When I first started reading Sandman, which was after I was introduced to Neil Gaiman through American Gods
, I had to interlibrary loan each volume, meaning (since I wanted to be able to keep track of them and ensure the loaning library got the books back in a timely fashion) I had to wait at least three weeks between volumes. It stretched out the time it took to read the entirety of the series to - well, quite a long time. But waiting for each one was sweet. I liked the anticipation. I didn't want the series to end, nor did I want to rush through it quickly.
Now I've finished it, and I got Absolute Sandman volume 1 as my anniversary present. (We've been married 2 years as of the 17th, together 7 years as of today.) It's a monster of a book with its imposing cover and thick pages. Carrying it around feels like I'm really carrying Something. And it's wonderful to read, curled up in a chair with the book propped on your knees and the ribbon bookmark marking your page. The colors are vibrant and the lettering is wonderful.
And of course, all these stories are collected in this one book for me. I can blaze through them the way I couldn't when I was reading borrowed copies, or I can stop and really look at each panel, and understand how certain things relate to the all-over story.
As for the story - I don't know what I can say about the story. I mean, I absolutely love it, but I can't say that over and over and let it be my review. I like the way Morpheus grows over the course of just this one volume, and how characters are introduced over the course of this book that will become so important over time. I like Morpheus with a pigeon on his head listening to Death. I wince and squirm every time I read the diner scenes, but Dream and the fairies watching A Midsummer Night's Dream makes up for that.
I like Sandman. And I'm really happy my birthday is coming up. That means I can get volume 2. But maybe I should wait... prolong the anticipation.