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The Books of Magic Book III: The Land of Summer's Twilight By Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess Not yet reprinted in any other form Annotations by David Goldfarb cover: It is not clear who this is supposed to represent. Perhaps another of Titania's many guises? p.2 panels 5-6: The first two speculations correspond to two of the stories in _Secret Origins_ #10. A _Phantom Stranger_ miniseries from the mid-eighties portrayed him as an agent of the Lords of Order. p.3 panel 2: Cold iron is traditionally harmful to those of Faerie; it can bar them from an entrance, or even slay them, depending on your source. panel 4: To some extent, this book follows the format of a fairy tale. Tim will break all (or almost all) of these rules, and be saved by items he picks up along the way. p.4 panel 1: A bit of foreshadowing of book IV's ending. panel 6: Elvenhome is several places in J.R.R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings - alternatively Eldamar, Doriath or Nargothrond. Of course, Tolkiens elves were a lot different from Neils. p.6 panel 1: That Rose Spiritus and Dr. Occult interchange is an invention of Gaiman's. In Dr. Occult's original series Rose was simply a secretary/sidekick. p.7 The stall on the lower left, with all the books, contains several items of note. The man in dark glasses resembles Neil Gaiman, and the shorter man next to him resembles (so I'm told) Charles Vess. Reaching up towards Vess is Rupert Bear, star of a series of children's books. Hanging from the ceiling are two references to animated movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The two "owl-bears" on the left are nature spirits from "Tonari no Totoro" ("My Neighbor Totoro"). (There is a third "owl-bear" at the right-hand edge of the stall, acting as a bookend. There were three nature spirits in the film.) To their right is the logo of "Majoo no Takyuubin" (literally "Witch Delivery Service" but usually translated "Kiki's Delivery Service"). p.8 The armor reflected in the mirror at lower right bears a strong resemblance to the armor worn by King Auberon in _Sandman_ #19 (which was also illustrated by Charles Vess). p.9 panel 1: Are the roots bound to the pole mandrake roots? Or just, say, ginseng? p.10 panel 4: Glory bears a distinct resemblance to Isaac Asimov. What significance this has, I cannot imagine. p.14 panel 1: There is at least one ballad ("True Thomas" perhaps?) in which a visitor to Faerie has to wade through a sea of blood for forty days and forty nights. p.19 panel 1: In the ballad "True Thomas", a bard named Thomas became the lover of the Queen of Faerie. When he wished to return to mortal lands, she ensorceled his tongue so that he could not lie. In some versions of the tale, this was simply a curse, but in others it included the gift of prophecy. I don't know of any reference to the incident described; presumably it's another of Gaiman's inventions. panel 5: In Arthurian legend, Joyous Gard was the name of the castle where Lancelot lived with Elaine, the mother of Galahad. Why it's mentioned in this connection is not clear. panel 6: Melchior was one of the 3 Wise Men or 3 Kings of Orient. The others were Balthazar and Gaspar. p.20 panel 2. Brian Boru is a Celtic warrior hero who, following the mold, is supposed to return at the time of his peoples greatest peril. p.23 panel 5: "Chik" is a diminutive suffix in Russian. Baba Yaga is a character from Russian tales. p.25 panel 3: Baba Yaga traditionally flies sitting in a mortar and holding a pestle. Here she seems to be holding a pestle and sitting on another pestle. Darryl Greensill
says: I am sure Baba Yaga is flying on a butterchurn, holding a broom and the churning stick. She drops the broom on p28. p.27 panel 6: We see what is purported to be the Drum Unescapable in _Sandman_ #38. What a Heliotrope Gamahaean Union may be I have no idea. Any other reference on Empusa? p.35 panel 3: In _Sandman_ #19, we see Titania talk to Hamnet Shakespeare, the son of William Shakespeare. At the end of that tale, we are told that Hamnet died aged eleven. Evidently the corpse was a changeling, and the real boy succumbed to Queen Titania's temptation and came to Faerie. p.36 Skartaris was the setting of _The Warlord_, a series written and for most of its run drawn by Mike Grell. p.37 Nightmaster first appeared in _Showcase_ #82. He was created by Jerry Grandenetti and Dick Giordano. p.38 The Gemworld first appeared in _Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld_ #1. Amethyst was created by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn. There was a later miniseries, written by Keith Giffen, that introduced the Archmage. This miniseries revealed that the Sorcerer's World from _Legion of Super-Heroes_ was the Gemworld, and that a minor character from _Amethyst_ became the LSH villain Mordru the Merciless. Here are twelve houses, each named after a gemstone... - as far as I can remember those houses included Amethyst, Aquamarine (not so sure), Onyx, Jade, Carnelian, Garnet, Topaz, Sapphire, Opal, and Emerald. p.39 The blue-caped demon is Etrigan, who has been referenced earlier. Dr. Occult's narration is consistent with the themes of the _Sandman_ storyline _The Season of Mists_, which was still going on at the time this story was published. p.40 panel 1: Cain and Abel were the hosts of two horror anthology series; _House of Mystery_ and _House of Secrets_, respectively. Alan Moore revived them in a dream sequence in _Swamp Thing_ #33; when Gaiman created the Dreaming he incorporated them into it. panel 3: The cute thing on top of Abels head is Goldie, a golden gargoyle now headlining the first story arc of The Dreaming. p.41 panel 1: This is of course Dream, aka Morpheus, aka the Sandman. His first appearance was _Sandman_ #1, and he was created by Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth. Darryl Greensill says: Could this be the grave of Matthew the raven? (How modern is Matthew? He describes various mortal activities that seem 20th century.) p.46 panels 4-8 all seem to be faces appearing inside the egg. Panel 4 is obviously Titania in her current guise. Panel 5 bears some resemblance to the stallkeeper on page 9 (who tried to swap Tim various things for his heart's desire), but the stallkeeper's hair was different. It also looks a bit like Snout, but Snout's nose was long and pointed while this face has a blunt nose. Panel 6 is Baba Yaga. Panel 7 is Titania as she appeared in _Sandman_ #19. Panel 8 is not immediately clear. It seems probable that all of the faces are forms that Titania has taken -- panels 4 and 7 definitely are, and panel 8 has the same mouth, as well as similar jewelry to panel 7. The story thus becomes a bit more paranoid; all of the people who have tried to catch Tim in Faerie are in fact one person. panel 8: Darryl Greensill writes: This is almost certainly Tim's mother - there is a picture on a wall in Tim's house at the end of Book 4. Perhaps Neil Gaiman changed his mind about this later? panel 9: It would seem that Tim, like Merlin, is only half-human. If the Queen of Faerie is really his mother, then perhaps the face from panel 8 was the form she took to bear him. "And will you also hatch out worlds, my son?" This is probably the most evocative line in the book. Alas, Books of Magic No. 13 says that while Tims father - the Falconer - was Titanias lover, she was not his mother. For a while she only wanted to believe so. Sigh. Edward T. Gulane (firstname.lastname@example.org) added bits about Boru, Elvenhome, and the Goldie Carl Henderson (email@example.com) provided creator credits for Amethyst and the Gemworld. Tom Galloway (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave the creator credits for Nightmaster and Amethyst.
© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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