Home | Comics | wishlist | Impressum | Datenschutzerklärung | 54.80.140.29



                         The Annotated Sandman

               Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow

                                Issue 22
            Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones, and Malcolm Jones III

                       Season of Mists Chapter 1

             In which the Lord of Dreams makes preparations
                      to visit the realms infernal;
                          farewells are said;
                           a toast is drunk;
                     and in Hell the adversary makes
                     certain preparations of his own.

                  Not yet reprinted in any other form

General:  In the subtitle, "the adversary" is a translation of "Satan", a usual
appellation for the ruler of Hell.

Title:  The title of _Season of Mists_ comes from John Keats' "To
Autumn":

	Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
	      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
	Conspiring with him how to load and bless
	      With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run.

Cover:  Note the extensive use of Latin text and Old German text in the
composition of the cover.  Anyone care to take a crack at them?

Page 1 panel 1:  Avernus is a volcanic crater lake near Naples, Italy; it is
mythologically the entrance to Hades.   Gehenna is Hebrew for "valley of
Hinnom", where sacrifices to Moloch (a non-Jewish deity) were made
(II Kings 23:10). It has become identified with any place of extreme suffering.
Hades is from Greek mythology, being either the realm of the dead, or the god
ruling that realm. Tartarus is a sunless abyss (recall the Sunless Lands from
an earlier issue?) below Hades where Zeus imprisoned the Titans. Abaddon is
from a Hebrew word meaning destruction, and is identified with the depths of
Hell and the destroying angel of the bottomless pit of Rev 9:11. Sheol is the
Hebraic afterlife, the concept of consciousness after death actually arising
quite late in Jewish theology.  We will also note that inferno is simply Latin
for hell; and that Dante Alighieri's _Inferno_ has served as a source for much
of Gaiman's vision of Hell.
	Note the columns belching forth smoke and flame, resembling mills and
factories.  An anti-industrial symbol?
	Panel 2:  Revisionists and apologists have often speculated that the
dead were held in Hell only by their own desire for punishment.

Page 2 panel 1f:  The Library of Unwritten Stories.  Psmith and Jeeves were
favorite characters of comedy of manners author P.G. Wodehouse.  Highly
recommended farce.  Raymond Chandler is a well-known American detective fiction
author, one of the creators of the hard-boiled detective archetype.  Lord
Dunsany helped create the fantasy genre in the early part of this century.
Erasmus Fry is a fictional writer created by Gaiman in _Sandman_ #17.  Charles
Dickens was a 19th century populist fiction writer; _The Mystery of Edwin
Drood_ was an unfinished work of his.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a late
19th-early 20th century writer whose creation Sherlock Holmes is listed by
Harlan Ellison  as one of the five fictional characters known to every person
on the planet (The others being Tarzan, Robin Hood, Superman, and Mickey
Mouse). 
Holmes, by the way, has appeared in the DCU universe from time to time.
He appeared before the Crisis in Action Comics#283, Joker#6, and Sherlock 
Holmes#1. After the Crisis, he appeared in Detective Comics#572 and 
Eclipso#7-8.
Conan Doyle virtually invented the "consulting detective" archetype.
James  Branch Cabell was another early fantasist; Poictesme was his creation.
G.K. Chesterton was a colorful author of the early 20th century; Fiddler's
Green took his form in _The Doll's House_.  Chesteron wrote a book entitled
_The Man Who Was Thursday_, and left unfinished _The Man Who Was October_.  He
also contributed to the forming of the mystery genre with his  amateur
detective Father Brown.  J.R.R. Tolkien elevated the fairy tale (or  "high
fantasy") to literature with his _Hobbit_ and _Lord of the Rings_ books.  _The
Lost Road_ was an abandoned time travel story which would have linked his
fictional world with our day and age, complementing C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy.
Lewis Carroll (a pen name for Charles Dodgson) wrote _Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland_ and _Through the Looking Glass_; Lucien is replacing _Alice's
Journey Behind the Moon_.
	I like to think that Lucien's record collection includes _Traveling
Wilburys Volume Two_ with both Roy Orbison and Del Shannon.
	See the Appendix for more background on the works in the Library.

	Panel 5-6:  "The Raven" was a poem by author Edgar Allan Poe, who
almost singlehandedly created both mystery and the modern horror genre.  It's
central characters were an author and a raven who quoth "Nevermore" rather
often.  The movie _The Raven_, referred to here, is a camp classic featuring a
duel between wizards Vincent Price and Boris Karloff, with Peter Lorre playing
a sort of inept sidekick who is out for his own interests throughout the movie
and ends up being turned into a raven.  The movie also features a very young
Jack Nicholson in a minor role.

Page 3 panel 2:  Foreshadowing; at least it was obvious to me.
	Panel 4:  The Fashion Thing?  In a Zatanna-esque costume?

Page 5:  This is a recap of _Sandman_ #9.

Page 6:  This is a recap of _Sandman_ #4.

Page 7 panel 1:  Interesting information on the nature of the Endless.
       panel 4:  This guy is Abudah. He also appears as Mervyn's sidekick
                 in issue 60, pp. 21-23 

Page 8 panel 3:  Neil Gaiman has said that the raven companions of Dream dwell
in Eve's cave.
	Panel 4:  In reference to the events of _Swamp Thing_ ##27-30 and Annual
#2, in which Matthew's mortal self made a deal with evil sorceror Anton Arcane.
	Panel 5:  Samael ("Poison Angel") was the principal angel of death in
medieval Jewish folklore, where he is under the control of God.  Many alternate
spellings exist.  In the Targum, an Aramaic paraphrasing/translation of the Old
Testament, Samael is identified with Lucifer, According to "Man Myth and Magic: 
an illustrated encylcopedia of mythology religon and the unknown", Samael was 
"incorrectly identified with Lucifer.".  Robert Graves, a British poet,
classicist, and translator, and much-admired writer of several works of and
about myth and historical novels such as _I, Claudius_, translates Samael as
"Venom of God".  Hebrew myth calls Samael "Chief of all Satans" ("Satan" =
"Adversary") and "the greatest prince in heaven".
	Gustav Davidson's _A Dictionary of Angels_, 1967, also referencing
Francis Barrett's _The Magus_, 1801, and S.L.Mather's _The Greater Key of
Solomon_, 1889, breaks "Samael" down into /sam/ "poison" and /-el/ "angel".
In Rabbinic literature, Samael is chief of the Satans and the angel of death.
	Glenn Carnagey, however, claims that "Samael" comes from the active
participle of "shamah", "be high, lofty", affixed with /-el/ "god", and notes
that the Hebrew word for angel is "malach".  The /sh/ phoneme has shifted to an
/s/ articulation, as with Shatan -> Satan.
	Gnostic myths, however, have Samael as the "Blind God", a different
Yahweh who made this flawed creation.  This Samael may also be seen in the
later work of Philip K. Dick, the late author of such notable science fiction
works as _Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_, later to be filmed as _Blade
Runner_.
	Panel 8:  Certainly, the rulers of realms exchange messengers to
announce their visits.

Page 9 panel 1:  An angel named Alcin is one of the guards stationed at the
gates of the West Wind.  This may be the same being, after the Fall.
	Panel 3:  The half-faced woman, who is named in the next issue, says
"Shut up, scum.  Speak when you are spoken to.  Get down on your knees."
	Panel 6:  In Judeo-Christian mythology, Cain was the first born of the
first two people; he committed the second sin of the world by murdering his
younger brother (Abel, whom we've seen before).  Satan is regarded as the
causative force behind sin in this mythology.

Page 10 panel 4:  "Eat his face..."
	Panel 6f:  This is from Genesis 4:15-16, King James translation, and
tells of Cain's punishment by the Creator.
	Panel 9:  "But my lord Lucifer"; this creature has teeth, so should be
able to make "l" sounds with no difficulty.  In general, though, labial sounds
like "m" have been shifted back in the mouth, since the creature has a problem
with its lips.
I  think the reason she can't say an 'L' sound is because 
she has no tongue.
Or at least not a whole toungue. Also, Gaiman seems to imagine most of these
characters with English accents, so then the sound she might be making instead
of "er" would be more like "uh". (probably why it's spelled "Ruszcivah" instead 
of "Ruszciver"). He might be intending it to sound more like "Uszcivah".

Page 11 Panel 1-3:  No direct confirmation of Lucifer's story.  Gnostics
included several early heretical Christian sects (possibly the Mandaeic sect)
who believed that Christ had no material form.  The obvious conclusion to be
drawn from panel 3 is that it's not what faith you espouse that determines
where you go when you die, which is in direct contradiction to most major
faiths' tenets as preached to the living.

Page 12 panel 1-2:  These are Lyta Hall and her son; Carla is a new character.
We last saw Lyta and the child in _Sandman_ #12, q.v.  It is worth noting that
Daniel is linked not only to Dream by his gestation, but also to the Triple
Goddess through his grandmother, who was bound to the Furies by an agreement
made in World War II that granted her superpowers with which to fight the
Nazis.  Lyta inherited those powers.

Page 14 panel 4:  I believe the Biblical Daniel was known for interpreting
dreams.  In Hebrew, it means "The Lord is my judge."

Page 15 panel 3:  The father's quote is from the movie _The Wizard of Oz_.
The name Cecilie Latour refers to the Château Latour wine estate in
France, widely considered amongst the best winemakers in the world,
and certainly amongst the most expensive. The name Château Latour
itself has nothing to do with any family named Latour, but rather
refers to La Tour de Saint-Lambert, a tower (tour in French) on the
estate. Alexandre de Ségur, one of a long line of owners, bought
Château Lafite as well in 1716. Wines from both châteaux of especially
early-mid 19th century vintage are highly sought-after. Dream
certainly seems something of a connoisseur. (noted by Felix Pringle)

Page 16 panel 2f:  This is Hob Gadling, from _Sandman_ #13.  Queen Elizabeth I
(Queen Bess) quotes from a common version of the tale of Roger Bacon's
mechanical head.  Supposedly, Bacon built a mechanical head, but could not get
it to speak.  He went to sleep, but instructed his apprentice to wake him if
the head began to speak.  After some time, the head spoke, and said "Time is",
but the apprentice was too afraid of his master to dare to wake him.  A second
time, the head spoke, saying "Time was", and again the apprentice feared to
disturb his master's slumber.  Finally, the head said "Time's past", then
exploded, and with this, the apprentice woke his master, but the head could not
be repaired and never spoke again.  What punishments Bacon inflicted upon his
apprentice are lost along with the slaggard's name.
	Note that Hob dreams of himself with a beard but is actually
clean-shaven.
	Panel 6:  Lafite-Rothschild is a large winery in the Medoc region of
southern France, a bit north of Bordeaux and near the Atlantic.  Each year it
produces about 800 barrels of what is described as "fabulously expensive wine"
by the _World Atlas of Wine_, an oenologist's standard reference work.  The
wine is considered to be a Bordeaux.  The significance of the 1828 vintage is
unknown.

Page 18 panel 1:  Neil Gaiman says: "Hob Gadling's toast is original (although
I suspect I had Ambrose and Nathaniel's pledge from Hope Mirlees' novel
_Lud in the Mist_ in the back of my head somewhere when I wrote it; the
rhythms are similar)."  See the appendix for a commentary on Mirlees.
	Panel 7:  The bottle probably wasn't there before the dream (see page
16 panel 1, but our view is at least partially obscured by the sleeping
bodies).

Page 19 panel 2:  This refers to events in the first several issues of _The
Demon_, the newest version of that title.  The "little yellow rhymer" is
Etrigan, the lead character of that book.
	Panel 3f:  Originally, the trinity consisted of Lucifer, Azazel, and
Beelzebub; Azazel was replaced by Belial; then Etrigan's coalition deposed all
three.  Lucifer is saying here that he was never forced to share power, that he
merely couldn't be bothered to put down the rebels.
	It is perhaps important to note that DC's Hell has no set continuity at
this moment.  _The Demon_, at least, has stayed out of Hell since _Season of
Mists_ concluded, but a major plot device in _Hellblazer_ depends on the
triumvirate being intact and stable.
	It is not known if Gaiman likes sharing Hell with other authors
(particularly Alan Grant of _The Demon_, whose vision of Hell is primarily
humorous, and even includes room for "Stanley and His Monster"), but given
the hissy Gaiman allegedly threw over Death's unauthorized appearance in
_Captain Atom_, it's a fair bet that he'd prefer to have "first refusal"
rights on any story dealing with demesnes that figure in _Sandman_.

Page 20 panel 1f:  A quote from Milton's _Paradise Lost_.  Milton was blind for
most of his writing career, forced to dictate his works to a secretary.

Page 21 panel 6:  This is Nada.

Page 22 panel 3: Lucifer *did *actually hurt Cain. (Flying over Hell
being held by one's hair is surely painful.) God's mark forbade
*killing* Cain, not harming him. Cain's remark about Satan's disregard
for the mark is easily explained by Cain's belief that his death (by
falling) was imminently possible, if not likely. (noted by Justin)

Contributors include:
	Dennis c hwang , David Goldfarb
(goldfarb@ocf.berkeley.edu), Tom White (twhite@mozart.amd.com), and Michael
Bowman (mbowman@andromeda.rutgers.edu) corrected my memory of Poe's title for
that darned bird poem.  Dennis added some information on the movie.  Michael and
David named the title of the GK Chesterton work, and Michael added some
information on Tolkien's unfinished book.  Michael also tentatively identified
Alchino.
	Michael also identified Robert Graves and corrected a Dickens mistake.
	Max Rible (rible@vorpal.ucsb.ed) quoted Keats as a possible source for
"Season of Mists".
	Tanaqui C. Weaver (cen@vax.oxford.ac.uk) passed on Gaiman's view of
Hob's quote and herself added a historical note about Chesterton and an opinion
of wine.
	Jim W Lai (jwtlai@watcgl.waterloo.edu) doesn't think Hob's wine was
there when we first saw him.
        Jim, Michael, Pete Hartman (pwh@bradley.bradley.edu), and Eric Rescorla
(rescorla@rtnmr.chem.yale.edu) gave various and sundry sources for Samael.
	David R. "The Orb" Henry  corrected my
crassness.
	Mike Chary  corrects my Jewish theology,
identifies Robert Graves, speculated about Gnostic sects, brought in the
Demon, and interpreted Cain's distress as due to Lucifer's lack of respect for
the Creator and by extension Dream.
	Ian Lance Taylor (ian@airs.com) looked up the wine and noted Hob's
beard.
	Joel Tscherne (ac985@cleveland.freenet.edu) tracked down a Biblical
reference.
	Dave Stobbe  passed on a reference to Keats
from Compu$erve's William Sargent (100010,612) that duplicated Max Rible's
effort.
	Scott Martin <92rsm@williams.edu>, who also wrote the Appendix, caught
the dark mills of Hell, and divulged details of Daniel Trevor-Hall's spiritual
ancestry.  He also pointed out Dave McKean's textual inclusion on the cover.
	Francis A Uy  hit the texts for information on Jewish
and Christian mythology, and Glenn Alan Carnagey Jr 
followed up on his lead.
	Colonel G.L. Sicherman  explained the Queen Bess
quote and displayed oenological knowledge, which sounds like something he
should be cited for, and is!

Appendix:  Early Fantasists

	Scott Martin <92rsm@williams.edu>, who qualifies as a bonafide expert
on early fantasy,  includes a long commentary on _Lud in the Mist_ and Lucien's
Library which I append intact:

*LUD-IN-THE-MIST by Hope Mirrlees was written around the same time that
Cabell and Dunsany were writing; the book concerns Golden Apples from
Fairyland that float into the bourgeois, vaguely Welsh (but vaguely Flemish,
too) town of Lud-in-the-Mist.  Thereupon the Story Hinges.  I remember
the toast very vaguely (I'll have access to my copy again in a few weeks
and will post more fully then...), but I think you're right on in insisting
that "Season of Mists" as a title derives much more from the poem than the
title of this little-known but BEAUTIFUL novel.  [Editor's note:  Scott's
comment stems from an early misperception on my part of the relationship
between Keats, the title of the story, and the toast.]  In fact, the New York
Times review of Books of Magic #1 includes a comparison of another fantasy
work (I've temporarily forgotten which) to the Mirrlees.
	LUD-IN-THE-MIST was, I believe, most recently published in the
Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in March 1970.  It is likely that this is
the edition that Gaiman himself is familiar with:  Ballantine Adult Fantasy
also included editions of Dunsany, Cabell, and Chesterton's MAN WHO WAS
THURSDAY.

*On Lucien's Library:  GOD!  I would kill to read the Dunsany, Cabell, or
Chesterton.  It is likely (but not certain) that POICTESME BABYLON is the
never-written capstone of Cabell's 26 volume (!!!) epic of the descendants
of Don Manuel, "mythical" hero and ruler of medieval POICTESME (wherein
was set the controversial JURGEN, the second-biggest "obscenity" of the
1920s literary world).  This epic "the Biography of Don Manuel," extends
from mythic/medieval Poictesme (a "county" of France, from which Clark
Ashton Smith derived his "Averoigne") to 1920s Lichfield, Virginia, with
side tours into Faerie, other realms, and a wide range of Heavens and Hells.
POICTESME BABYLON must be the unhoped-for climax of the Biography in which
everything finally comes together and Cabell's (insanely) complex philosophy
finally resolves.  (Incidentally, "Horvendille" from Sandman#2 is not
"just" a demiurge...I'll post later, but for now let me say that he is NOT
from Dunsany...if so, I've never heard of the reference, and Lin Carter
writes in the intro to Cabell's THE CREAM OF THE JEST that his name
"derives ultimately from SAXO GRAMMATICUS".  Horvendille's a complicated
guy:  he's demiurge and also a daydreamer in Lichfield, and, not insig-
nificantly, Don Manuel also was a pigherder)
	The Dunsany...!  Dunsany, incidentally, was Lovecraft's hero,
from whence came the early Lovecraft stories and DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN
KADATH.  I think he would have preferred being referred to as "Irish" rahter
than "British"; Yeats and the rest of the "Celtic Twilight" crowd adored him.
Judging from his Earthly output, THE DARK GOD'S DARLINGS would have been
that pearl beyond price for Dunsany fans, a full novel set in Dunsany's
world of Pegana (as detailed in THE BOOK OF WONDER et c.).  The title does
not sound like Dunsany's style for naming his books of short stories (he
wrote comparatively few novels), but it also sounds too dark and fatalistic
for it to be at all similar to his later novel-length fantasies, most of
which are set in a sort of "Orlando Furioso" Spain.
	As for the Chesterton, I can hardly imagine a MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
with five extra characters.  Do you know THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY?  It's
about a poet who is drafted by a top secret Poetry Division of an INTERPOL
like organization to infiltrate a Europe-spanning Anarchist Conspiracy.
The seven members of the Anarchist Council are identified by a day of the
week; thus, our poet hero is "Thursday."  The rest is transcendence....
(oh, BTW, in #14, "Gilbert's" story is not original to the "real"
Chesterton but seems to derive instead from Robert Darnton's THE GREAT
CAT MASSACRE)

© 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 09. Dec 2011 by root