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Sandman Mystery Theatre (Book 6): The Hourman and the Python Paperback – March 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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In these two stories from the pulp-inspired spinoff of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, millionaire socialite Wesley Dodds, in his trenchcoat-garbed guise of the Sandman, tracks down two grisly serial murderers in 1930s Manhattan. Dr. Death is a self-styled mercy killer who dispatches past-their-prime public figures, and the Butcher is a possibly cannibalistic maniac who leaves parts of corpses throughout the city. Meanwhile, Wesley's relationship with Dian Belmont reaches a crucial juncture when she learns of his nocturnal crime fighting. Writers Wagner and Seagle provide a sophisticated, R-rated update of crude-but-potent thirties pulp fiction, and artist Guy Davis expertly evokes the pen-and-ink accoutrements of those slam-bang stories. Flagg, Gordon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition edition (March 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401216773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401216771
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven T. Seagle is an American writer who works in the graphic novel/comic book, television, film, live theater and animation industries.

He is best known for his acclaimed graphic novel memoir IT'S A BIRD... and, as part of MAN OF ACTION Studios (along with Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey and Joe Kelly) as co-creator of the animated Cartoon Network series BEN 10 as well as GENERATOR REX. MAN OF ACTION writes and produces ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE for Marvel/Disney XD. Seagle and Rouleau also created the Marvel Comics super-hero team BIG HERO 6 slated to be a Disney animated feature film in 2014. Seagle's long awaited follow-up to IT'S A BIRD..., GENIUS, was recently published by First:Second.

MAN OF ACTION publishes its own original graphic novels through Image Comics. Seagle's works for the imprint include: Eisner-nominated spy thriller KAFKA; experimental historical graphic novel The Red Diary/The RE[a]D Diary; black comedy SOUL KISS; urban crime thriller THE CRUSADES; and children's books FRANKIE STEIN and BATULA.

Seagle also worked extensively for DC Comics/Vertigo creating the original series HOUSE OF SECRETS and AMERICAN VIRGIN. In mainstream comics, Seagle wrote both SUPERMAN and UNCANNY X-MEN as well as many other franchise characters.

Seagle's comics work has received numerous Eisner Award nominations, including twice for best writer - in 1995 for his work on SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE(DC/Vertigo) and in 1999 for the same title and his story "Drive By" in ONI DOUBLE FEATURE #10 (Oni Press). Seagle's work on AMERICAN VIRGIN was nominated twice for the GLAAD Media Award for Best Comic Book. Seagle's run on UNCANNY X-MEN was awarded the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Ongoing Series. His original graphic novel SOLSTICE was called the best graphic novel of the year by Comic Book Resources.

Seagle has sold original concepts as feature films to Warner Brothers, television pilots to FOX and animation series to Mainframe. He is also a founding member of Speak Theater Arts, creators of innovative live stage productions. His writing/directing credits include the comedies N*W*C ( ARMENIAMANIA! ( Seagle co-directed the Los Angeles national premiere staging of THE LARAMIE PROJECT: AN EPILOGUE with a celebrity cast and Gay Mens Chorus Los Angeles. He designed the set and logo for the national tour of the stage version of IT GETS BETTER.

Seagle is a former college instructor and taught at Ball State University, Pasadena City College and Mt. San Antonio College where he also served as a coach for the Forensics team during many of their national championship seasons.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've always thought that The Sandman Mystery Theatre was one of the most underrated titles of the 1990's. To be sure, it was a niche title, but the fact that it ran for 70 issues is testament to the fact that it had a loyal audience. The book had a strong 30's crime noir look and feel to it both in the stories by Matt Wagner and the art by Guy Davis and Vince Locke. Both artists used a palette of washed out greens, browns, and grays and various half-tones. This re-imagining of the Sandman portrayed him as less superhero and more influenced by 30's pulp action heroes like The Shadow or the Spider, as he faced off against sinister and often bizarre villains.

The Wesley Dodds of this series was far from an archetype hero...the artists depicted him as a sort of frumpy, bespectacled man, who looked more like an accountant that an avenging crusader of the night. Dodds was almost like a junior Bruce Wayne, complete with a secret lab/hideout and a doting butler. What set The Sandman Mystery Theatre apart from other titles, and I resist calling this a super hero title, is that Dodds appears far more than the Sandman, and the emphasis is on the man more than the alter ego. Center in the series is his relationship with girlfriend Dian Belmont, daughter of the District Attorney. Belmont will discover Wesley's secret during the first story in this trade paperback and almost leave him. But she's also intrigued and will end up essentially as Wes' partner and assisting him.

For those wondering about continuity, the tales throughout the run of the title take place very early in his career. In fact, it is in this book, which collects issues #21 - 28, where the Sandman is first given his name by the local newspapers. There are two story arcs in this trade, "Dr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Abe Sapien on April 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
This particular volume is a bit more voluminous than earlier installments and once read in full the choice to combine these two stories into one volume is fully justified.

There are certainly 2 entertaining pulp/horror tales taking place, but the focus shifts more fully to Wesley and Dian's growing relationship. The secret of Dodds' alter ego threatens to split the two lovers and this is the true reason to purchase this volume. Wesley is confronted by the lifestyle he has chosen to lead and is forced to deal with the consequences of his heroism and secret life.

Dian comes out the better of the two as far as reader sympathy, but even she is not completely safe from some much needed soul searching. She struggles with the last vestiges of her lazy, naive, rich girl persona; baggage she hautily thought herself rid of after a few real world experiences.

If you are already invested in the series this is a must read as it delivers a true pay out for the characters and the reader.

If you haven't read the series up till now then after a brief 5 minute spoiler session with a fan you will be primed to jump in at this point.

Happy reading.
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Format: Paperback
I have loved everything in the series that I have read. This trade, however, contains two of the weakest arcs. It is still very much worth reading but I'd recommend waiting for the next volume first.

This series does perfectly capture the period noir tone and it does not hold back on the racism and sexism that were pretty common discourse at the time. It is quite refreshing to see this shown frankly since it is something that nostalgia often covers up.
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Sandman Mystery Theatre (Book 6): The Hourman and the Python
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