The Sandman: Overture #1 by Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Miracleman) and J.H. Williams III (Batwoman, Promethea) is, simply put, a work of art. Twenty-five years after the start of his epic Sandman tale, Neil Gaiman thrusts readers back into the world of the Endless, but this time he’s brought acclaimed artist J.H. Williams III along for the ride.
It’s definitely been some time since Neil Gaiman “officially” ended his Sandman epic. Since then, Gaiman has mostly been writing prose, which definitely shows in this book. This book is wordy. Normally, a wordy book might become bogged down with its fancy verbiage and could be seen as overwritten, but Gaiman’s affinity for words only strengthens the issue. The book is written in an almost otherworldly and ethereal style, perfectly matching the theme and tone of the book. Gaiman also seems to have written the book specifically for the art, which elevates this book even further than it already was.
And the art. My god, the art. This is one of the most beautiful books that I’ve ever flipped though. Having recently, and abruptly, ended his Batwoman run, J.H. Williams III gives a masterclass on sequential storytelling. His painterly style of art melds perfectly with the mystical material of the story Gaiman has made. Williams was born to draw this book. His method of mixing mediums is breathtaking. In one panel, Williams deftly mixes a flowing colorful painted style contrasted with a sketchy black and white style to give on of the most creative and stunning panels I’ve ever seen. It’s nothing but amazing. Williams’ knack for dynamic and unorthodox page layouts is present in this issue as well. A four page foldout towards the end of the issue is an artistic love-letter to different art styles from comic history. Specifically, seeing Morpheus drawn in the style of Jack Kirby was definitely a nice touch.
The Sandman: Overture #1 is a stellar opening issue into one of the most anticipated books of the year. The dreamlike writing of the book melds perfectly with masterful art, making for a truly amazing comic book.
Special thanks to The Spider’s Web for providing my comics for the week. It’s a great shop, organized neatly, and has a friendly and knowledgeable staff. You can check them out on their Facebook page.
Tyler Olson is a writer and reviewer for PopCulture Galaxy. He thinks J.H. Williams III should draw every book. You can contact him on Twitter @TylerSchmolson or email him at TylerOlson619@gmail.com
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