“See, Mr. Gaiman, there’s a lot of subtext in what you wrote, whether you agree with me or not, in the interactions between Hob Gadling and Dream of the Endless. We can actually see a really interesting contrast between his relationship with Thessaly, an immortal thoroughly detached from humanity and Hob, who is extremely attached to humanity despite (or perhaps because of) his many lifetimes here. Dream and Thessaly were doomed to fail as a couple because, though Dream denies it, he is in some respects more human than she is, loving her more passionately and pouring more of his adoration into her than she could possibly return. Returning to the contrast mentioned earlier, Mr. Gaiman, we see Dream become more open and less cold in regard to the humans he once treated callously as the series goes on, reflected in his shifting attitude toward his friendship with Gadling, who cares for him deeply (and is perhaps the first human to do so without coming to a horrible end). In short, Mr. Gaiman, my proposition is this…” (there is a sound of papers being rustled and something being tacked to a board) (it is a large, crudely-rendered crayon drawing of Hob Gadling and Dream holding hands) (the rest of my speech is drowned out by Neil Gaiman dialling the police)
Daniel Hall as the Sandman – a 9"x12" preliminary sketch from February of 2017.
god, i just wish there were more sandman arts. I need some drawings of morpheus eating cupcakes or drinking tea or BOTH to be happy
I know I’m a bit late with this. Issue eight of The Dreaming: Waking Hours was… okay. That’s pretty much all I can say about it. It’s fine. It’s fine.
The art is gorgeous. I’ll give it that. Daniel is just beautiful.
Sometimes I can almost forget he randomly murdered an entire bachelor party just for drunkenly cat calling Ivy. (I am NOT getting over that!)
It is a little annoying that Matthew somehow drastically misinterpreted Heather and her intentions. Also when did Matthew know about Sykes, the protection amulet, and even when the helm was taken? When did these off-camera conversations with Dream about his Preludes and Nocturnes misadventures happen?
I’m not a fan of miscommunication / lack of communication driven plots. I, frankly, think they’re lazy. The CW lives off them. It’s part of why I stopped watching CW DC themed shows. Every show was dependent on characters not talking to each other. Even right now if you watch Batwoman a major plot is hinged on her keeping a kryptonite bullet wound a secret. …Why? The reasoning is flimsy at best.
I seem to recall, during the Simon Spurrier run of The Dreaming that it was mentioned that Nuala gave Dream her love and or sympathy. I forget the exact wording right now but I had a feeling back then that she meant literally, which entails her capacity to feel these emotions. What could possibly go wrong with that?! (Sarcasm intended). And this is probably the reason she is now ruling Faerie with an iron fist.
The joke about Faerie smelling a lot like weed was completely unnecessary and a bit of a mood killer for me. I’m tired of fantasy and surrealism being associated with being high.
That’s petty, I know.
I’m still convinced Heather is actually trans. It’s just not a major plot point, which is a good thing because I’ve come to like her and if her being trans is treated like an after thought, well, I think that’s wonderful. So many writers treat being trans like that is a personality but no, she has a fully fleshed out personality and I even like her, a Hell of a lot more than Simon Spurrier’s OC (original character), Dora.
The clues are there. She’s on a permanent medication. (Probably hormones), Puck seemed to think her medical history was important. (Either she’s trans or she has a very serious illness that hasn’t been brought up yet). Also her name. Heather After. It feels like a chosen name to replace an unwanted deadname. And the flashback of her parents being supportive, and encouraging, telling her she could wear what she wants, etc, but they draw the line at magick.
Anyway, yeah, that’s about it. It’s good to see Mervyn NOT being used as a Trump supporter allegory. We missed you, proper depiction of Mervyn Pumpkinhead.
Is it wrong that I’ve started to care more about Heather than Ruin’s quest for Twu Lub?
Also I still don’t like the idea that “Nightmares aren’t supposed to be able to feel love.” Cain, Abel, and even The Corinthian 2.0 beg to differ. Remember, The Corinthian wept in The Sandman: The Kindly Ones.
Johnny Joestar vs Sandman
Crônicas de uma morte anunciada (e cansada)./ Chronicles of an announced (and tired) death.
Credits to the artist. / Créditos ao artista.
I have seen a lot of misconceptions floating around Tumblr about the plot of The Sandman: A Game of You, mostly thanks to an old Mary Sue article that seemed to deliberately take the plot out of context to make it look transphobic. Some people on Tumblr have even said “I love Sandman but I won’t read A Game of you because I heard about what’s in it.” Neil Gaiman, himself, even received an ask here on Tumblr about the story’s “problematic” content because the person who wrote the ask legitimately thought the story said trans women cannot use magick in The Sandman universe. I have even seen transphobes claim Neil Gaiman is on their side for this reason.
According to Neil Gaiman he wrote A Game of you while being consulted by trans friends, one in particular, who heavily became the basis for the character Wanda.
The first version of The Dreaming (Sandman spin-off comics) and The House of Mystery Volume 2 (Also a Sandman spin-off) were written by Caitlin R. Kiernan. (a transwoman). That’s right. Neil Gaiman left The Sandman franchise in the care of a transwoman.
Now, let’s begin…
The Sandman: A game of you (summary)
First we need to go backward into The Sandman. The main character of The Sandman is Morpheus AKA Dream of The Endless. The Endless are a family of anthropomorphic personifications. That means they are living embodiments of certain concepts. For example Morpheus, also known as Dream has an older sister who is Death. She’s essentially the Grim Reaper.
Note: Death is older than Dream (Morpheus) but looks younger by at least a decade. The family consists of Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and little Delirium (She used to be Delight but she went mad). Most of Sandman is the story of Morpheus and what happens to him. The place to begin is Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes.
The first story to feature Hazel and Foxglove (though Foxglove’s other name, Donna, is given much earlier in the series) is The Sandman: A Game of You. Donna AKA Foxglove had been in an abusive relationship with a girl named Judy. After their breakup Judy had been murdered (issue 6 of The Sandman, within Preludes and Nocturnes, the issue is called 24 Hour Diner).
Donna took the name Foxglove as a stage name as she wants to be a rock musician. She falls in love with Hazel. The two are housemates with Wanda (a transwoman who ran away from a very transphobic hillbilly family), Barbie (a pretty and slightly eccentric makeup artist and dreamer trying to rebuild her life after a failed romantic relationship with a man named… I kid you not, Ken), and Larissa, also known as Thessaly, a nerdy looking and stand-offish woman who turns out to be a powerful and slightly-homicidal witch from ancient Greece. There’s also an old man named George who turns out to actually be a Nightmare spy for a creature called the Cuckoo (more on that later.)
I’ll give the plot of The Sandman: A game of you first and then tell you the full plot of Death: Time of your Life. The two connect.
In The Sandman: A game of you we learn that Barbie had a Labyrinth-esue fantasy world (Think of Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth) that she would escape to and lucid dream of all through her childhood and early adulthood but she had not been there in a long time. We (readers) met Barbie earlier in The Sandman: The doll’s house when she had been dating Ken and in that story we see the first glimpse of Barbie’s fantasy world.
Now her childhood anthropomorphic animal friends miss her and worry about her and were terrified of the activities of The Cuckoo (The main “bad guy” of her fantasy world). One of the creatures (who greatly resembles Ludo from Labyrinth but is articulate) enters the real world where he is unfortunately killed. He tried to warn Barbie of the bad things happening in her fantasy land.
Things start to get weirder. That night everyone has anxiety based nightmares. It turns out Hazel is pregnant from a one night stand that she regretted and didn’t know how to tell Foxglove so this is the basis for her nightmare. Foxglove has nightmares about her abusive and deceased ex, Judy. Wanda is having nightmares about transphobia. She has not medically transitioned and she worries that others feel she does not count as a woman unless she has the surgery. She’s actually terrified of surgery and affirms herself in the dream that even without the surgery she IS a woman.
After everyone has terrible anxiety dreams and most confront their nightmares they wake up to find things are strange in their home. First Hazel confesses her indiscretion to Foxglove. Foxglove forgives her and they decide to raise the baby together.
Larissa finds George, realizing he was the cause of the nightmares, and kills him. She uses his remains to find out what is really going on.
Barbie, however, will not wake up. She has been sucked back into her Labyrinth-esque fantasy.
The friends, finding out that Larissa is really an ancient and powerful witch known as Thessaly, decide to go on a rescue mission into the realm of dreams (known as The Dreaming) to save Barbie.
Thessaly gets revealed as being a TERF (this was written in the 90s so the term didn’t exist yet), claiming her magick will not work for Wanda since she’s not a “real woman” and besides, someone needs to stay behind to protect Barbie’s body.
Thessaly opens a way by the moon’s magick to get herself, Hazel, and Foxglove into Barbie’s fantasy world.
While that’s going on a storm is unleashed by Thessaly’s use of magick. The storm causes heavy winds and trees to uproot. Wanda sees a homeless old woman in trouble. It’s a woman who had previously been nasty to her. Wanda saves her life but dies in the process.
In Barbie’s dream the heroes find a magical gemstone called the Porpentine (actually a rose quartz dreamstone, a magical stone that Dream AKA Morpheus uses as a conduit for his power. His main one, for a long time, was a ruby. Think of it like a magick wand). They destroy the porpentine, which is actually what the cuckoo wanted.
The Cuckoo had accidentally gotten trapped in Barbie’s dream many years before and though they feed on imagination she wanted her freedom. The destruction of the dreamstone alerts Morpheus (Dream) who comes to see that the skerry (The island that was Baribe’s fantasy world) is no longer needed.
The island had actually been created many centuries before for a former lover of Morpheus’ known as Alianora. Alianora could not return to her old life but wanted a place of her own when they broke up so Morpheus had given her the island. The dreamstone powered its magick. The island would exist so long as the dreamstone did. For many centuries after Alianora passed away the island had been the plaything of many young woman dreamers.
Morpheus absorbs the island and all its characters back into himself. And has a brief private conversation with Alianora’s ghost, comforting her by assuring her that her island had been home to many dreamers after her.
Morpheus allows the Cuckoo to fly away (which is all she really wanted), but Thessaly had wanted to kill her for all the trouble she had caused them. Morpheus prevents this.
Morpheus tells Foxglove, Hazel, and Thessaly that they should not have physically entered The Dreaming. That this is against nature. Barbie may wakeup but the rest are trapped. However, he does owe Barbie a boon for destroying the dreamstone- giving the power back to him that had long since been stored away in the jewel. This is a bit of a con on Morpheus’ part, because he got her to ask that her friends be returned to the waking world as her boon. This was Morphesus’ sneaky way of getting out of being in debt to her.
One by one they are returned to the waking world. And Morpheus and Thessaly become lovers (but she later dumps him, saying he cares too much about mortals, which surprises him because he used to be a very cold, and aloof bastard and he doesn’t like facing that he’s changed.)
Barbie attends Wanda’s funeral but unfortunately it’s hosted by Wanda’s redneck family who keep misgendering her. Cut off Wanda’s hair, put her in a suit, and deadname her on her headstone. Barbie writes Wanda’s real name on the headstone in lipstick.
Barbie also has a very strange dream where she sees Wanda with the delicate, feminine, features she had always wanted but was too scared to get the surgery to have (bone structure related), and another girl she doesn’t recognize. This is Death.
Death waves to Barbie, thus assuring her that Wanda is happy and safe where she is going and that yes, Wanda was ALWAYS a woman. This was written in 1992 so this was a big deal. A lot of people here on Tumblr mistake the story as transphobic and legitimately believe it was saying magick won’t work for a transwoman. No. This scene was to prove Thessaly and Wanda’s parents wrong about that and to show cis het readers that trans women ARE women right down in their soul.
Death: The High cost of Living.
In Death The High cost of living we learn that every so often Death takes human form as a means of self-humbling. She used to be very cold and mean until one day a soul she was collecting asked her how she would feel about it. So to remind herself of why she should show compassion she turns herself mortal for one day and lives as a human woman.
I won’t give the full plot of this story here but know that she attends a Foxglove concert and proclaims herself a fan.
Death: Time of your life.
Hazel had the baby and they named him Alvin. This was meant to be in honor of Wanda even though that was Wanda’s deadname and she had hated the name. They couldn’t figure out how to make a male equivalent of Wanda’s name so they just used her deadname. I don’t think this is a great idea, personally, but at least they tried to honor her memory.
By now Foxglove is a bit of a celebrity But she is stuck in the closet. It’s the mid-90s and her manager is worried that if she comes out as a lesbian it could ruin her career.
Foxglove thinks she’s falling out of love with Hazel because while on tour, she (Foxglove), has been sleeping around while on tour and knows she hasn’t been spending enough time with Hazel. She’s also getting burnt out. Being a celebrity is not all it’s cracked up to be and she misses being obscure.
It turns out baby Alvie (Alvin) had an accident and Hazel offered up herself within a year if Death would not take Alvin. Death apparently listened but she warned her, she had to take someone when the time comes.
When Foxglove learns what has happened she rushes home and then to The Sunless lands (the land of The Dead) to save Hazel. Her handler comes with her. When she learns the deal Hazel made with Death she’s ready to offer herself to save her, realizing she DOES still love Hazel after all. The handler, however, offers himself instead.
It’s HEAVILY implied that Death was actually going to take him all along and the rest was just a rouse to save Hazel and Foxglove’s relationship because she liked them, and wanted them to realize what was important. It also assured the handler a chance to die a hero, doing something noble and good, which he secretly wanted anyway.
Foxglove goes back to her pre-music career name of Donna and settles into a private life where she is openly with Hazel and their son. And they live happily Ever After.
I figured it was important someone who actually read the comics summarize it since so many people here on Tumblr mistake The Sandman: A Game of you as transphobic and some have even called Hazel and Foxglove AKA Donna homophobic simply because they both have had affairs and forgave each other for it and Donna’s previous relationship had been abusive. There was an article from The Mary Sue a few years ago that deliberately took things out of context to make the story of A Game of You seem problematic and too many people trusted that as being accurate.
Also I had been wanting to write out the summary for some time since there are Sandman fans now who out-right refuse to read the arc because they were told it has problematic content, and some that badly misunderstood what it was trying to say. i.e. legitimately thinking feminine magick wouldn’t work for poor Wanda when in reality the whole point of Wanda’s arc was to tell the reader that transwomen ARE women.
While I’m updating some comics, I’m just going to say it: Old Sandman is SO MUCH BETTER than this new one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fond of Daniel and the Night Hag and Ruin, they’re okay, it’s just… I mean, am I right? Like… Y'know… ’-’
Thank you, next chapter will go into a lot so stay tuned ♡♡♡
in your opinion, did Dream commit suicide? discuss in the reblogs/replies - i’ve heard a few different theories about this and i’m curious what everyone on here thinks!!
I Like The Stars. It’s The Illusion Of Permanence, I Think. I Mean, They’re Always Flaring Up And Caving In And Going Out. But From Here, I Can Pretend… I Can Pretend That Things Last.
If the theme song to the Sandman show isn’t an epic orchestral version of “Enter Sandman” then I am going to fucking riot.