Review – The Sandman Volume Two: The Doll’s House
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  • Posted:
  • September 10, 2015


Sandman vol 2 The Dolls House

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Neil Gaiman returns with to The Sandman series, this time bringing the artistic talents of Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Michael Zulli, Chris Bachalo, and Steve Parkhouse along with him.

The Sandman: The Doll’s House is the second volume of the series. The stories within are:

Tales in the Sand (Dringenberg and Jones) – A tribal youth has traveled into the journey with an elder. The elder tells a tale of a Queen called Nada.

The Doll’s House (Dringenberg and Jones) – Desire and Despair, twin siblings of Dream, are introduced. A young woman named Rose flies to England with her mom to meet her estranged grandmother. Lucien meets with Dream and tells him that the Corinthian is missing.

Moving In (Dringenberg and Jones) -Rose moves into a home with a bizarre host of characters. Dream discovers that a child is cut off from the Dreaming and becomes very angry.

Playing House (Bachalo and Jones) – A pregnant woman named Lyta bides her time as her husband Hector fights crime as the Sandman. Elsewhere, Rose and her neighbor Gilbert check into a motel where a Cereal Convention has filled it to capacity. Dream encounters Brute and Glob, sub-demons with an interest in Lyta and Hector.

Men of Good Fortune (Zulli and Parkhouse) – It begins in 1389 in a crowded pub. Every hundred years hence Dream meets with Hob Gadling. Hob has no intention of ever dying. Dream encounters and influences some infamous people along the way.

Collectors (Dringenberg and Jones) – A look inside the Cereal convention, which is not what it seems. Gilbert relates to Rose an original version of Red Riding Hood. Rose encounters one of the conventioneers and Dream meets with the Corinthian.

Into the Night (Dringenberg, Kieth, and Jones) -Follows many of Rose’s housemates – Ken and Barbir, Zelda and Chantal, and Hal all have tormented drams. Gilbert visits a man in the hospital and makes a decision.

Lost Hearts (Dringenberg and Jones) – Rose has a dialogue with Dream and learns something massive about herself. She wakes up and cuts her hair, dying it red like her Grandmother’s. Dream meets with Despair and warns her not to interfere.

This volume has a little more meat to it as we are now getting a better sense of who Dream is and who the most frequent side-characters will likely be.

My favourite panel in the book comes from the horizontal orientation of The Doll’s House when Dream speaks to Lucien. Behold:

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In the printed version this image is a full spread and there is a vast room behind Dream with nude sculptures and ornate stained glass. Sadly, no one has yet scanned this image and I am not savvy enough to slice two images together digitally. Tragic. This story, though, and the reorientation of the pages, made for a most entertaining read.

My other favourite was Men of Good Fortune featuring Hob Gadling in which we get timely images of Death looking like this:

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OldIdiot

And like this…

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And here as well…

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And, finally, like this

It was a treat to see both Dream and Gad change through the ages. I felt that this story best summarized the theme for this volume the best – The more things change the more they stay the same.

The stories are getting better, more interesting and less messy. That said, it’s still messy. Some of the stories do not make a lot of sense, most notably Collectors and Into the Night. I felt like I was missing something important the whole way through. I don’t know that I had any art that I immediately gravitated to besides the above pieces. I am hoping that this aspect of storytelling gets smoothed out as well.

I still want to continue, as I am enjoying myself greatly. For now, 4 out of 5 stars for the The Doll’s House. Here’s hoping that volume three, Dream Country, picks up.

– BP

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