Sandman was one of those comics that I always knew about, but never really got into. I started reading around 1992 or so and the book had been going strong for about four years at that point. But, I was way more interested in the adventures of Batman, Superman and Green Lantern, not some guy who looked like the world’s biggest cure fan. Later, in high school, I knew some older guys who read comics and wore ankhs and I laughed at them for being too serious about everything. I didn’t know anything about Sandman and I was okay with that.
Then, I started working at Wizard and some dudes whose opinions I really respected recommended I check it out. Now, it’s one of my top five comic series’ (the other permanent spots belong to Starman and Preacher with the other two changing depending on how I feel that day). It’s just such an amazing book. Anyway, I wonder what people must have thought when it first came out and they saw ads like this in issues of COPS (this one’s from #7, which I reviewed over here). A lot of people say they don’t like those first six issues, that you can skip them or that they’re not as connected to the rest of the series, but I completely disagree. Those issues not only set the tone and the story but also give superhero fans an easier way into the comic than a comic like that would these days. I’d say if you’re reading the book for the first time, just make sure you have the second volume on hand (or get the Absolutes, which I have). Together, those two will give you a good idea of what you’re getting into with one of the most complex and deep stories in all of comics.