling itself is the most alike between the two books. This particular detail is full of details, references, and plot points that I spent time simply not getting. Gaiman doesn’t go out of his way to make it easy for me to determine what the hell he’s talking about most of the time. There’s something more rewarding to me about having to do the bulk of the work as a reader. I actually read this issue twice once Dream figured out how Jed was connected to all of this, and it helped me put the events of “Moving In” in a better context for my brain.
For example, I didn’t know if the boarding house that Rose goes to stay in was real or a dream. I mean, I feel like that’s understandable, you know? It’s really fucking weird. But once I thought about it, it really isn’t that surprising that Unity would know people like this. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t seem that these characters exist for some greater plot point. They’re just weird. And I kind of like that? Like, there’s a lesbian couple here who collect stuffed spiders. I didn’t even know that could be a thing that existed, you know?
I don’t think I quite get Jed’s dreams. I initially thought that Jed’s dream was switching between a nightmare and a regular dream, but now I don’t think they’re Jed’s dreams at all. Do they belong to Rose? If Jed has been separated from True Dreaming, then they must be someone else’s dream. Rose’s? Also MY DREAMS ARE JUST AS WEIRD AS THIS. Like, absolutely nonsensical for the most part with just slight bits of actual reality in them.
There are also a couple new characters introduced in this issue that I’m interested to see more of. Matthew, Dream’s spy crow, speaks in this really fascinating way. Also, I just got to type “spy crow” and I’m really happy with this. I suppose I don’t really know what Matthew is. Did he used to be a human? Is he supposed to represent something else? It’s also in this scene I learn that Dream is creating a “new nightmare.” For a specific person? Also, those things have a giant cavities for faces. What the fuck is this book doing to me? Do you realize how meta it is that this is about a character that can give people nightmares and it is going to give me nightmares? Oh shit what if this isn’t fiction.
We also meet Gilbert! He is delightfully strange, and I love his chivalrous behavior. It’s so quaint! So is he not some sort of ghost or disembodied presence? Or is this just how he appears? Is he offering to protect Rose for a reason? Maybe he has something to do with Dream. Seriously, I don’t get any of this. It’s kind of exciting when I think about it because I know that when this all comes together, my brain will explode. I don’t think I’ll have to wait all that long. Rose discovers that her long-lost brother is being claimed as a dependent by farmers in upstate Georgia, so her and Gilbert head off to go see what he’s up to. Well, that’s going to be depressing, as we learn two of Dream’s creations are LIVING IN JED’S MIND. What the fuck why???? It was that reveal that made me realize that those images of him in that basement were real. WHY. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING. Man, this story is fucked up, for real!
Of course, I’m kidding myself. This is all child’s play compared to the Corinthian. Why do I have a feeling that whatever is going to happen with him in the future will be more disturbing than “24 Hours”? Who is this guy? Does he usually murder people in nightmares, and now that he’s out of the Dreamworld, he does it in real life? What sort of “get-together” is he referring to? Is his specialized interest being a murderous asshole? OH GOD, I AM NOT PREPARED FOR THIS, AM I?
I am seriously so ecstatic to keep reading this. How could I not be excited when the last image of “Moving In” is of a pissed off Dream opening his fire cape thing (I don’t know if it has a name!!!) and saying, “And it’s my move.” Oh, he’s going to crush Brute and Glob, isn’t he? YESSSSSSS.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am on tour! I have dates in the western half of North America, and you should come listen to live readings of bad fic and discussions of Mark Does Stuff projects, past or present or future!
– You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
– If you’d like to support what I’m doing, you can click the little Donate button in the right sidebar, buy eBooks on MarkDoesStuff, or purchase physical books on Lulu.com.
– Support my twin brother’s ALC ride and I’ll continue reading bad fic on video. DO IT.
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is now out and available for purchase!!!