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The Annotated Sandman Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow Issue 11: "Moving In" Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III Second part of long storyline _The Doll's House_ Fourth story reprinted in trade paperback _The Doll's House_ Page 1 panel 1: First known appearance of Hal Carter, who will appear throughout this storyline. The house is also metaphorically the Doll's House of the storyline title. The similarities between this picture and issue 10, page 22, panel 5-6 (Dream watching from doll's house in Unity's room) struck me. Page 2 panel 2: First known appearance of Ken and Barbie, who will appear throughout this storyline. Barbie, in addition, will be central to a storyline later. Ken and Barbie are the names of extremely popular toy dolls. The couple is deliberately named after them to enhance their cloying cuteness. Panel 3: We will learn shortly that Hal is a transvestite who performs in a drag show. Panel 10: First known appearance of Zelda and Chantal, who will appear throughout this storyline. Page 3 panel 2: Hal's statement brings to mind the movie _Kiss of the Spider Woman_, as well as classic drive-in schlock movies like _Attack of the 50 Foot Woman_. Panel 4: The raven at the window is significant. Page 4: The layout is reminiscent of Winsor McKay's comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland", which is widely regarded as being of the highest quality. Panel 2: The figure on the left is Jed, who we learn is Rose's brother Jed. He is also the Jed who figured prominently in the 1970s Sandman title. The other two figures are Fury and a Sandman, respectively Lyta Trevor and Hector Hall. Fury is the daughter of the Golden Age Fury, and Hector Hall is the son of the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Both were founding members of Infinity Inc, Hall under the name Silver Scarab. Hall died and was taken to a dreamland by Brute and Glob to replace the previous, deceased Sandman. (It didn't make sense in Infinity Inc, either) Fury subsequently joined him there. Fury is pregnant with Hall's child. Panel 8: I do not know of a reference for skooky birds. Page 6 panel 1: "The Addams Family" was an American television show based on the creepy cartoons of Charles Addams. It featured a family of Halloweenish characters. Panel 2: Rose is referring to a movie called _The Stepford Wives_, which was based on a novel of the same name by Ira Levin, who also did _Rosemary's Baby_. The movie dates from the 70s or early 80s. In it, the women of the town of Stepford become "perfect" wives, devoted to house, husband, and children to the exclusion of all considerations of self. It turns out that the men have replaced their wives with robots (although in the sequel, this was retconned to drugging them). It has been described as "a feminist fear film about what men really want." The phrase "Stepford Wife" entered the language for a while, meaning someone who turns their back on individuality to mechanically fulfill societal expectations, the feminist equivalent of an "Uncle Tom." Panel 3-4: We will meet Gilbert later. Gilbert is based upon the author Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton, who was popular in the early third of this century. He wrote a few novels, including the Father Brown mysteries, more short stories, and even more newspaper articles. We would call him a columnist today. He was a convert to Catholicism and quite a fiery figure of his time. He considered that many of the essential truthes are embodied in paradox, and was famous for writing apparent absurdities in his stories that often turned out to be perfectly reasonable. He was a talented writer, in whose works characters are often secondary to the ideas they espouse. The line about the six-foot pencil is from one of Chesterton's essays about lying in bed. This panel is doubtlessly an allusion to opening verse from E.A. Poe's poem "The Raven". Page 7 panel 3: Here we see Hal in his Dolly persona. Hal/dolly's crossdressing is somewhat paralleled by the "hooked 'actresses'" in Men of good fortune (page 11), and both of these sexual confusions are paralleled by Desire's androgyny (who, as you will remember, is behind the whole vortex story arc.) this allusion within allusion resembles Arabian Nights, which I believe was the subject of at least one issue later in the series. Panel 5: The poster actually exists and is for an album, by group The Cure, named _Boys Don't Cry_. It's sort of funny that there's a boy crying, or at least moaning, in front of a poster that says "Boys Don't Cry". I'm guessing that was intentional, particularly as Rose doesn't seem to me the type of person to be a The Cure fan... Page 8 panel 1: I presume that there is a Dolphin Island near Cape Kennedy. Panel 2: Burt Paulsen is presumably Rose's father's name. Page 9 panel 4: The raven that's been hanging around is a creature of Dream, who is observing Rose, the vortex. The raven's name is Matthew. Matthew, when he was alive, was a human named Matt Cable, the former husband of Abigail Arcane Cable Holland, the wife of the Swamp Thing. Matt was a government agent who knew Alec Holland before his death, hounded Swamp Thing, befriended Swamp Thing, obtained the power to materialize his fantasies (thus the link to Dream's realm), became an alcoholic, became possessed by Abby's evil uncle Anton, used his power to send Anton to Hell, and lapsed into a coma as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident. He lay in a coma for several years before eventually pulling his own plug. Panel 6: This is the crux of the matter, why Brute and Glob chose Jed, why we keep seeing the Corinthian: Rose is generating enormous amounts of coincidence, particularly with respect to things associated with Dream. Just imagine how much sense Dickens' absurdities would have made if he had resorted to nebulosities like "vortices" to explain them :-) While it's probably not very significant, Chesterton was a Dickens scholar. Page 10 panel 3: A limitation on Dream's power is that he must see Jed to find him in Dreamtime. Page 11 panel 1: _Hello Dolly_ is a famous musical, and Dorothy Lamour a famous actress. "L'amour" is French for "love." Panel 2: Rose is singing a song, presumably from the drag show she has just seen. The song is "Oh, You Beautiful Doll." Lyrics by Seymour Brown, music by Nat Ayer. Jerome Remick & Co., 1911. Page 12 panel 2: Gilbert's appearance in this panel is a swipe from Gene Colan, and specifically from Silverblade. The historical Gilbert, Chesterton, wore a cape and carried a cane. Page 13: We meet Gilbert at last. In particular, notice his response to Rose's question about his name. Page 16-17: This is a double page spread. The song in the background is the same song from page 11. Page 19-20: We find confirmed that the Corinthian is a killer, and that he *yuck* likes to eat eyes. Note that he seems to be talking and eating simultaneously, which is a hint of sorts. Page 19 panel 1: The yellowhammer is the state bird of Alabama, and one of the state's nicknames is "Yellowhammer State." Panel 2: "Nimrod" was a Biblical hunter. Page 21 panel 5: "Ancient, but serviceable, revolver" sounds vaguely familiar. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective hero Sherlock Holmes often asked his companion Dr. John Watson to bring a revolver on their adventures, and Conan Doyle may have used this phrasing. It may also be from Chesterton's novel "Manalive", in which a gun plays a pivotal role. Page 22 panel 5: Did Dr. Lobster appear anywhere before? Page 24: Dream is donning his battle raiment. Specifically, the helmet possesses a great deal of (unspecified) power. Presumably, Dream also is carrying his pouch of sand. 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© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root