I should have probably read this after I finished the series because there was a lot of things that would have made a lot more sense if I knew what was going on.
Still, it was beautiful and I loved every turn of the page
Only the fantastical mind of Neil Gaiman could capture the elusive, mutable, and eccentric nature of "dreams", and in J. H. Williams III, he has found the perfect partner to portray it visually. Overture is a prequel to Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman series that describes Dream's journey (in all his incarnations) to stop the end from happening. In the course of this, he, and cat-Dream go to see their father, mother, and the City of the Stars, they meet with many of their brothers and sisters, and pick up a young girl named Hope. Various aspects of nature and life (such as desire, and time) are personified in distinct ways. Not a one is so simple that other qualities can't be attributed to them, which makes them infinitely more enjoyable to read about. The world these characters inhabit is at once, both difficult to grasp, and crystal clear. Basically, the creators manage to instill a sense of a vast unimaginable, unknowable reality that the human mind could never understand, while delivering a story that is easy to follow, and characters that we can relate to. As fans of Gaiman have come to expect, the language is at the very highest level. It is as beautiful as the art that accompanies it; vague enough to be mysterious and enticing, yet detailed and precise enough to deliver the answers we need. The changing art styles, colour palettes, and unique layouts and borders only complement the above. Different fonts and colours in the speech bubbles, are not only stylistically appropriate, but a welcome device for identifying who is speaking. In every way Sandman: Overture is unique, an exceptional example of the graphic novel form, and an unimaginable story of the very highest degree.
This is one of the best graphic novels/comics of all time. The art is extraordinary, and the story is incredible. One of the best writers in the business at his peak works with one of the best artists in the business - how can you go wrong? I highly recommend it, but you should read as much of the rest of the Sandman series first.
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED THE SERIES YET!
Ignore the "prequel" label. It's a prequel that chronologically comes after the end of the series -I doubt this could make more sense in any other story rather than the Sandman. There are some spoilers scattered here and there, but overall, Overture won't make much sense unless you're already familiarized with the dynamic of the original series. Don't waste this beautiful book without the proper preparation; it makes the whole world of difference.
I used the word beautiful because that's the best achievement of this tome. The art is superb; I'm heading straight to the library to find whatever I can from J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart. I want to cover my living room walls with the gorgeous backgrounds from the first chapters. The story aims for epic, and the art takes us straight there. The story itself, however...
I gave Endless Nights a five star review because I delivered exactly what it should: most enjoyable side stories that provide a little more understanding and appreciation for the characters we've come to care about on the main series. However, when you place a story on the same sequence of events that those of the main story, they ought to be related, and definitely up to par. Sure, the cover promises to explain why was Dream so weakened at the moment of his imprisonment, and it does, but in a way that is disconnected from the concepts -spheres, mythology and twistedness- of the original; it flat disappoints.
Overture actually feels closer to Ch 3: The Heart of a Star from Endless Nights than to the main story itself. And that's my problem with it: Endless Nights is meant to be an extra kick, Overture shouldn't have been. The Kindly Ones made a spectacular job connecting all the dots throughout the series, I guess I was expecting this one to be up there as well.
Maybe Overture only suffers because I had the highest expectations. But sorry, you can't be part of the Sandman series and half deliver. *sigh* I wanted to give it a 5 so bad.
The art is gorgeous and the story is hauntingly melancholy, beautifully confusing. Reality is destroyed, and Morpheus has to remake the universe by spinning the dreams of a few thousand survivors. You meet the Endless' parents, Night and Time!
I just started Sandman but since it's the prequel I decided to read it first. I'm very new to a lot of the characters. But I enjoyed the story and have begun to really love Neil Gaiman's writing.
I am only just now getting to this and man was the anticipation high. New Sandman! Crazy! I enjoyed it, really I did, but I think I suffered a bit from the excitement and the anticipation. Also it's been a long time since I re-read Sandman so I'm actually curious to see how my opinion changes after reading through the original run again.
The plot of this, however, is really cool. A star has gone insane and that is having drastic effects on reality. It's really quite crazy and the art in this is just top notch. I mean I've always loved Williams' art and this is no exception. It's really well suited for the story being told and the universe we're coming back to. It was great to be back.
Very nice interview with the author about this title.
Neil Gaiman said in his foreward to this book that he was acutely aware of his age and felt like an aging supergroup band dragged out for a reunion tour that would make money regardless how bad the performance was.
Good News. In this case, the reunion tour turns out to not be a greatest hits tours, but a new and startlingly masterful new album- in the form of the story to explain what Dream of the Endless was doing when he was captured at the beginning of the first volume of the original Sandman series.
The book stands alone, but new readers should probably start at Preludes and Nocturnes, as this book does have a certain revival - greatest hits quality to it. Not in a pandering way, but because so much great mythology is on the table, and Gaiman can safely assume that most readers have read Sandman before reading this. Gaiman is simply choosing to use all the great world building that he did over the complete run of Sandman.
Credit also needs to be given to J.H. Williams. his artowrk is a revelation and perfectly suited to the rigors of Sandman's bizarre and hypermythic story style.
The book is true to it's predecessors. The book answers old questions by creating new ones, as a book for the Sandman series should do. The story is satisfying, and surprising and compelling. In short, this story is as close to a masterpiece as one is going to get these days.
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