Dreaming: Through the
Gates of Horn & Ivory

by Caitlin Kiernan, Peter Hogan
(Vertigo, 1999)

Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics series is categorically a classic in the field. Certainly, a certain trepidation about other authors mucking about with his uniquely defined characters is not only understandable, but expected.

Not to worry our continuity-riddled grey matter! In this, the second collected volume of The Dreaming comic, Caitlin Kiernan (who wrote the majority of the collection) proves more than up to the task. Here we have Gaiman archetypes like Mervyn, Matthew the Raven, Eve (yes, THAT Eve, the first one!), the Corinthian (a very bizarre dream who here deals with his addiction to eyeballs -- no 12-step program was ever like this!) and, my personal favorite, Lucien the librarian of dreams.

The stories are all handsomely sophisticated, with even more than a touch of Gaimanesque erudition. Additionally, while Kiernan's style, even semantics and syntax, are mindful of Gaiman, much of her prose is solely her own.

As with Gaiman's masterful oeuvre, this is comics in its finest form, and it makes a grand introduction to those who have either forgotten or never known the pleasure of comics.

by Stephen Richmond
11 March 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.