“You woke up.” That’s how the story ended in The Sandman, issue #72.
The fan favourite and critically acclaimed series would continue for three more, single-chapter issues outside the scope of the main storyline, of course, famously concluding with the William Shakespeare inspired story, The Tempest in issue #75.
But it’s how The Sandman began that is of interest today.
“Wake up,” are the first words you read when you open the pages to The Sandman #1.
But what happened before that? Well, today, begins that overture.
It’s October, the scariest month of the year!
Leave it to Vertigo Comics, the mature and sophisticated publishing imprint of DC Comics, to help us celebrate the spooky season. And you don’t get to celebrate any better than when you’re holding the first issue of a new, ongoing monthly comic book in your hand called, affectionately, Coffin Hill.
That’s a freaking great, spooky title, isn’t it?
Here, let me tell you why…
Finally! It’s October – the favourite month of the year for us here at Biff Bam Pop!
Get ready for a wild ride over the coming days and weeks as we celebrate all manner of scariness, from film, to television to music to books. We’ve already kicked off the festive occasion yesterday, but this column is your first shot of comic book horror.
Quake with fear, for The Witching Hour is here!
“The last love story ever told.”
That’s the tag-line for Trillium, the most recent Vertigo Comics foray into creator-owned comic books. A statement such as that must be science fiction, right? Well, of course it is. But the best science fiction is rooted in the human spirit. It’s affixed to drama and emotions in which we can all relate.
And Trillium, under the pen and pencil and brush of acclaimed writer/artist Jeff Lemire, promises a story that will measure up to the best that the science fiction genre offers.
I was never any good at the mathematics of science. Given a cheat sheet for an exam, I’d fill it full of equations and theorems hoping, praying, that I’d be given enough numerical information in a question to haphazardly substitute funny lines, letters and Greek symbols for numbers that my calculator could handle and an answer that might just get me part marks. Yeah, there were some tough days in high school and university physics.
Ah, but the theory behind the science? The scientific storytelling of why we’re here, how we came to be and how things work in this life? That was something I was interested in. That was something I could get behind.
Heat death. Indeterminism. Quantum cosmology. Multiple dimensions. Immortality.
I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe. Understood some of it, too. Life’s big answers disguised in scientific storytelling.
Or just good storytelling. And that’s why I’m piling into Collider today.
Vertigo Comics, rest in peace. Long live Vertigo Comics!
The evolution of DC Comics’ sophisticated-story publishing imprint continues this month with the release of another creator-owned work. And “evolution” is an apt word, as you’ll discover shortly.
Vertigo has, for the most part, abandoned itself of all DC character properties, bringing them into the larger fold that is the DC universe in order to share tales alongside world-recognized superheroes and super villains. That means that the imprint, current publisher of acclaimed titles such as Fables, The Unwritten and American Vampire, is more in line with Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics now, publishers of comic books that are owned by their writers and artists.
The latest addition to that publishing stable? Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake.
A sly, feline hand slips into the back pocket of an unsuspecting businessman, gently pulling, in an unnoticeable fashion, at a black leather wallet.
A small pill made of unknown chemical substances is quickly and reprehensibly dropped into the hot cup of coffee of an oblivious newspaper reader.
A fry cook and a waitress antagonistically raise spatula and bagel knife against one another, the comedic scene betrayed by tempers raised amid overcooked hash.
These are the crimes, or perceived crimes, that exist on the front cover of Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, a promise to the even stranger wrongdoings found within the inside pages, not to mention the back cover. Strange crimes, indeed.
Got your attention? Good. With crime, not all is as it seems.
The science fiction genre teaches you many things, but if there’s one specific lesson it reminds you of again and again, it’s that time is circular. Whether it’s a memorable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or a great read by Phillip K. Dick, events, we’re told, are meant to be repeated.
The same is true in comics.
Back in 1979-1980, DC Comics published the five-issue sci-fi anthology series, Time Warp. Today, the title comes back with a more sophisticated slant, courtesy of top industry writers and artists and published under the Vertigo Comics banner.
And boy! Is there a lot to look forward to here!