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The Annotated Sandman Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow Issue 37: "I Woke Up and One of Us Was Crying." Neil Gaiman and Shawn McManus Sixth part of storyline _A Game of You_ Not yet reprinted in any other form Title: _A Game of You_ clearly refers to the question of identity. Who and what the characters in this story are is a question either to the readers or to the character him, her, or itself, and that is the most important theme the reader should keep in mind when reading this story. The chapters of this storyline have titles taken from songs. "I Woke Up and One of Us Was Crying." is taken from Elvis Costello's song "I Want You" (unconfirmed title), from the album _Blood and Chocolate_. The next line of the song is significant: ``I said `Young man, I do believe you're dying.' '' Page 1 panel 1: Greyhound is an American passenger bus company. We find out later that Barbie is in Kansas, which is about 1600 miles from New York. Page 2 panel 4: Thessaly thinks to compare her power to Dream's? The Greeks wrote plays about those who dared to compared themselves to gods, and even invented a word for this: hubris. The plays, incidentally, were all tragedies. Page 2 panel 5-page 3 panel 1: The web of coincidence. Rose was a dream vortex, and evidently her one display of power, in _The Doll's House_, somehow helped restrain the Cuckoo, probably by causing Barbie to stop visiting the skerry. Page 3 panel 2: "Small world." A visual pun. Page 4 panel 5: The woman for whom the skerry was created was Alianora, as seen last issue. It has since been revealed that Dream loved Alianora, once upon a time, and the consequences of this were probably what necessitated the compromise which Dream refers to. Page 6 panel 2: The Dorothy Option is a reference to _The Wizard of Oz_; probably more directly to the movie than the book. In the movie, Dorothy is returned home safely; her sojourn to Oz was that greatest of cliches, Just A Dream. The irony in this option is obvious; recall also that Dorothy was from Kansas, where Barbie is in the present time of this story. We may also note that Barbie's trip to the Land while a hurricane battered New York echoes Dorothy's trip to Oz in a tornado. Further, the movie version is often used as a source for campy quotes. The movie's star, Judy Garland, is a role model for many transvestite men, and the Emerald City, a location in the film, is a gay slang name for San Francisco. Page 8 panel 3: This indicates that Barbie will begin dreaming again, more normally, one presumes, and in the greater Dreaming rather than a skerry. Panel 4: As mentioned earlier, Foxglove, Hazel, and Thessaly form a maiden-mother-crone triune. This was evident in _Sandman_ #34, which is in some ways a parallel to this chapter. Panel 5-6: When this issue appeared, Gaiman asked, on the GEnie forum, whether readers would be interested in seeing Thessaly again. The sparks between them, in this exchange and elsewhere, have let to some speculation that Thessaly was the unknown romance mentioned in recent _Sandman_ issues. Page 9 panel 1: Note the seam on Barbie's stockings, which were not obviously present in page 1 panel 1. It is possible that she has drawn them on, much as she did the veil. During World War II, many women drew their stocking seams with eyeliner pencil, due to a shortage of nylon. Panel 5: Thessaly sounds like she predates both the classical and heroic Greek periods. In that case, her participation in the rites of the Thessalian witches may have less to do with her character than it appears. Page 10 panel 3: You meet simply the highest quality of people in diners. Page 11 panel 4: Note that Ezekiel was a Biblical prophet. People named after such tend to be from a Bible-thumping fundamentalist tradition--a tradition that brands people like Wanda as sinners. Panel 5: I can guarantee that Kansas has not seen any hurricanes since the Niobrara sea dried up about a hundred million years ago. On the other hand, the American Great Plains breed tornados ("twisters") like rabbits. It was such a tornado that bore Dorothy away to the Land of Oz. Panel 7: Note the heavy-handed irony in Alvin's last name. Additionally, "Mr. Man" is common gay parlance used to address someone who is being over-assertive or butch. Page 12 panel 8: "Mean Lisa": possibly derived from the famous painting "Mona Lisa". Panel 9: First Amendment: The First Amendment to the USA Constitution guarantees the freedom of the press. Its use here, however, is questionable. Page 13 panel 1: The US Army now calls body bags "human remains pouches", because it provides less of a sound bite. Panel 7: The slug is, by implication, the tongue of George, which was animated by Thessaly's spell. The slug's present location is unknown. Panel 9: This confirms Scarlett's position as landlord. Page 14 panel 2: AIDS, in the USA, was originally mostly restricted to the male homosexual community. This engendered a repulsive attitude on the part of the small-minded that AIDS was a punishment for deviants. Page 17 panel 4: The quote is from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:6-7. Verse eight is ironic in context: `` `Vanity of vanities', says the preacher, `all is vanity.' '' Panel 5: "Is identity that fragile?" Say, that wouldn't have anything to do with the theme, would it? Page 18 panel 2: Caleb is another good Hell-fearing Biblical name. The quote indicates that incorrect behavior will be punished, and also reflects the literal manner of Wanda's death. Panel 4: Salina, Goodland, and Aurora are Kansas cities, and Florissant is nearby in SW Missouri. Cloverdale and Boonville are two small towns in Indiana. Mulberry Grove is unidentified at this time. However, if Gaiman was referring to these, that bus must have travelled like a drunken snake! Cloverdale is in Putnam County and Boonville is in Warrick county and about 100-150 miles separate the two (I do not have a map to refer to). Boonville is quite nice, I think. Page 19 panel 2-4: One is invited to reflect upon Barbie's idea while recalling the Land, and the Game of You. Page 20 panel 1: While there were no actual Bizarro comics, it is quite probable that DC published an 80-page giant featuring reprints of Superman's encounters with Bizarros. Note the upper left corner of the comic, indicating that it was published by "GC" comics; the logo is reminiscent of the actual logo DC used during the 1960s, when the 80-page giants were published. Also note the upper right picture, of a Scotty with a cape; Superman had a pet dog, although Krypto wasn't a Scotty. Panel 2-3: Barbie's experience was with an extreme example of a comic book store, but there are many stores that could use cleaning, whose staffs could use training, and which could be made less actively anti-feminine. Page 23 panel 2: There is an old series of children's books by Howard R. Garis, featuring an Uncle Wiggily character, an anthropomorphic rabbit. However, I suspect that the Mr. Wiggly that the disturbed person is referring to is something else entirely. Panel 4: More Oz parallels. My memory may be faulty, but the dress that Wanda is wearing doesn't look like what Glinda wore in the movie version, but Glinda (as played by Billie Burke) has red hair. Panel 5: The woman with Wanda is Death, of course. Where does Barbie get the image? Well, Dream could be providing it for her, but it's more likely that Barbie is remembering; after all, we all meet Death twice, once when we are born, and once when we die. We just usually don't remember the first time. Page 24 panel 4: Barbie seems to do an awful lots of talking in the writer's voice in this issue. Release history: Version 1.0 released 1 Nov 92 Version 2.0 released 15 Feb 93 Contributors include: Neil Gaiman pointed out the visual pun on page 3. William Sherman
corrected a typo, pointed out a number of Oz parallels, noted gay slang, corrected Uncle Wiggily's name, and rationalized Wanda's dream appearance. Glenn Alan Carnagey worships the First Amendment, identified the biblical quote, and identified many Kansan locations. Michael Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org) corrected a typo. David Goldfarb (email@example.com) also corrected Uncle Wiggily's name and identified the Eccl. quote. Colonel Sicherman (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided important bibliographic information about Uncle Wiggily. See Appendix. Tanaqui C. Weaver (email@example.com) identified the title quote. Appendix: Uncle Wiggily From "Uncle Wiggily and the Hoe", _Uncle Wiggily on a Farm_, by Howard R. Garis, published by A.L. Burt, 1918: "Do you want me to go to the store for you or do anything like that?" asked Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, as he waved his whiskers in a good-by to Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy, his muskrat lady housekeeper, one morning. He was just going down the front steps of his hollow stump farm house. "Do you want anything, Nurse Jane?" "Where are you going?" she asked. "Over to my farm bean-patch to hoe up the dirt around the vines into little hills." "Are the beans going to slide down hill?" the muskrat lady wanted to know. "Ha! Ha!" laughed Uncle Wiggily. "The beans slide down hill! Ho! Ho! That's pretty good. No, beans don't do that, Janie. But I must hoe the dirt into little hills around the vines so the beans will grow big and strong. With the dirt hoed into little hills the roots of the beans will be better covered. But do you want anything?" "Well, if you get time you might go to the five and ten cent store and bring me a spool of thread," said Nurse Jane. The Colonel concludes: I'm going to break off at this point, before the bad old tail-pulling monkey appears in the story. There is also an Uncle Wiggily board game, which has been around for at least 60 years and is still to be found in toy stores, much reduced in complexity (and interest) from its original form.
© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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