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Book Review Neil Gaimam THE Sandman THE Dream Hunters 2009 Dc

A fox tries to save a monk from those who would steal his dreams.


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In contrast to the ten part British Sandman series, Gaiman created an independent Sandman story based on oriental classic Japanese art and story telling techniques – a tragic tale that fits in perfectly with the rest of the Sandman adventures, thanks largely to the wonderful evocative artwork of P Craig Russell

A gentle Buddhist monk tends a quiet temple in the remote forests of Japan. A fox and a badger both decide that they would like the temple as a new den and take turns trying to manipulate or frighten the monk into leaving, but he is wise enough to see through their plans.

The fox however, falls in love with him, and tells him as much in her human female disguise. Shortly afterwards, the fox overhears a group of demons talking of their plan to steal the monk’s dreams and kill him in his sleep in order to give his youth and vitality to a man from the other side of the country.

The fox embarks on a dangerous journey to the land of dreams to consult Morpheus, the Sandman for advice, and we see Morpheus depicted in slightly more oriental style than usual, a dream weaver and controller to all lands.  He is willing to let the fox trap herself in the dreams intended to trap the monk and this comes to pass, but the monk learns of her sacrifice and approaches Morpheus, insisting that the sacrifice be undone.  It is, and the monk dies. The Fox now takes a terrible revenge against the man who was responsible for this. 

Though no one emerges happy from the Aesopian story, valuable lessons are learned and Morpheus acts merely as an occasional catalyst to the tragedy unfolding before us.

This is a wonderful use of comic book art, haunting and unforgettable in presentation and resolution.

Arthur Chappell

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