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Sandman, The: Fables & Reflections - Book VI (Sandman Collected Library) Paperback – January 4, 1994
Deluxe graphic novels
Premium editions of classic titles including "Preacher," "The Sandman," and more. Learn more
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NG: "Actually, I didn't. What I wanted to call it is ACCOUNTS AND REFLECTIONS, but nobody at DC would let me. My thinking was that the book contained a set of stories about different elements intersecting titled CONVERGENCE, and a set of historical tales titled DISTANT MIRRORS, and 'accounts' would represent both things being totalled up, or coming together; and ancient tales being recounted. But DC felt all that title would do is make readers think of chartered accountancy."
- interview with Neil Gaiman in THE SANDMAN COMPANION, by Hy Bender
All stories herein were written by Neil Gaiman (Wolfe only wrote the introduction which was added for their publication in book form). Each involves characters telling stories, from a phobic modern playwright to Orpheus himself. Often the entire story is part of a character's reminiscences, such as Lady Joanna's journals. Each (apart from possibly "Fear of Falling") also involves the spirit of a very distinct *place* (Fiddler's Green even makes an appearance).
As for the artists - SANDMAN's typical practice was to team up artists with Gaiman for short storylines like these to get used to working together before tackling major story arcs. McManus worked on most issues of A GAME OF YOU (which was published between the CONVERGENCE and DISTANT MIRRORS storylines). Later, Thompson and Locke drew BRIEF LIVES, while Talbot and Buckingham worked on WORLDS' END.
"Fear of Falling" (illustrator: Kent Williams) Rather than appearing in SANDMAN proper, this story appeared in VERTIGO PREVIEW #1, which launched DC's VERTIGO imprint in 1993.Read more ›
My suggestion: If you're new to Sandman, and aren't exactly sure whether you'll like it, read Fables and Reflections. (Only skip "Song of Orpheus" and "A Parliament of Rooks", which would be a bit confusing without the other issues.) However, if you're new to Sandman and trust Neil Gaiman with all your heart, start with Preludes and Nocturnes and know that it gets better. I really think they're best read in order.
"Ramadan" is just pure genius. The collection would be worth its price if only that one story were in it. "Fear of Falling" is another highlight, although no one ever mentions it. Very simple and short, but great. "The Hunt" is cool...well, all of them are! If you already know Sandman, obviously you'll want to buy this volume. If you're new, then don't hesitate.
Even though Gaiman works with quite a few artists here (different artist/artists for each tale), the quality is consistent, always moving the story along successfully. The efforts of P. Craig Russell, Bryan Talbot, and Shawn MacManus are especially worth mentioning.
Gaiman's Sandman series is easily one of the most consistently exceptional of all time, and volume 6, Fables and Reflections, follows right along with that high level of quality. While I'd recommend starting with volume 1 and making your way through to the end, due to the timeless quality of the stories, any one of the volumes that I've read so far (the first 6) could also be read on it's own, primarily due to the skill and power of Gaiman's writing, and his lack of dependence on continuity. If you're new to Sandman, this is not your typical comic book. This is great fiction, period. If you're dismissive of comics as juvenile or inferior, toss aside any preconceptions and invest in a volume of Sandman. You won't regret it, or forget it.
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