Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Article | Why Comics are not to my Liking / Review | The Sandman By: Neil Gaiman

Author:  Neil Gaiman

I had read Neverwhere and loved it so much I felt the need to take out all of Neil Gaiman’s other material from the library.  However, the time consumed with being in the play hasn’t allowed for me the time needed to be able to read all of said material acquired.  And so I have been renewing the material.  The problem with that is that other people want it and put it on reserve and then I have two days to get through 8 books/comics.  Yes I am talking about the Sandman series. 

Here is what I realized though:  I am not a Comic person. 

I may have thought that I was a comic person because I do have comic books at home; however, mine are based on books/short stories that I have already read.  Or in the case of the Watchmen scene the movie.  What this means is that I am already quite familiar with the plot and story lines, so I find it quite fascinating to see how the visuals match up with what I thought they should be.  What this means though for comics that are only presented in the one medium is that I have no other structure to compare it to.  I don’t know the story.  I am missing some of the key details of description and emotion that I would have picked up from the written material that I am now expected to pick up from the visual dynamics of the strips.  I can’t.  I can’t fill in those blanks left with the visual dynamics.  For me the visual dynamics are an added bonus to what I already know another means of flushing out the story.  In this case I feel blind trying to grasp the story.  I feel like I am missing key information.  This is by no way shape or form the fault of those who have created the comic.  It just turns out that comics are not my prime medium for story telling. 

And so without the information to really delve into the visual dynamics provided, I found myself skimming the comics barely looking at the graphics, reading the blurbs and feeling lost.  I skimmed the graphics because they were very dark and gritty, in reminisce of a horror.  I am also the type of person who does not watch horror movies or read horror books.  Therefore the visual medium of this comic was also not appealing to my tastes. 

I want to be perfectly clear though.  As I was unable to get though this I can not say with absolute certainty that this work is either good or bad.  From what I have read of blurbs of the material and what I have gotten thought of it, it has some interesting potential.  And perhaps at a later date I may try my hand at it again.  However, it is summer and I am a million things I want to sink my teeth into without forcing myself through some works I am not giving my full attention to.  It is unfair to myself.  It is unfair to the works.  It is unfair to those who have created the works.  And it is unfair to those who wish to have access to the works. 

It irks me to no end to send material back the library that I was unable to read.  It makes me feel defeated and like a traitor.  But sometimes you need to cut your losses.  Therefore, I am releasing them back out into the world with the hopes that someone else will come to love them in a way I could never appreciate them.  Good luck.