The third installment in the Sandman series is by favorite so far! Dream Country is composed of four episodes, which I will be reviewing individually below for the sake of organization:
Calliope follows the struggle of a once-successful author named Richard Madoc, who, lacking literary inspiration, makes a deal with Erasmus Fry (an older writer). Madoc trades a bezoar for Calliope, one of the nine classical Muses, her sphere of influence includes eloquence and epic poetry. Madoc, just as Fry had done, rapes Calliope and finds inspiration to keep writing. This one’s a little darker than I thought it would be, but I loved it. Gaiman incorporates Morpheus pretty seamlessly into the plotline, and Dream’s role in the whole matter solidifies the idea that he’s a complete “fuckboy”. Now let’s talk about the rape scene, ‘cause publishing that in a graphic novel format was pretty gutsy. I thought it was very well done, and was moreover relieved to find that it didn’t romanticize rape, as some content does today. Finally, the graphics were intense enough to make me cringe, but not over-the-top so to disturb readers any further.
A DREAM OF A THOUSAND CATS
This tale toys with the idea that dreams shape the world. When a cat has kittens, and her owners kill them, she becomes rebellious and rejects the pampered life of a family pet. One night, she dreams she is speaking with Morpheus (in cat form, because if you were an immortal being, you’d want the option of turning into a kitty, too), who tells her of another time when cats were the dominant species and humans their slaves.
A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM
This piece suggests that Morpheus commissioned the writing of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and that the play itself is based on real fairies from another realm. Morpheus invites the citizens of Faerie to be among the first to witness it, and their reactions are gold. Peaseblossom protests that he was portrayed as too gentle, as did at least HALF the audience. This is hands-down my favourite story yet, it’s the combination of a wild Shakespeare theory, the comedy supplied by some of the cruder fairies, and ever-dramatic Morpheus that make it. Love it, love it, love it!!!
Urania Blackwell (Yup, DC’s Element Girl), can change herself into any element found in the human body. Her “natural form” is less than aesthetically pleasing, so she confines herself to her apartment, and a depressing life of solitude. One day Della, an old friend from her spying days, calls and asks her to have dinner, Rainie puts her face on (literally) and heads out. Let’s just say things didn’t go well. Rainie returns to her home distraught and hopeless, until Death appears in her doorway. Death explains that it’s not Rainie’s time yet, but helps her get what she needs. This one is trippy. Like, faces-for-ashtrays trippy.
Submitted by Rachel Hill