Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.14: Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

This week on the Reading the End Bookcast, we welcome special guest star Julia of The Card Catalog, and recurring guest star Randon, as we talk about comics once again! On the docket this time are Scott McCloud’s wonderful nonfiction book Understanding Comics (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository) and Neil Gaiman’s foundational comic book Sandman. You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.

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Here are the contents of the podcast if you’d like to skip around:

Starting at 1:08: We discuss Understanding Comics and the ways it helped us or didn’t help us. Here’s the more in-depth “picture plane”, if you want to see what we’re talking about. If you’re interested in reading the interview with Brian Vaughn that I mention, head over to the AV Club and check it out.

Starting somewhere between 14:00 and 15:00 but it’s tough to say exactly where because my segue is JUST SO SMOOTH: The discussion of Sandman: Overture and a few issues of classic Sandman commences. If you’re interested in knowing which issues I’d have chosen given my druthers, I’d have selected “The Sound of Her Wings” (still); “Calliope”; “The Parliament of Rooks”; “A Tale of Two Cities”; and that one issue from “The Wake” where Hob Gadling is at the Renaissance Festival complaining about how the real Renaissance had a lot more poop and plague everywhere. Here is the Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem classic “Don’t Blame the Dynamite.” They come up in the Sandman conversation, but mainly I just want you to have that.

16:05: The Hugo and Nebula Awards are not the same thing. In any case, neither of those awards is the one that was won by Neil Gaiman’s Sandman issue “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” That issue won a World Fantasy Award. I was just completely wrong about this. I’m sorry.

34:39: Randon is such a guy right here.

38:05: Public service announcement: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on board to produce the Sandman movie. I did not really know that this was in his area of interest, because I didn’t see any of those Batman movies.

40:12: Here are the Lil Endless, as delightful as ever they were:

Lil Endless

41:14: For next time, Whiskey Jenny has recommended that we read Eleanor Catton’s award-winning novel The Luminaries. Woohoo! Enormously long book alert! I am not the only one who picks tremendously long books!

Starting at 42:56: Closing remarks and outro. I am a jerk and did not mention Randon in the outro. I’m the worst. We love having Randon on the podcast too! Obviously! But he feels less like a guest because he’s always there when we record a podcast. And what with one thing and another, I forgot to thank him for joining us. I’m sorry, Randon! Thanks for joining us for this podcast!

Credits
Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: The Illustrious Annalee
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.

  • I am glad you all are going to read The Luminaries. It’s such a big fat book, so I”ll wait to hear your thoughts before I even think about stepping into it.

    • Gin Jenny

      We all enjoyed it — Whiskey Jenny and Julia more than me, but all of us quite a bit.

  • This is the only thing getting me through knitting, another marvellius podcast. Interesting to hear Preludes and Nocturns (the one Sandman volume I have read) isn’t the set tone for the rest of the series. I need to read more, but I find comics difficult to read (I get distracted) so it’s when to fit it in.

    It’s also interesting what you were discussing about how comics are created, artists etc…, I actually have a friend who is writing a FANTASTIC comic and he’s writing and drawing it all himself.

  • It was a joy to be a guest podcaster! Also, thanks for posting the link to Dr. Teeth. He’s timeless really. Wait… timeless… Could he be Dream’s long lost crazy uncle?

  • Ela

    Sandman is one of the very few comics I ever got into, so I have residual fannish tendencies regarding casting of any film version. I can’t see JG-L as Dream, either, though I think he’s a good actor. Whoever it is needs to be tall and thin and saturnine. But I’d love to see Tilda Swinton as Desire – she has that sexy yet androgynous quality.