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Blogging The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes, Part 3

Blogging The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes, Part 3

Before we continue, there are some things we need to clarify:

  • This chapter is about John Constantine. His bleached blond hair and swagger were based on the musician Sting.
  • Sting is from a band called The Police. They wrote lots of happy sounding songs that are actually quite creepy if you listen to the words.
  • If you still don’t know who Sting is, watch the movie Dune. He is the guy wearing the silver diaper (Feyd-Rautha).
  • So, in summary, John Constantine looks like the blonde musician guy in a diaper in the movie Dune, only he’s wearing a yellow trench coat and too much hair gel.
  • They mention checkbooks, CDs, and videotapes in this chapter. Flip to the glossary in the back of your book for historical information regarding the uses of these tools. They were similar to debit cards, mp3s, and DVDs, but they were popular around the same time as answering machines and beepers.

Extra Credit Research Topics: Car phones, Beanie Babies, snail mail.

It’s worth mentioning that there was also a freaky post-Matrix movie with Keanu Reeves called Constantine where Tilda Swinton played the angel Gabriel (no one else has ever made androgyny look so good). That whole film was about this exact John Constantine. Now, the Sandman is knocking on his door, looking for his precious pouch of sand.

Let’s stop judging Mr. Constantine for his fashion choices a moment, and turn our gaze to the daring ensemble our protagonist is sporting. It looks like a classic cape with a few fiery embellishments. Heaven knows I love a man in a cape, but what are these holographic faces on the fringe? Come on now, Dream. Anguished appliqués are a little “on-the-nose,” don’t you think? If you want to be dark, do it with a little irony. An Alexander Mcqueen scarf? Some skull shaped cufflinks? We’ll let you keep the popped collar, but please banish those shoulder pads to the Land of Dreams. Subcategory: Not in Your Wildest.

Fortunately, even Constantine has the sense to advise Dream against wearing that atrocity in public, so Dream changes into a black trench coat. I suppose that’ll have to do, but I expect more from the great Morpheus.

As it turns out, Constantine no longer has the bag of sand in his possession, but he agrees to help Dream hunt it down. They spend two hours searching through a warehouse, but Dream insists that if it were there, he would be able to feel it. Dream is very in touch with his feelings, you see.

Constantine stumbles on an old photograph of an ex-girlfriend and realizes that she may have stolen the pouch. Her name is Rachel, and she had developed a bit of an obsession with the bag of sand when they were dating.

“Amazing Rachel,” says John. “Junkie Rachel.”

“Junkie” isn’t typically one of the characteristics I miss in an ex-lover, but whatever floats your boat, Constantine! I may share his penchant for cheeseburgers and too much coffee, but certainly not his apparent weakness for frivolous druggie girlfriends.

They arrive at her house, and since the door is locked, John tries to find a way in through the back.

But wait!

Dream magically knows how to open doors. Dream could have mentioned that before, but it would have cramped his style. Inside, John trips and falls over a man who is barely alive and being eaten by dreams. Only then does Dream summon a glowing ball to light the way.

Dream is probably that guy who steals the last a piece of a jigsaw puzzle just so he can have the satisfaction of finishing it after everyone else has done all the work.

The condition of the house is nothing short of disgusting. The mysterious sand has taken over the house, the inhabitants have become dream addicts, and unbridled dreams are feeding off of what little life they have left. Morpheus tells the dreams that they have gone too far, and they respond by shrinking away in shame, knowing full well they’ve misbehaved in their master’s absence. They find Rachel alone in her room, dying slowly from her dependence on the dream state. The pouch of sand is at her bedside.

Dream informs the despondent Constantine that Rachel will soon die a painful death from her condition, and Constantine demands that Dream do something to ease her passing. As heartless and self-serving as Dream appears, he does actually help Rachel leave this life through a pleasant vision of “the best of all possible worlds.” Oh that smartypants, Dream. He's read his Leibniz.

Rachel lives the last moments of her life with John, walking off into the sunset in her mind. Just when I think Dream is a brooding, egotistical Swiffer duster-head, he goes and does something sweet like that.

Dream finds Constantine out in the hall and assures him that Rachel died peacefully and happy. He even puts his hand on his shoulder and everything!

Closing thoughts:

  • Never judge an antihero based on his taste in capes.
  • Sometimes “click” is spelled “klik” in comic books.
  • It’s a bad idea to date people with substance abuse problems. Mostly because they might steal one of your magical artifacts that a powerful, immortal Dream King might want back later.

What do you think of Sandman? Or Gaiman's other work?

Tags: blogging, books-and-comics, sandman, neil gaiman, vertigo, the matrix

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About the Author
Allison Emm

Allison Emm is a writer, illustrator, and handmade soap enthusiast hailing from Boulder, CO. She is fond of bookish and ruggedly handsome mountain men, blue spruce trees, birds of prey, starships, and yarn.

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