Sandman Re-Blog #27: Season of Mists Chapter 6

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.31.44 PM.png

Two ideas are key in this issue: Nuala, and Empty Space. Look at this exchange:

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.03.41 PM.png

Nuala is defined by her distance from the other characters. That third panel is particularly genius, when you realize that Nuala sits between the arguing factions, looking lost as a little lamb. The empty space always points to Nuala. So it's unsurprising, yet incredible from an artistic standpoint, that she is the only character allowed the great no-no of publishing: WHITE SPACE!

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.04.59 PM.png

Note the deliberate contrast to the smooth coloration and delicate hatching of the previous panels. The dots are clearly discernable in this panel. When the artist switches to pointillism, we can be assured that Gaiman is playing tricks with perspective. He relies on us to judge the action from a distance, a distance that allows us to put the picture together. We cannot have perspective if we are too close.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check this out:


That's Chateau de Papes, by Paul Signac, the second most famous pointillist. Move away from the image, and notice how it becomes clear. It does not reward close view, unless you are interested in splotches. To be frank, this is exactly the sort of trick you'd imagine the Dream King playing, especially when inviting a number of warring factions into his realm.

Is it possible that even Dream has confused himself with the traps he has set:

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.22.46 PM.png

Oh that mist. The season of mists, that makes it impossible to see where you're going unless you step back.

And now, may I present the most important use of negative space in the issue yet:

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.25.41 PM.png

Throughout this scene, we cannot be sure where Duma will land, until, incontrovertibly, he lands beside Dream. This is the moment where Dream decides. We do not see him under duress, but it's impossible to know what Duma may have communicated to him while Remiel blathers on, melodramatically.

But see how Duma's robes take the shape of Dream's. Perhaps Duma becomes a sort of emissary of Dream, a way to keep Hell in line with Dream's own wishes even while he formally accedes control. So when Dream seems to hand over the key all too readily, is he being genuine or is he playing a long game of his own?


Azazel, impelled, from Hell, did unwell against Dream when he attempted a coup. To be fair, his coup was less a political action than a serious case of mustache-twirling. Dream has never looked more badass than when he finished him off for good.

Rule #1: Don't declare war on Dream in his own realm.


Who doesn't love Thor's ACME rain?

Screen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.30.14 PM.png

I haven't spoken too much of Cluracan until now (Cluracan, btw, is pronounced Kloo-rah-kahn). He's been a minor background character, represented as one who is present but not particularly interested in the goings on in the Dream King's court. But he's given enough attention that we know he will be important in the future. And so will Nuala.

His aspect seems explicitly styled to resemble Robert Plant, which can't entirely be accidental:

ZLkpV.jpgScreen shot 2011-10-12 at 9.00.45 PM.png





This entry was posted on and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can leave a response .

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.