Back Issue #151 June 2024 (magazine review).

This edition of ‘Back Issue’ focuses on ‘Dreams and Nightmares’. Editor Michael Eury emphasizes that the inclusion of writer Neil Gaiman in the issue is likely to draw in his readership. I’m not among them, primarily because Neil Gaiman writes fantasy, which is not my genre, and I stopped reading comics before ‘Sandman’ gained popularity. I’ve only read one of his SF-based books and thought this wasn’t his genre. However, I’m also a sucker for interviews. Here are the proceedings from the Woodstock Bookfest 2023 with Neil Gaiman and Alisa Kwitney, daughter of Brian Shackley. Kwitney was his sub-editor for a time at the DC Comics Vertigo imprint before branching out into graphic novel and book writing herself.

Shelly Bond conducts brief interviews with a dozen of the artists who worked on Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ comicbook series, basically asking them the same questions and showing samples of their work. They were all having lengthy phone conversations about the stories with Gaiman, which was a common denominator.

A ‘nightmare’ horse is something Casper the Friendly Ghost and Nightmare, the fiend from Marvel Comics, have in common. Writers Mark Arnold and Stephen Friedt look at both separately. At Marvel, Nightmare has had 130 appearances over the years, infiltrating more than Doctor Strange’s dreams. People often overlook the fact that Nightmare’s Ditko design has endured over the years, making him one of the most powerful beings.

Writer Ed Lute examines creator Bob Budiansky’s ‘Sleepwalker’ Marvel series, derived from a suggestion that not all super-beings coming to Earth should look human-like. Indeed, Sleepwalker draws inspiration from this idea, requiring only minor adjustments to his abilities to emerge from the realm of dreams.

Finally, Tom Powers interviews co-writers Matt Wagner and Steven T. Seagle about their Vertigo comicbook series ‘Sandman Mystery Theatre’. This time, it’s the original Wesley Dodds Sandman in his gasmask. This series follows my experience in comic books. There’s also some emphasis on Dodd’s relationship with his girlfriend Dion and four-issue stories. I researched this one and found that it’s available as a graphic novel.

I’ve commented in the past that you can get a good spell of nostalgia from these magazines, but equally, you will also learn about titles you might never have come across before, so it’s a learning experience.

GF Willmetts

May 2024

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $10.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1787


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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