Even though Neil Gaiman is not writing the several offshoot arcs in the Sandman saga, I figured I would read them. So far, they are holding my interest, but still not up to Gaiman’s caliber. I haven’t felt the need to write about the other arcs/issues I have read, but there was a quote in this one that I felt was worth sharing.
Magic is neither good nor bad. Only its use determines its character. There are always consequences for its use.
The quote echoes Hamlet: “Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” It also hints toward the concept of karma, where all our thoughts and actions—good, bad, or indifferent—have an effect on our selves and the universe around us. Nothing that we do happens within a vacuum. There are consequences for every action we take, regardless of how trivial it may appear to be at the time. It’s the butterfly effect.
So far, the jury is still out regarding these offshoot comics. I’ll keep reading them for now and see where they go. Cheers!
Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is’t to leave betimes? Let be.
(Act V, scene ii)
This may be my most often quoted passage from Hamlet, because I think of it a lot. And lately, in the wake of the election and watching social changes beginning to unfold, I once again return to Hamlet for wisdom and guidance.
By the fifth act of the play, Hamlet has been through the proverbial ringer. His entire world has crumbled around him. He has dealt with the loss of loved ones, was betrayed, struggled with thoughts of suicide, questioned his sanity, and faced “analysis paralysis” as he wrestled with whether or not he should act or respond to certain events. But now, Hamlet reaches the point of acceptance. He understands that what will be will be, regardless of what he does. I am reminded of the teachings in the Tao Teh Ching, to stop fighting against the flow and instead follow the current and allow the current to bring you to the place where you are supposed to be.
And of course: “the readiness is all.” It is pointless to obsess about what is, what was, and what may happen. The best we can do is prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for what is to come. And what a relief it is to shed the burden of obsession and accept what is to be. And once we let go and accept, then we can be loving, caring, and supportive of others, and that is what I truly believe our purpose is in this life.
Another excellent installment in this arc! I keep thinking that the creative team cannot possibly keep up the quality of the writing and artwork, but yet with every issue I am astounded and impressed.
This issue is based upon a discussion between three familiars: Salem, the cat; and Nag and Nagaina, two cobras. They share the tales about how they were all once human but were transformed into animals. These tales of transformation comprise the issue.
What is so brilliant about this story is that it makes reference to numerous stories and folk tales that are part of our culture. There are allusions to Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Kipling, the Arabian Nights, pirate folklore, and so on. So what this short installment in the graphic series manages to achieve in just a few pages is demonstrate how stories cycle through our history, that our society and culture is guided by the stories that have been retold through generations.
As with so much great literature, you can read this without knowing the references to “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” or having never read “Rikki Tikki Tavi” and still enjoy it for the sheer elegance of the3 writing and the evocative artwork. But having knowledge of these texts adds another level of depth to the tale, making it interesting to a literature nerd like myself as well as being an entertaining read for the average reader.
There is nothing I love more than stories that serve as portals to literature, opening the vistas of the literary world to people who may not have been exposed to it. This is definitely one of those portal tales, or gateway drugs, enticing you into the wonderful world of art and the imagination.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Since today is Halloween, I figured it would be appropriate to quote the original goth-emo dude – Hamlet.
Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.
Enjoy your Halloween, and read something appropriate.
I was very excited when I found out that a new Kill Shakespeare series was being published. I read the first series and loved it. Unfortunately, when I went to the local comic store to buy a copy of the first issue, it was already sold out. I placed an order and thankfully was able to get a copy last week.
The blurb on the cover states: “This comic features sex, pirates, swordfights, poetry, AND people puking. It’s basically classic Shakespeare?” And yes, this comic has all that.
The story begins with Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, and Shakespeare aboard a vessel that is attacked by the pirate Cesario, who is accompanied by his first mate and lover, Viola. The four had escaped the destruction of Prospero’s island, but are plagued with daggers of the mind and seem to lapse into moments of anger and delusion. Still, Cesario recognizes the value of these captives, especially Juliet. His ultimate plan is not made known, but the stage is set for what is to unfold in the upcoming issues.
I have issue #2 already, but I have a lot of other stuff to read, so I suspect it will be a little while before I get to it. But rest assured, I will peruse these glossy pages and share with thee my thoughts.
I picked this comic up on Free Comic Book Day a couple months ago and have just now gotten around to reading it. I have to say that I really liked it. If I didn’t have so much to read and was not invested in following several comics, I would start reading Hellboy on a regular basis.
The issue is comprised of three vignettes and also includes a section of “funny pages,” which are a tribute to the short comic strips published in newspapers. The short strips are adaptations of classic newspaper comics such as Popeye, Dilbert, Peanuts, and so forth. But the characters are morphed to represent those from Hellboy. I loved them! They are very creative and witty, and they brought back memories of reading the comics in the newspaper when I was a kid.
The three vignettes are short and well-written. The first one, “The Coffin Man,” is about a brujo who digs up fresh cadavers to use for dark magical purposes. The second, “The Ghoul,” was my favorite of the three. It was about a ghoul who feasts on the flesh of the deceased. What I loved about this is that the text and dialog is all constructed from the 18th-century poems “The Pleasures of Melancholy” by Thomas Warton and “The Grave” by Robert Blair, as well as from Hamlet. It works magnificently. The third vignette, “Another Day at the Office,” is about a resurrected tyrant who raises an army of zombies. They are all very good and definitely worth the read.
I usually say how each time I read something, my list of things to read increases exponentially. Certainly, I now feel I must read the poems referenced in “The Ghoul.” If I had the time, I would start reading deeper into Hellboy also, but that may have to wait until I retire.
Cheers, and enjoy your reading!!