Sandman Reblog #25: Season of Mists Chapter 5

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Given the generally static nature of this issue, this post may be more of a series of observations than a deeper analysis. We've finally reached the point in the story where I dont quite remember what happens next, so it's very exciting to read into the little hints Gaiman sprinkles through the tale.

So we begin as Dream hears a variety of appeals from characters fictional and mythical, all longing for custody of Hell (though Why is not entirely clear to me as yet).

On the Art

Has anyone else noticed that Dream's castle looks different in every issue? Where previously it sat upon a craggy cliff, this time it sits on an island, complete with water and sand.

I wonder if that accounts for the new dinosaur guard? In addition to the gryphon and unicorn who normally guard the gates, there appears to be a stegosaurus/brontosaurus hybrid. Does anyone know what mythical beast that might be?

Also, did a different artist take over from page 18, only to return on pate 20?

On Tricksters and Gods

Why is everyone standing so far apart from the Norsemen? Certainly Thor is a rapey bastard, but they are all given a wide berth (maybe all that blood makes them smell horrible).

Is it significant that Loki appears to be the only one who does not enjoy the fruits of Dream's hospitality? He says he is "content to watch," which is never the greatest thing to hear from a renowned trickster. Of course the Angels are also there to supposedly "watch," which I somehow doubt is the only reason they're in town.

Come to think of it, I wonder if Gaiman is intentionally focussing on the tricksters and not the rest of the applicants? If you pay attention to the background figures throughout this issue, there are thousands more people present who we haven't met. One is clearly Merlin, of Arthurian legend (and the Disney interpretation, hilariously). We see Merkin engage in trickery within the confines of this episode! And of course the fairies are tricksters. And just to put a point on it, the background story involves Cain and Abel performing a magic trick (sorry, illusion). And we all know cats are tricksters.


I was thrilled to figure out on my own that the sleepwalking servant must surely be Dream borrowing someone who's asleep.

I find it interesting how Dream becomes more and more disrespectful as the interviews go on.

Man, it's been so long since I've read this that I actually don't remember who he gives hell to, if indeed he gives hell away at all!

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2 Responses to “ Sandman Reblog #25: Season of Mists Chapter 5 ”

  1. IIRC, there's some talk in #23 about the castle being moved to the top of a cliff when Dream is feeling antisocial. Presumably he moved it somewhere more scenic once he decided to admit the emissaries.

    According to Hildebrandt's annotations the script specifies a wyvern on guard at the front gate, but it's very similar to the dragon that made it into the comic. You can see it back in 'Dream of a Thousand Cats'. Why that creature, or indeed a pegasus or griffon, I don't know.

    As to the art, remember that Dream appears in different forms to different cultures. Susano-o-No-Mikoto is a Japanese god, and the art style reflects that.

    This issue is a such a great showcase for Gaiman's ability to do a lot with a little. Never in life could I write a 24-page comic that told me so much about so many different characters and the history they share. I was struck this time by how friendly Dream is with Odin; there's a lot of mutual respect there. Both of them take their jobs very seriously.

    And wouldn't you want to keep as far from Loki as you possibly could?

  2. Ah, but the same style continues when he talks to Bast, who specifically complains that he DIDN'T change his form for her
    Look at the line work and shading. It's completely different.


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