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The Annotated Sandman Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow Vertigo Preview: "Fear of Falling" Neil Gaiman and Kent Williams Disclaimer: Sandman and all related characters are copyrights and trademarks of DC Comics Inc. Sandman and this annotation are intended for mature audiences only. Note: This stand-alone story appears as an extra in a preview of DC's Vertigo titles, a new editorially-linked "Mature Readers" imprint including _Sandman_. With the exception of Dream and Matthew, all characters have not appeared before or since, although a somewhat similar movie writer-director is the central character of Gaiman and Dave McKean's _Signal to Noise_. Page 1 panel 1: Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak appeared in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, where the plot hinged in part on whether or not Novak's character was dead and impersonated or amnesiac. The name of the film was _Vertigo_, the dizziness often associated with the fear of falling. Panel 5: The play's name is apparently _The Typhoid Mary Blues_. Typhoid Mary is the appellation given to Mary Mallon (?-1938), an infamous carrier of typhoid (a fever-causing intestinal disease) in the early Twentieth Century. Mary is infamous primarily because she kept getting jobs, under false pretenses, in the food preparation industry, and thus kept spreading typhoid to her customers. The blues is a colloquial name for a generally depressed state of mind, or for a style of music (arising from American black traditional music) generally characterized by melancholy. Either usage is appropriate here, although Janet's comment about "stupid songs" suggests the former, with a nod to the latter. Panel 6: "What's Entertainment?" is a reference to any one of a number of television show which give "news" about entertainment and entertainers in a jazzed-up Nightly-News format - possibly a parody of "That's Entertainment!"??. Of these shows, "Entertainment Tonight" is the most well-known. Page 2 panel 1: Broadway is the street in New York which has most of the most significant theatrical productions. Off-Broadway is an expression for the second tier of theatres in the New York area; the usage is commonly extended, as Janet does, to off-off-Broadway and further down the line, till you're doing dinner theater in Sarasota. Panel 4: St. Patrick's Cathedral: A New York Roman Catholic church? Many Catholic churches have so-called "parochial" (from "parish") schools for their members. Page 4 panel 3: Irony. Page 5 Panel 6: Note the F on Todd Faber's shirt. Page 9 panel 3: Roadrunner cartoons: Warner Brothers' stable of animators did a series of cartoons, primarily directed by Chuck Jones, featuring a road runner chased by Wile E. Coyote. Wile E.'s elaborate schemes always failed, and usually resulted in his being blown up, squashed flat, or, as relevant here, falling long distances off cliffs. Often, Wile E., in fact, was blown up, squashed flat, -and- fell long distances off cliffs. Page 10 panel 3: Obviously, Todd's play is allegorical, with all his various characters standing as symbols. God is the traditional Judeo-Christian father-deity; Sappho was a female Greek poet from the island Lesbos, and the inspiration for the term Lesbian; The Hanged Man is one of the Major Arcana from the Tarot deck, signifying spiritual growth and passage or the reverse, depicted as a man hanging upside-down in a "yoga-like" posture, a man with no apparent fear of falling; and The Slave of the Lamp is the genie from the Aladdin myth. Contributors include: Thanatos (email@example.com) identified the Stewart-Novak film. Tami Dawn Kimmel
provided many details about Typhoid Mary. Gary Hoo (firstname.lastname@example.org) took exception to my characterization of the blues and edited my statement about Chuck Jones. Jonathan Petersen (email@example.com) corrected my reference to the Tarot. Timothy Hock Seng Tan: the best page number counter there is.
© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root