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Sandman: Dream Hunters Paperback – Oct 5 2010


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Sandman: Dream Hunters + Sandman, The: Endless Nights + Sandman Vol. 10: The Wake (New Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Reprint edition (Oct. 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401224288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401224288
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 0.6 x 25.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Sandman fans should feel lucky that master fantasy writer Neil Gaiman discovered the mythical world of Japanese fables while researching his translation of Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. At the same time, while preparing for the Sandman 10th anniversary, he met Yoshitaka Amano, his artist for the 11th Sandman book. Amano is the famed designer of the Final Fantasy game series. The product of Gaiman's immersion in Japanese art, culture, and history, Sandman: Dream Hunters is a classic Japanese tale (adapted from "The Fox, the Monk, and the Mikado of All Night's Dreaming") that he has subtly morphed into his Sandman universe.

Like most fables, the story begins with a wager between two jealous animals, a fox and a badger: which of them can drive a young monk from his solitary temple? The winner will make the temple into a new fox or badger home. But as the fox adopts the form of a woman to woo the monk from his hermitage, she falls in love with him. Meanwhile, in far away Kyoto, the wealthy Master of Yin-Yang, the onmyoji, is plagued by his fears and seeks tranquility in his command of sorcery. He learns of the monk and his inner peace; he dispatches demons to plague the monk in his dreams and eventually kill him to bring his peace to the onmyoji. The fox overhears the demons on their way to the monk and begins her struggle to save the man whom at first she so envied.

Dream Hunters is a beautiful package. From the ink-brush painted endpapers to the luminous page layouts--including Amano's gate-fold painting of Morpheus in a sea of reds, oranges, and violets--this book has been crafted for a sensuous reading experience. Gaiman has developed as a prose stylist in the last several years with novels and stories such as Neverwhere and Stardust, and his narrative rings with a sense of timelessness and magic that gently sustains this adult fairy tale. The only disappointment here is that the book is so brief. One could imagine this creative team being even better suited to a longer story of more epic proportions. On the final page of Dream Hunters, in fact, Amano suggest that he will collaborate further with Mr. Gaiman in the future. Readers of Dream Hunters will hope that Amano's dream comes true. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Gaiman's enormously successful Sandman monthly comic book (1989-96), which won eight Eisner awards in a row for comic book excellence, has been collected in a series of equally successful graphic novels. This book, representing Gaiman's first Sandman story in three years, retells Japanese folk tale "The Fox, the Monk, and the Mikado of All Night's Dreaming." The central characters are the Fox and the Monk, and the Sandman only plays a peripheral role. The book isn't really a graphic novel, as there are roughly 60 pages of typed prose and 60 pages of illustrations. It is an illustrated novel that remains true to both the Japanese tale and the motifs that made the Sandman series so popular. The illustrations are reminiscent of Japanese brush work and gently push the text along. Not the best first Sandman purchase for any library, this book is a necessary purchase if your patrons are Sandman readers, or if your world folk tales collection needs strengthening--Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman's Sandman series ranks among the best graphic novels ever written -- and its spinoff materials aren't bad either.

Among those spinoff materials is "The Dream Hunters," a gorgeously illustrated novella about the love between a beautiful kitsune and a Buddhist monk, and the part that Gaiman's legendary Dream plays in their story. Now it's been reworked like fine modeler's clay into an even more exquisite graphic novel, with lushly shaded artwork based on traditional Japanese art. It's a stunning piece of work.

A young monk takes care of a tiny temple by himself, until the day a fox and a badger pass by. They make a wager about who can drive him out of his temple, and who will get it as a new home once he's gone. Using their transformation powers, both the fox and badger try to trick the young monk into fleeing his temple... but they fail miserably. And after the monk drives away the badger, the fox asks to remain in the temple with the monk -- and the two of them fall in love.

But then the fox overhears the Baku -- dream eaters -- talking of their onmyoji master's scheme to destroy the monk through his dreams. Living in perpetual fear, the onmyoji was told (by a freaky multibreasted woman) to kill the young monk without pain or fear -- and this will give him the monk's peace of mind. The fox doesn't intend to let the monk be killed, and when she lapses into a coma, he ventures into the Palace of Dreams to save her life. But asking for help from the King of Dreams has a price...

The "Sandman: Dream Hunters" graphic novel is a very different experience from the original novella -- the novella was a prose story enhanced by Yoshitaka Amano's darker illustrations, while the graphic novel is all about the exquisite images and colorful art.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The monk and the fox Nov. 3 2009
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Neil Gaiman's Sandman series ranks among the best graphic novels ever written -- and its spinoff materials aren't bad either.

Among those spinoff materials is "The Dream Hunters," a gorgeously illustrated novella about the love between a beautiful kitsune and a Buddhist monk, and the part that Gaiman's legendary Dream plays in their story. Now it's been reworked like fine modeler's clay into an even more exquisite graphic novel, with lushly shaded artwork based on traditional Japanese art. It's a stunning piece of work.

A young monk takes care of a tiny temple by himself, until the day a fox and a badger pass by. They make a wager about who can drive him out of his temple, and who will get it as a new home once he's gone. Using their transformation powers, both the fox and badger try to trick the young monk into fleeing his temple... but they fail miserably. And after the monk drives away the badger, the fox asks to remain in the temple with the monk -- and the two of them fall in love.

But then the fox overhears the Baku -- dream eaters -- talking of their onmyoji master's scheme to destroy the monk through his dreams. Living in perpetual fear, the onmyoji was told (by a freaky multibreasted woman) to kill the young monk without pain or fear -- and this will give him the monk's peace of mind. The fox doesn't intend to let the monk be killed, and when she lapses into a coma, he ventures into the Palace of Dreams to save her life. But asking for help from the King of Dreams has a price...

The "Sandman: Dream Hunters" graphic novel is a very different experience from the original novella -- the novella was a prose story enhanced by Yoshitaka Amano's darker illustrations, while the graphic novel is all about the exquisite images and colorful art. But the story is just as powerful as in its other form, with its haunting forays into a world of dreams that lingers beyond life and death.

The story is actually a rather simple one: monk meets fox and they fall in love, only to become ensnared in a selfish man's plot, and the young monk is forced to go on a journey. It's like a Japanese-flavored version of the Orpheus legend, except that the monk doesn't go into the land of the dead -- his quest takes him into the world of Dream (yes, the dude from the "Sandman" series). And the story takes a darker turn in the last quarter when the omnyoji becomes ensnared in an elaborate scheme to give him what he deserves.

In fact, the story is all the more tragic because Gaiman's quiet, simple prose makes you like the monk and fox immensely -- she's a basic trickster who learns to passionately love someone else, and he's a saintly young man whose caring for animals leads to a romantic love.

And the artwork is simply exquisite -- P. Craig Russell takes his cues from traditional Japanese artwork (lots of maple leaves and flying swallows), with plenty of soft muted colors and elaborate backgrounds. He swirls his realistic designs together with wastelands of bone, dragons of fire, houses sitting in the clouds, and a lord of Dreams who walks in a vast celestial robe of sleeping faces and green fire. Even without the story, this would be a visual feast.

Neil Gaiman's beautiful tale of love, dreams and loss is no less exquisite for being reimagined -- "Sandman: Dream Hunters" is like a beautiful painting of a little prose gem. A must-see.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Decent work, but not nearly as good as the original. May 29 2010
By A. Landry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incase you haven't noticed, there exist two versions of Gaiman's Dream Hunters. One is illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (paperback, originally released in 1999), and the other (the product you're currently viewing) by P. Craig Russell. Russell's version is rendered in comic book fashion, while Amano's plays out like a classic fairy tale book (think picture book).

I was not very impressed with Russell's artwork for this book, it doesn't have the detail and style that is featured in the original sandman series or the original version of Dream Hunters. Those works feature a detailed, unique, and ultra stylized type of artwork. The newer version of Dream Hunters feels somewhat flat and bland, it almost has a B grade feel to it. If you are not a hardcore fan of Gaiman's Sandman series, and/or are short on money, I would highly recommend the original over this purchase. The story for Dream Hunters was based on an old Japanese fairy tale, and the original version of this book features one of Japan's finest artists, Yoshitaka Amano. If you want the full experience, buy the original first.

And with a flick of her tail, she was gone.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Be wary that there are two versions to The Dream Hunters!! Oct. 5 2011
By Sean Mackey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Here is a story that delves into perhaps one of my favorite eras of myths and legends, an ancient Japan. It is the tale of a humble monk and a fox spirit who develop an impossible love that is further complicated by a plot on the monk's life. Truly it's a heart-felt story which I shall not further delve into lest I compromise important details!

But.... Through no one's fault but my own I failed to notice that this version of The Dream Hunters is fully illustrated by P. Craig Russell and is much more in the vein of what you'd expect of Gaiman's Sandman works. But before buying this book, I had, through perhaps *cough* illegitimate means *cough*, read the version written in prose with beautifully abstract illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano on every other page to accent the story. I had in reading this significant departure from what may be considered an average graphic novel, come to enjoy the storybook feel to the Yoshitaka version which left much to the imagination and as such for me was far more touching. Contrasting this is Craig Russell's illustrations which act as the narrative device and as such must become far less abstract in their representations of characters and scenery alike given things a very grounded feel which I don't feel adequately does the overarching themes of this story justice. Needless to say regardless of the version you pick up you're in store for a fantastical and very emotional tale but I must say that I much preferred Yoshitaka's version to Russell's (though to him I mean no offense, he did a superb job illustrating my favorite Sandman issue 'Ramadan').
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A different artist for a solid story March 26 2010
By Michael Demeritt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Originally published with the artwork of a Japanese artist and the story written in standard prose, this redrawing of The Dream Hunters is a traditional comic book format. The new art and format add little, perhaps even nothing, to the tale, nor serve to detract from it either. I prefer the original, but would not hesitate to recommend this version for any fan of the Dream king.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent tale that requires no knowledge of the sandman universe ... Sept. 7 2014
By ravl13 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent tale that requires no knowledge of the sandman universe to enjoy, although there are certain "nods" that series fans will notice as well.

Essentially, it's an atypical love story taking place in Japan, with another tale of vengeance thrown in. I don't really want to say more than that and give things away, but just look at all the positive reviews for the book - it's worth reading.

The art is fabulous, and feels like a natural blend of east/west style. The normal sandman series never actually impressed me with it's art, but this book's pages are beautiful.

Good art & good story makes this a must-read, in my opinion.


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