Author: Neil Gaiman
Artists: Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli and Steve Parkhouse
Genre: Supernatural / Fantasy / Horror
Year Published: 1990
Year Read: 2012
Series: The Sandman #2
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Graphic Violence, Child Abuse and a Near Rape)
After reading Neil Gaiman’s first graphic novel in the “Sandman” series “Preludes and Nocturnes,” I just had to read more from this fantastic series and lo and behold, I have just picked up the second volume of the “Sandman” series, “The Doll’s House!” “The Doll’s House” is just as dark and gritty as the first volume and this will be a volume that fans will cherished for many years!
After the events of “Preludes and Nocturnes,” Dream (known as “The Sandman” or Morpheus) goes back and tries to restore everything in his kingdom, starting with dealing with the missing subjects in his kingdom which includes Brute and Glob, two monstrous beings who once worked for the Sandman, the Corinthian, who is a being of nightmares and Fiddler’s Green who is a place that has gone missing. While the Sandman is trying to find all his missing subjects, another part of the story is focused on a young woman named Rose Walker who finds out more than she wanted to know when she finds out that her grandmother is still alive and she sets out to find her long lost Brother Jed. There a total of seven parts in this volume and they are:
Tales in the Sand
The Doll’s House
Men of Good Fortune
Welcome Cereal Convention (Fifth story)
Into the Night
Wow! I was just so blown away by this second volume of the fantastic “Sandman” series! Even though the first “Sandman” volume was dark and gritty in the violence department, this volume was dark and gritty in the psychological department as it deals with serial killers and child abuse. Neil Gaiman has wonderfully written this story in an extremely dark and twisted way while providing excitement for the readers. I also loved how in this volume, the story is more focused on the characters and their strife, especially with Rose Walker and her place in the world. My favorite story was the prologue of the story called “Tales in the Sand” which is when an African tribesman relates the sad story of Queen Nada who ruled the city of glass and how she fell in love with the lord of the dreams named Kai’ckul to his grandson. “Tales in the Sand” is a really dark and interesting story about forbidden love and tragedy that really made me really sympathize with all the characters in this story. Neil Gaiman has also done an excellent job at providing suspense and mystery to the story surrounding Rose Walker that while I was hoping that she would find her missing brother Jed, I was also on the edge of my seat in seeing what kind of connections she has with the Sandman and what her destiny holds for her. It was also interesting and disturbing to see a convention for serial killers in the fifth story of this volume as I was wondering how could these serial killers have a convention in a public hotel without the police noticing something is wrong here? This volume is a bit different from the first volume as the first volume had a more “surreal dream” spookiness to the story while in this volume, it had a more “realistic” horror spookiness since it deals with rape and child abuse and seeing innocent children being tortured is scary enough. The artwork by Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli and Steve Parkhouse is so astonishing and they greatly complement the dark and gritty style of the stories. I especially loved the images of Rose Walker herself as she has blond hair with red and blue highlights in her hair which makes her look extremely creative. I also loved the image of the Corinthian itself as its eyes are two mouths with sharp teeth that truly make it look nightmarish.
Just like the first volume, the second volume has disturbing content that might make some readers really uncomfortable. Even though in this volume, there is less violence although there are some bloody scenes, this volume is more disturbing in criminal situations such as a scene with a child being locked in a basement and being abused by his relatives and a scene where a character is nearly raped. If you are uncomfortable with scenes that deal with child abuse and rape, then this volume might be difficult to get through.
Overall, “The Sandman: The Doll’s House” is a brilliant volume that fans of the “Sandman” series should definitely check out and read! I would recommend this volume to children ages sixteen and up since there is so much disturbing content in this volume such as rape and child abuse. Now I am off to read the third volume in the “Sandman” series, “Dream Country.”