Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Sandman Reminiscence

Of course I'd heard of The Sandman. Anyone with a passing interest in comics or who had visited a comic book shop knew what he looked like from comic covers to posters to statues. So I was obviously familiar with the iconography if not the story. Because, strange as it seems, at the time my story takes place I wasn't really into graphic novels. Nowadays I read a lot of them but am very particular as to what makes it into my permanent collection. But thanks to a well stocked public library I'm able to have a wide range of options, The Sandman included. At the time being fairly recently introduced to Neil's writing I hadn't yet made the leap from his prose when this story takes place. The year was 2005 and I had beyond all logic secured four tickets to a special sneak peek of Serenity in Chicago. The movie wasn't even done! Just a temporary score lifted straight off The Fifth Element. But that didn't matter, because Firefly lived again! The question was, which of my friends to take? Matt was my best friend and fellow Joss Whedon aficionado, so one ticket went to him. Another went to my friend Ann who tried to get one for her husband Bill but the show was already sold out.

The final ticket was obvious. My friend Orelia was shipping off to Africa to join the Peace Corps in a few short months and wouldn't get a chance to see the movie when it was released in the fall. After all those years spent in Rivendell co-op watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later Angel I had my posse back for one last glorious adventure. Matt gets extremely car sick so for once I was ensconced in the back seat with Orelia, driving duties handed over to Ann. Orelia was in the process of re-reading all The Sandman comics before Africa and spent the afternoon while Ann drove us to Chicago telling me all about the series and in particular the volume she had brought along, The Sandman: The Doll's House. Even if I hadn't been familiar with Neil's work his sense of humor of having a Serial Killer Convention disguised as a "Cereal" Convention made me know that he was my kind of writer. I always look back on that day not as the day Joss callously killed off Wash, but of those quite moments in the backseat with Orelia talking about comics, or the amazing lightning storm we witnessed on the return journey. It was one of those days that I will always remember.


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