iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #54 – The Sandman

Show Notes

The topic of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman has long been one of controversy at the iFanboy offices. Ron took up the challenge and read the whole epic, and Conor jumped in too. Did Lord Morpheus, the Dream King have any lasting effect? You will certainly be surprised by what transpires within.

Whether you’re a long time fan of this classic series, or wondering if you should plunk down your money for The Absolute Sandman, this episode of iFanboy should have something for you. Thanks to Josh’s bookshelf, both Ron and Conor somewhat reluctantly started with volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes straight through volume 10: The Wake.

Did Ron like it? Did Conor hate it? Did Josh ever really like it in the first place? Is reading them in sequence the right way to go? What is the best eye shadow for podcasting? Many answers are contained herein.

Running Time: 00:24:10


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. Great inro!

  2. Ron in makeup–disturbing.

  3. You know, I’ve never watched one of the video shows before, because my laptop tends to have issues with video files. But in this case I couldn’t resist. Kudos to Ron for getting into character —

    Now I’m trying to decide whether I need to reread Sandman.

  4. Hey, y’know… Not hating the Goth look, Ron…

    Good work, guys.
    Keep up the pantomime!

  5. Hello. 🙂 It won’t play all the way through for me even at revision3? Is anyone else having this problem?

  6. The makeup is creepy the crow is here

  7. I am really glad to hear that you guys liked the Hobb story.

    I too am a fan and, like many, an aspiring writer.

    The pet project i have been working on, ( and by that i mean, have plotted out, characters created for, timelined, outlined, and most of the first issue scripted) is the story of Hobb. It might take me a while but i am going to tell this story.

    so when i get my shot( in 2,5, or 20 years), it would help if you would buy it.


    ( now i have to go back to research British history)

  8. So is the vols of Abs. Sandman a must have?


  9. I had only read Preludes and Nocturnes (Vol. 1) and A Doll’s House (Vol 2) like 13 years ago when I was in junior high, and I remember liking them. Sort of. But when the Absolutes came out I had to have them and they’ve been an annual christmas gift from my wife for the last two years and I’ve been loving them. They are so different from what I usually read, but I do like it.

    Josh, I have a question, and pardon me if you explained in the show (sheepishly), I haven’t watched it yet. I just read through Seasons of Mist and I see where Lucifer left hell. Is this where Mike Carey’s Lucifer series picks up? And am i safe to start reading that now before I read Absolutes Vol. 3 and Vol. 4?

  10. Oh…SANDMAN.


  11. @Matthew Guy – If you’re into Sandman, the Absolutes are a must have, despite the content in them, they’re beautiful and well produced.

  12. I am a newbie to the Sandman Universe. Should I get the 1st trade if I like it then get the Abs. Sandman.

  13. Yes. I wouldn’t jump right into it, Absolute-style. That’s a heavy investment to make on an unknown property.

    And I hate to say this because it seems like it’s becoming such a cliche but the first trade is good, but the second trade is where things really get very good and interesting.

  14. Thanks Conor I will get the first 2 trades of Sandmaan + first 2 trades of Preacher (I will use Amazon) to support iFanboy. Again thanks!!!

  15. Great show guys, I ALMOST want to go out and pick it up…. but I don’t think I’m ready to drop $40 a book on it just yet…. maybe one day I’ll find someone who has it and I’ll just borrow theirs

  16. I got the whole series for free. It’s ok so far, but i like “Fables” more. Great show, always look forward to this show every week!

  17. ron, you look like vito’s kid from the final soprano’s season

    to comment on the vertigo line. i love most of their work, currently DMZ, exterminators, y the last man etc. I have read The Invisables from being to end more than any other series i own. (and i think there is a compairison between Sandman and The Invisables)

    however after reading the first two trades of Sandman i have to say… i won’t read any more. this book is not THAT fantastic. That is not to take anything away from Sandman fans but the series is definately a required taste.

    Just my two cents. Conor and Josh don’t let Ron use the showers at the gym. ha ha

  18. Thanks for the podcast, guys– it helped convince me not to bother reading these books.

    I have heard a lot about Sandman and James Robinson’s Starman, and have been trying to decide whether to read either/both.

    A few days ago I read the first issue of Sandman on the Vertigo website. That experience, coupled with what I learned viewing your video podcast, helped me decide this book is not for me.

    Now, I love a lot of Vertigo books– Preacher, Fables, Y, DMZ, Scalped. But, Sandman does not interest me.

    So, can you guys do one of these on Starman now, and really help me out? Especially with DC getting set to start the Absolute Starman line?

  19. Another vote for Starman.
    Also I want Gordon’s recipe for Salmon! Lord knows I’ve been using Josh’s tips or steak on the barbie this summer (I like it blue!)
    Go Canberra

  20. Hey guys long time listener first time writer.
    I’ve got the first three trades and although they haven’t really inspire me to buy more i do love some of the individual stories like hob’s.
    I also own the two death trades and rate them much higher , this mabey just because they are also stand alone but i think they are great reading and highly recomened them, as part of the combined sandman universe i am surprised nobody mentioned them.
    Cheers for another good show it gave me a bigger picture of the story and i think i will check out some more of the trades.

  21. I guess I’m the only one who liked Vol 1 more than Vol 2? I know Sam Keith doesn’t even like his work on the series, but I do. I love the introductions of the characters in the first few issues, I love the Demon’s appearance. Everything is so spooky and reminiscent of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing (WHICH ALSO DESERVES A FULL EPISODE, FANBOYS!). The Doll’s House was probably my least favorite volume.

    Also I don’t get the whole goth stigma. None of the people I’ve known who like Sandman are goths. None of the goths I’ve known were Sandman fans (as far as I knew). Even if they were, who cares? What other people think of art doesn’t affect how I view it, or IF I view it, and I’m surprised there’s so much prejudice about this. Maybe it’s almost a stereotype to HAVE this prejudice against Sandman or something, because it seems so common? Jeesh, guys, it’s so stupid. It’s like not giving any music from the ’60s a try because you think doing so might MAKE you a hippy.

    Great episode overall, though, I just wish it could have been longer. Sandman is probably my favorite series ever, even though I recognize that there are more important runs in comic history. Sandman actually seems to be a great story that happens to be told through the medium of comics, rather than a great comic story that works with the history of comics–if you see what I’m saying? You know, the whole reason Gaiman ever started writing comics in the first place was because of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, WHICH ALSO DESERVES A FULL EPISODE.

    Ron, you went to far. I laughed hysterically during the intro, then screamed when I realized you were going to wear that stuff all through the episode. I’m going to have nightmares!

  22. One of my favorite stories. I haven’t read everything by Gaiman, but I would highly recommend reading his 2002 Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker award-winning novel American Gods. I heard we almost had a Gaiman return to Sandman last year that fell through over a possible revised ownership/copyright deal.
    I’m a big fan of vol.1 and 4 of Sandman. I think you are right that these don’t have to be read in specific order, but obviously, don’t touch the last 2 until you have plowed your way through most of the series to that point.
    Concerning the Absolute Editions – pardon the pun, but these are an absolute must! They are all digitally recolored and they are way too beautiful. Sometimes the thought of something going through a recoloring process can be scary and actually more damaging to the original story. Not these Absolutes! (2 volumes out so far) The new coloring makes a huge difference in further establishing the moods. Seriously, google it. A few years back they showed the differences between the pages online. I have been so impressed by this new coloring that I have not only dumped my old tpbs and hcs, I have dumped my orignial issues too! As far as I am concerned, these Absolutes are the only versions of Sandman that I’ll ever want to read over.
    I love the Cure. I love the Sandman. …I love Salmon too! You guys can’t do wrong!


  23. For folks wondering if they should make the investment in these books — try your library first. In my experience, Sandman, along with Watchmen, are the graphic novels that a library is most likely to carry.

  24. You guys are friggin funny…Bravo Ron for going full bore.

  25. Oh boy, where to start?…

    An amazing intro, which Ron deserves huge kudos for.

    Josh’s brit accent.

    Ron perched on the sofa looking like a character from a Tim Burton movie, not to mention his hilarious rant about rich kids.

    PLUS yet more comedy gold from Gordon!

    Best episode ever? Hard to say as they just keep getting better, but you’ve certainly earned yourselves a donation there, gentlemen. Not only for a really great look at a fantastic book, but also for Ron being a good sport (and surprisingly adept at make-up/nail polish application).

    Bravo, lads!

  26. I also vote for an entire episode to Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing also.

  27. i haven’t gotten in too far, but jesus, if that opening isn’t the funniest thing ever

  28. Let me just say that we’re certainly going to be doing more episodes like this in the future, looking at seminal runs and titles. We’re listening.

    Lots of time and reading involved though, so we space them out.

  29. You’ve rekindled my interest in this series! I was checking these out from the library a volume at a time long ago; I think I got as far as the volume with the serial killer convention. It got a little disturbing for me in places, but every time I got ready to wash my hands of it something else intriguing happened. I will have to try and remember where I left off… though by your account it doesn’t sound like it matters….

  30. Gentlemen, another great show! I agree with your point that treating the bulk of the Sandman books as an anthology is not a bad thing. I read the series (many years ago) in issues and found myself totally lost in a place that no amount of listening to Warsaw, Wire, or Gang of Four could save me from… Ron, did you get your make-up tips from Mike Ness’ performance in “Another State of Mind”? Cheers! Time to order the Absolutes.

  31. Ron,

    Pick up Scalped now. The second trade hits in a couple of weeks and If anyone’s not reading Scalped there missing out on what could very well the best comic in years.

  32. This has to be one of the best conceived and executed iFanboy productions evar. Huzzah, fellas.

    As much as I loved the first five volumes when I read them last decade, “Sandman” is overrated as a series, not nearly as seminal/relevant as “Preacher” or “Y: the Last Man”, at least to me.

  33. What’s the name of that Cure song in the intro?

  34. To Wish Impossible Things.

  35. I guess I am the only one that enjoyed "Brief Lives," to the extent that the HC was the jewel in my collection.  It just goes to show how differing tastes and sensibilities can be.  But a great podcast/primer for those curious.


  36. XD!!! When Ron sat on the couch next to Conor I laughed so hard, god i laughed like a kid with autism =, especially when Conor closed his laptop and walk away. God I felt so bad after though =|

  37. Please please please never do another show with Ron in goth make-up. I’m going to be having nightmares about that. This podcast makes me miss you all. I like the part where Conor and Ron try to convince Josh that he doesn’t like the books. I’ve been there.

  38. @Sonia: XD!@!!!! GOD I wish I was there like literally. I know for a fact that my laughter would be a domino effect by causing others to laugh as well.

  39. I really have nothing to add here. Just wanted this to get onto the main page so people can see Ron in all of his glory 🙂

  40. that takes guts to dress like that. nice jod

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