Mark Reads ‘The Sandman’: 2×06 – Collectors

In the fourteenth issue of The Sandman, Dream, Rose, Gilbert, and the Corinthian all collide in the same hotel. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.

“Collectors”

How the fuck do you write about this?

Lately, I have entertained the notion that there’s something wrong with my brain or my deductive skills or the way I possess logic or with reading comprehension or something. Like, I get that it’s my thing to be unprepared, but I try! I try to be prepared! That’s why I spend so much time analyzing plot twists or characterization choices. I feel like it’s a way for me to understand the narrative better or to get a chance to see where a story is headed. For some reason, this isn’t working. Because despite that the first third of “Collectors” contains references to death and murder at a rate of 40 billion mentions per page, I did not pick up the truth about the Cereal Convention. CEREAL. IT WAS RIGHT THERE. Even worse, I don’t think I once commented about the name of this convention, despite that it was revealed back in issue twelve. I wasn’t even operating on the right level here, and when I figured out why the guy who ran this convention was a fan of the Corinthian, I turned the page and it was spelled out for me. I figured it out at the last possible second to figure it out on my own. Hell, I even picked up on the use of song lyrics to talk about dreaming in the last volume! HOW DID I MISS THIS?

I don’t expect to be surprised, though, by many of your thoughts on this chapter. First of all, the surrealist parallel to actual cons is so bizarre and terrifying that it made me uncomfortable. Like, IT’S A CON. FOR SERIAL KILLERS. And it has all the tropes that you actually see in real life. But it’s for serial killers! WHAT THE FUCK HOW DOES A HUMAN BEING EVEN THINK OF THIS????

So yeah. I don’t now what I can say about this. In the span of two pages, I felt like I’d been tricked into reading about some creepy shit, man. Which is a compliment! Oh god, Gaiman wasn’t even being subtle AND I DIDN’T SEE IT AT ALL. But what possible criticism or insight could I provide about a convention for serial killers? I am not one myself? I think the only critical thought I had aside from WHAT THE FUCK was that I know the trans community generally hates the term “preoperative transsexuals,” so there’s that? But I’m also not trans so I’m not going to say anything else about that because it’s not my place? Also IT’S A SERIAL KILLER CONVENTION.

What I can comment on, first of all, is Rose. She finally meets Dream in this issue, and it’s with Gilbert’s help that she is able to summon him after being attacked. (Okay, wait, why did Gilbert freak out when the Corinthian got on the elevator with him? He must have recognized him, but how? I DON’T GET IT.) Once again, Gilbert proves to be more dependable than anyone Rose could have asked for as a companion. (I swear, that is an unintentional reference to Doctor Who. I SWEAR.) Even though he leaves her alone, he gives her Dream’s other name, Morpheus, and it turns out that just saying it can call him. Well, perhaps it’s because she’s a dream vortex, too? I don’t really understand how this works, honestly. But when he does arrive, it’s a lot like the confrontation between Dream, and Brute and Glob. It’s absolutely no challenge for the Lord of Dreams. He just tears the Corinthian out of existence, not just because he’s evil for the sake of it, but because he was disappointingly boring. Bless you, Dream. Also, the Corinthian has teeth for eyes because he likes eating eyes with his…eyes. Okay, yeah, thanks for that, Gaiman. never sleeping again tbqh.

Yet as weird and disturbing as this all is, I love that there’s this huge FUCK YEAH moment when Dream turns to the serial killers before him. Dream decides to give all of them constant awareness, so that they’ll always know who they are and how little the mean. Always. Like, wow, man, that is fucked up. I approve, for the record, but how is this guy so good at thinking of punishments for people? He sent a queen to hell for like 10,000 years or something just because she rejected him, though. I think that’s a lot worse than what these folks got.

We end “Collectors” with Gilbert, Rose, and Jed, the brother and sister finally reunited after seven long years apart. Dream only has one last creation to track down, but how will his story intersect with Rose again? He knows she’s the new dream vortex, but is he going to do anything about? Or will she be fine now that she’s been reunited with her complete family? I’m not even going to try to guess because I know I’ll get it terribly wrong. Does that count as preparing myself?

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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