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                          The Annotated Sandman

               Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow

                      Issue 10:  "The Doll's House"
           Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III

              First part of long storyline _The Doll's House_
       Third story reprinted in trade paperback _The Doll's House_

Page 1:  We have learned in earlier issues that Desire is Dream's younger
sibling.  Despite the pronoun games in the fourth caption, Desire is
consistently referred to by those who know it as "it".  This is Desire's first
known appearance.  The "Doll's House" of the title refers to many buildings
throughout this storyline, one of which is the Threshold.

Page 3 panel 1:  The figure in the lower right is Desire.  The face in the "tv
screens" may be the Corinthian, who shows up later.  There is also some
resemblence to Neil Gaiman himself, except that the editor in the lettercol in
issue 15 says "That was NOT a photo of Neil on page 3.  As far as you know."

Page 4 panel 1, 3:  Desire is looking at the symbols of its relatives, the
Endless, a group of seven anthropomorphized concepts.  The symbols may be, left
to right, in descending "age" of the concept.  Left to right, they are:
Death's ankh, Destiny's book, Dream's helmet.  The empty square will acquire
more meaning shortly.  Then comes Desire's chin, then one we will meet
immediately, and another we will meet later.

Page 4 panel 2:  Desire says "Big brother, I'm watching you". This is a reference to George Orwell's 1984 ("Big brother is watching you").

Page 5 panel 2:  First known appearance of Desire's twin sister Despair, whose
sigil is a barbed ring (without immediately apparent symbolism), which was in
the sixth square on page 4.
	Panel 3:  The missing prodigal is the Endless whose symbol is missing
from the blank square.  We will find out which concept this is much later.
	Panel 6:  Desire was manipulating Dream and/or Nada in issue 9.
	Panel 7:  We do not know, but will learn, what a dream vortex is.

Page 6-7:  First known appearances of Miranda and Rose Walker, who will be very
important to this storyline, and Mr. Jack Holdaway, who will not.  It will be
confirmed later that Rose is in fact the person Judy was talking to on page 6
of issue 6.
Page 6 panel 2:  This is a dream.  This should absolutely leap out at you.
	Panel 3:  London has three airports, of which Heathrow is the largest,
and Gatwick the second in importance.  It is reputed to be less pleasant to fly
from than Heathrow.

Page 7 panel 4:  Masterpiece Theater is a television show on American public
TV; it perhaps exclusively features British productions of, well, masterpieces
of literature adapted to television.
	Panel 6:  "Car-park" is British; the American equivalent is both
"parking lot" and "parking garage".

Page 9 panel 1-2:  We are seeing Rose's dream; Rose is slipping directly into
Dreaming, which is perhaps unusual.  The dream sequence is printed sideways on
the page.  At least two other series, _Cerebus_ ##44-50 and _Fantastic Four_
#252 have used the same format.
	Panel 2-3:  This is the House of Secrets.  The characters are Abel,
Lucien, and Goldie.  For more, see issue 2.
	Panel 7:  Lucien is taking a census.  It struck me as funny that the
census rolls include "Something Nasty in the Basement".  I can just see the
junk mail from Ed McMahon: "On January 23, will I announce 'Mr. Something N.
Basement has just won $23 million dollars?  Enter now!"  It does not appear
that Mr. Basement or the Bottle Imp date back to the original run of _House of

The lyrics are from "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" by the Marx Brothers.

Page 10, panel 5: Neil Gaiman says "Note the doll": Well isn't it the                         
same doll's house which we find in the room of
who-was-to-be-a-dream-vortex, Unity Kinkaid? Just look at the Morpheus
in its window on pages 22-23. 

Page 11-12, panel 1: This is a double page spread. I notice an Ankh placed
above the stained glass window in the background. (The artwork itself is a
person with white/blonde hair holding a mask).

I think there are more secrets in this particular picture. For instance: Who
is the person holding the mask?

panel 4:  This is a double page spread.  "Major Arcana" originally
referred to the non-suited cards in a Tarot deck.  Here the term refers to the
more important denizens of the Dreaming.  This refers back to the introduction
to _Sandman_ #8, where we saw a high-number Tarot card with a representation
of Dream on it.

Page 13, panel 1:  Brute and Glob appeared in the 1970s run of Sandman.  For
more, see issue 2.
	Panel 2-3:  The first known appearances of the Corinthian and Fiddler's
Green.  Note that there is something unusual about the Corinthian's
eyes. Doesn't Corinthian look like Oscar Wilde here? Well just remember
about Dorian Gray, young, dandy, and blase, creature from nightmares
himself, he continues beautiful, while his portrait gets older and wicker.

Caleb Carr wrote a popular novel in 1994 set in 1896 new york city, in
which a criminal psychiatrist or "alienist" as they were called at the
time, hunts down a serial killer with a taste for young boy
whores. His signature was the cutting out of their eyes. There are
some strong parallels here with the Corinthian - first, the novel is
populated with real historical characters, like Theodore Roosevelt as
the police commissioner - something Gaiman himself likes to
do. Second, the Corinthian is a character that has skulked about
through history cutting people's eyes out (see Cor's appearance in
Brief Lives where he cuts out the eyes of the ape being dissected by
the scienetist in Victorian England). 

Although 1896 is too early for the Corinthian to be out of dreams on
his own, we know that he's always been a 'naughty' character. I think
Gaiman plucked him out of this novel for use in Sandman.
(this was contributed by Simon Cheesman)

	The Corinithian could not have been taken from The Alienist,
because Sandman#10 came out at least three years before the Alienist
was written! The Alienist wasn't written until 1994 as you note:
Sandman#10 came out in 1990/1991! 

        According to the online _Oxford English Dictionary_ 2d. ed., Fiddler's
Green is "a sailor's elysium, in which wine, women, and song figure
prominently."  Citations date back to 1825. In one citation, tailors and
musicians are cantoned (or quartered) in Fiddler's Green.
	Also according to the online OED, Corinthian relates to the Greek city
of Corinth.  It is also one of the three Grecian orders of columns, a type of
brass or bronze, whence also a meaning equivalent to "brassy" or "brazen," as
effrontery, an excessively elegant literary style, an amateur yachtsman, and a
variety of bagatelle.  Further, and probably the meaning most apt here, it
refers to a wealthy or fashionable man, or one who is profligate, idle, or

Page 14:  Annulet is defined on the next page.  Rose is the dream vortex.  The
inference from Lucien's remarks is that most vortices are objects, but that it
is not unknown for them to be human.

Page 16 panel 1:  Unity Kinkaid was first seen in issue #1 as one of the victims
of "Sleepy Sickness". Unity looked like China doll, in the "Doll's
house", with the doll's house in her room, doll of destiny which made
her sleep during almost 70 years, have a child, not knowing a father,
being a tool in Desire's games (note that Desire is just playing, just
like Corinthian on p. 24), at present in nursing home, which other of
doll's houses (side by side with dreaming, Desire's palace, and Abel's
house present just in this issue of the story).

	Panel 4:  One assumes that a genuine doll's house is at least
metaphorically related to the "Doll's House" of the title.

        Panel 6: Don't we have here a word game borne - born?

Page 17, panel 3: In the mirror we have the anticipation of the visit of
three-in-one. Well, witches used to use mirrors for foreseeing the
Page 18, panel 2: Dream dressing the night, as Death would say "Doesn't
it sound cute?!"
Page 19:  The Three-in-One Goddess.  See issue 2.
	Panel 3:  There was a boy named Jed connected with the 1970s Sandman.
The "Kindly Ones" are the Eumenides of Greek mythology, also known as the
Erinyes, and in English as the Furies.  Their names are Tisiphone, Alecto, and
Megaera.  They punish mortals who dare to compare themselves to gods
("hubris").  Aeschylus named the third play of a trilogy _Eumenides_.

Page 20 panel 2:  Jeez, the Three are well-disposed toward Rose.  The crone
aspect spills the beans even though Rose didn't ask the right questions.
	Panel 4:  "Daughter, sister, child" is because of the mother, maiden,
crone symbolism.

Page 21,panel 1: Broom closet, well,well well, who doesn't know that
witches (and Hecate, or three-in-one is their Goddess) use broomsticks
to fly?
Page 22, panel 5-6: Morpheus is watching the scene (dreaming it?) from
the doll's house in the corner of the room, just as Rose was watching
his kingdom's affairs in her dreams.

Page 23, panel 1: Look at the picture and see the dialogue: "Here you
         panel 4,5,6: Here we have Unity symbolically transferring the
	 powers of the vortex to Rose, using annullet (Lucien's
	 words). So here we have a magical ring!

Page 24:  The Corinthian, we learn, is a sick bastard, and is probably about
to kill Davy. We are seeing the world through Corinthian's eyes, as he
takes off his dark glasses (panel 5-7) we can see colours. So I think
that we are lucky that the story is ending just here!   

Contributors include:
	Matt Rollefson (draphsor@deathstar.Stanford.EDU) suggests that the
face on page 3 is the Corinthian.  He and Andrew David Weiland
(aw1s+@andrew.cmu.edu) elucidated "The Kindly Ones."
	Michael Seymour Collins (mcollins@isis.cs.du.edu) explained about
Gatwick and car-parks.
	William Sherman (sherman@oak.math.ucla.edu) found the sideways issues of
	Matt Telles (mattel@auto-trol.com) failed to remember the Bottle Imp and
Something Nasty in the Basement.
	kieran  ransacked the OED for
Fiddler's Green and D. W. James (vnend@phoenix.Princeton.EDU) did the same for
	Ian Taylor (ian@airs.com) identified the Fantastic Four issue.
	Tanaqui C. Weaver (cen@vax.oxford.ac.uk) commented and forwarded some
Neil Gaiman comments on various Endless-related stuff, the Major Arcana, and
the doll on page 10.
        Piotr Kilanowski 
	Simon Cheesman

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root