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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

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 (tgt33358@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu) identified the Stewart-Novak
	Tami Dawn Kimmel  provided many details about
Typhoid Mary.
	Gary Hoo (gary@futon.sfsu.edu) took exception to my
characterization of the blues and edited my statement about Chuck Jones.
 	Jonathan Petersen (jcp@trident.usacs.rutgers.edu) corrected my
reference to the Tarot.
        Timothy Hock Seng Tan: the best page number counter there is.

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
This document contains links to external information sources that I do neither monitor nor control. I explicitly disclaim any liabilities in respect to external references.
You are getting this document without any guarantees. Any methods shown above are meant as demonstration and may be wrong in some place. You may damage your system if you try to follow my hints and instructions. You do this at your own risk!

This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root