Review – The Sandman: Overture #1

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artist: J. H. Williams III
Release Date: 30th October 2013

I was quite late to the Sandman wagon, the first time i read it most of the story went over my head and i didn’t understand it. Afew years later, after reading more “adult” comics, i went back to it was was rewarded with one of the most amazing, creative and rich books i’ve ever read.

Overture is a totally different kettle of fish, from the introduction at the beginning the reader is sucked in by Williams sprawling pages and off beat page layouts. It’s strange to see a modern take on the character, who i’ve always had the feeling that he suited being drawn the way he was in the early 90’s vertigo style. However, Williams was the perfect choice for the artist, from his work on Batwoman especially, his strange take on layouts to his unique style, it’s the perfect fit.

A round of applause is also deserved for Dave Stewart on colouring duties, who does an incredible job of using a restrained pallet for the most past but having literally explosions of colour on the page, contrasting with a stark black and white. I’ve been noticing his work more and more, with his work on B.P.R.D. and Hellboy, and it’s a strange thing to say, but i just want him to colour in everything.

I’ve left mention Neil Gaiman to the end, through fear of gushing uncontrollably, like a 13 year old fangirl. The writing of this book is so rich and easy to read that it should come with an explicit tag. I feel like when i was reading it, i should be in an oversized armchair, in front of a log fire, drinking fine wine, it’s that good. Gaiman slips back into writing the characters with such ease, it’s like there hasn’t been any gap at all between books. That being said though, the style is much more relaxed and like reading a book, compared to the original series.

My only gripe with the book is a small one and is easily fixed, but the adverts are very jarring. For such a dark book to have bright white, double page adverts is distracting, especially in their placement. It’s not something i usually notice, but it really took away from the story in this case. obviously, reading the trade would take this out the equation, or just skipping them on subsequent reads makes this not a problem.

Safe to say, it was an absolute pleasure to read overture and i have no idea how i’ve managed to keep this spoiler free, but i highly recommend picking this book up, whether you’re new to comics or Sandman, or have been reading since the original series #1. You can thank me later.

Rating: 9.5/10.

The writer of this piece was: Chris_AvatarChris Bennett
Article: I Hate It Here
You can also find Chris on Facebook

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