Sandman - dreamland

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Traumland (original title Dream Country ) is the third collection of graphic novels from the comic book series Sandman , published by DC Comics . It contains booklets 17 to 20. It was written by Neil Gaiman , illustrated by Kelley Jones , Charles Vess , Colleen Doran and Malcolm Jones III and lettered by Todd Klein .

It was first published in 1991 as a paperback and in 1995 as a hardcover.

The English edition contains the original storyline to Calliope by Neil Gaiman.


Like the sixth collection of Fables and Reflections and the eighth collection, World's End , Traumland is made up of short stories that have no identifiable common story arc. The connecting elements of all these stories only become visible in the overall context of the Sandman stories.

Traumland is the shortest of the ten collections and consists of only four parts in the series: Calliope (number 17), The dream of a thousand cats (number 18), A Midsummer Night's Dream (number 19) and Facade (number 20).

Calliope ( Calliope )

This is the story of the frustrated writer Richard Madoc, whose first book was critically acclaimed. Now, however, he is no longer able to put even a line from the successor on paper, although his deadline has long passed. He is dealing with an older colleague Erasmus Fry about Kalliope , the muse of poetry. Fry held them prisoner for decades, raped them and thereby received the inspiration for his books. Madoc behaves similarly to the muse as Fry does. Calliope can summon the Furies , who advise her to seek help from her former lover, Oneiros (Dream). At this point, however, Dream is still a prisoner himself, so Madoc can pursue his now successful career for some time. After Dream is freed, he also frees Kalliope and imposes a terrible punishment on Madoc.

Both the Furies and the connection between Calliope and Dream are important parts of the overall story.

The Dream of a Thousand Cats ( A Dream of a Thousand Cats )

This story initially appears as Gaiman's strange whim, a fantasy about a cat who has a dream that the cats would one day rule the world again, just as they did before one of their toys, a little human being, his dream of the Brought rule of humans among its kind, until enough humans dreamed of ruling the earth themselves - and this then happened. The cat's dream is that 1000 cats must dream of being the rulers of the earth again at the same time, then it would also come true and humans would again be just cats' toys that you can kill whenever you feel like it have.

Although this seems to be a complete deviation from the actual story arc, this story contains one of the core motifs of the whole series: Reality is literally created according to the dreams of humans and other animals.

A Midsummer Night's Dream ( A Midsummer Night's Dream )

This is the very heart of the whole narrative and is considered by many to be the best episode ever. It is about the premiere of Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream , which was part of the agreement between Shakespeare and Dream (see The Dollhouse ). Dream gives Shakespeare the gift of writing plays that will last forever, and Shakespeare writes two plays for Dream. A Midsummer Night's Dream is the first of these.

The premiere takes place in front of an extraordinary audience, namely in front of the very elven people the play is about: Oberon, Titania and Robin Goodfellow sit in the audience - and enjoy themselves like a king. The latter uses this stay on earth to escape and remains on this side of reality, which will have consequences for Dream later.

This episode was the first and only comic to receive the World Fantasy Award for Short Stories in 1991 , which caused an indignant outcry among those who thought that a comic book should not receive such an award. The rules for awarding prizes were then also changed to prevent this process from being repeated.

It is only in the very last edition of Sandman , The Awakening , that the second part of the contract between Shakespeare and Dream is fulfilled. The second piece is The Tempest , Shakespeare's last work.

Facade ( façade )

This story is about Element Girl, one of the lesser-known characters from the DC Universe . He portrays her as a suicidal former superhero, who now lives on a small pension, does not dare to go outside because of her freakish appearance and endlessly puts out cigarette butts in masks that she wears on her few appearances in public. She wants to die, but cannot do so because of her abilities: How do you fatally wound a stone? Death shows her a way in the end.

See also