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"Crisis on Earth-Sandman: The Uses of Continuity in Neil Gaiman's Sandman"
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Some years ago, I had a research paper start banging on the back of my head, trying to get out. I started writing it down, to quiet the voices, and have worked on it on and off since then (though mostly off). Lately, a burst of productivity has happened, and I think it's first-draft complete. [Thanks to kestrell for her understanding as I went into "thesis mode" for the last few weeks.]

If you've read Neil Gaiman's Sandman recently (or often), I'd be very interested in your feedback.

The file can be downloaded from this link. (Note: Click on the gray "Download This File" button, *NOT* the big green "Download" button.)

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I read the series pretty thoroughly, though not very recently, and I enjoy alpha/beta reading. Do you also want editing comments?
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Never mind: you're getting them. I just read your paper (Wow!) while editing (mostly the occasional typo or misspelling). I'll email them.

Also, as soon as I saw this post, I sent the link down the hall via the world: I emailed it to the family comics expert, my son, in the other room. And he came to my desk just as I finished the paper. He is very much impressed with it, and would like to pass his comments to me to forward to you.
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Thnidu's aforementioned son here, commenting directly. The paper is excellent; I'm a big fan of pre-Vertigo DC occult and mystery books so seeing their influence on Sandman given thorough consideration made me pretty happy. You're extremely thorough and I can only think of two nitpicks factually.

"Prez, the first teenage president!" was a pre-existing DC character, but one so outré that he was generally considered not to be part of the DC Universe proper. Created by Joe Simon in 1973, Prez lasted a mere four issues before being canceled. It was a very strange comic book, existing on a satirical level that few comic book fans of that era were prepared to appreciate.

While this is generally accurate, Prez did have a single DC-universe continuity appearance, in Supergirl #10 (Sep-Oct 1974). Supergirl saves Prez from an assassination attempt and is then mind-controlled via a voodoo doll to attempt to assassinate him in turn. This isn't really immediately relevant to the subject of his use in Sandman, so I can understand why it would be disregarded. Like I said, it's a nitpick.

Worlds End was the first story since Crisis... to bald-facedly deal with concept of alternate universes again.

This is not exactly true, since Grant Morrison's Animal Man had engaged directly with the previous existence of multiple universes within the DCU. (I don't have the issues on hand, but cursory google indicates that it was 23-24 in 1990, a few years before Worlds End.)


On the whole as I said they're basically just nitpicks. The paper in general is fantastic, and you picked up quite a few details I missed. Would it be all right to link some friends of mine to this, or would you prefer I not?
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Hah! Both of your nitpicks are already duly noted in the endnotes :-)

Sending out to a few friends is cool. I'd rather not spread it *widely* until I get enough feedback to make at least a second draft.
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I don't see it in the endnotes, but it's nice they've been anticipated. :)
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Endnotes? What endnotes?

The download contains *no* endnotes as such. The last three headings are
* Endless Nights (Oct 2003)
* Appendix A. Looking Forward
* Appendix B. Notes on Citations
and the last sentence is

This dawning realization that Sandman would likely remain in print may actually have contributed to Gaiman’s difficulty in getting issues out on time; he was playing for much larger stakes than when he started writing, so concern for getting it “right” slowed him down.
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Re: Endnotes? What endnotes?

Huh. I could swear my test download had them. What program/platform are you reading with?
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Hrm. Still digesting this. It's very cool. Amazing how many things I missed. ;)
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