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A Midsummer Night's Dream by Neil Gaiman (Preview)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Preview for our first ever bonus episode of Unseen Academicals, covering issue 19 of Neil Gaiman's comic series The Sandman: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1991). We compare Gaiman's treatment of Shakespeare's titular play to that of Pratchett's Lords and Ladies (1992), while examining the history of Shakespeare in comics and fairy illustration, the Faerie connections to the underworld, Faustian bargains, the history of Puck and his "reverse Pandora," Tolkien's opinions on fantasy and drama, as well as the origins of drag and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and more!

Unock the full episode at: https://www.patreon.com/doctorprometheuspod 

Episode Transcripts and Bibliographies: https://monash.academia.edu/JoshuaBulleid/Podcasts  

Contact: unseenacademicalspod@gmail.com  

Alice's other podcast, Of the Devil's Party: https://ofthedevilsparty.sounder.fm/

A Doctor Prometheus podcast. 

Hey. So you should remember that in the loads and ladies episodes we mentioned we were going to do a bonus episode about the midsummer night's dream issue. I've Neil GAIMAN'S SANDMAN comic series. What you're about to hear is the first half an hour or so of that. The whole episode is about two hours long. It's been up on the Patreon page over at Patreoncom Dr Prometheus Pod for a couple of weeks now and if you want to hear the rest of it, then you know what to do. You go over there and sign up and you can get this and you can also get we mentioned in this episode that els is intending on reading the rest of the Samn series, so I suggested maybe we could catch up with her and see how she's feeling as she goes through it. So I've literally just uploaded the first part of that, which I'm calling Sandman some nations, in which we go through the first nine issues the master of dreams Arcs and see how else feels about those. You'll hear from this preview, which goes through some of the backgrounds about the sad man series in the midsumer stream issue, as well as our feelings about neal gaming in general and a lot of discussion of his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the novel good Ourman's which we will be doing a main unseen academicals episode on after we do the death books, which in Xo, once we finished up the witches series and do the death books, I'm going to do a couple of the miscellaneous and prediscode novels and in there I'm intending to do good omens as well. Although we have some reservations about Gavan's other work, we're both pretty positive about the sad man. So or if you want to read along and revisit those or just hear what else and I have to say about them, you can go to the patreon page and check out those again. That's Patreoncom Dr Prometheus pod all spelled out. So, Dar Ceto, are there should be a link in the description anyway. And I realized that, I think our newest patreon Dan in the preview for the Lords and ladies episode. That's now being replace with the full part two. So I want to take a moment again to thank Dante support. Unlike the other previews, we put up the full episode of this one will not be hitting the public feed. You can only get this by going to Patreon. So if you want to be cool like Dan, you can go over there and sign up and here the rest of this episode and all the other baronus material that we end up putting up there, as well as getting all our regular episodes well in...

...advance. Thanks again for your support and I hope you enjoy the shore. Let's get ready to podcast. WHAT'S DASK? Weel, it's Daskworld podcast analysis. Yeah, so on, Josh and I'm alyss and where the unseen academicals? How you got anything more than that? I just say yeah, but I do that every week. So yeah, yeah, that's part of the intro. All right, you go. Um. Yeah. So this is going to be our first Baroness Patreon episode. We're going to be talking about issue nineteen of Neil game and Sandman comic series, which, I'm adamant is not a graphic novel. Will get to that, but yes, issue nine of the Samni mid someone night's Drea from one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Wearing, Shakespeare and his troop of actors debut the titular play before an audience of fairies in exchange for dreams inspiration. I'm going to put a tax on titular from this point out. I'll figure out what it is and I'll get back to you. I have started using eponymous more because I did realize, like it is just kind of sexist. I just hate the word. No, I just think it's funny when you got like a you know, you would describe what's her name, Titania, as the titular fairy queen. I'm like Haha, then I'm like, oh wait, it's the Patriarchy your yeah, I think it crept through well, so you get more a literation with eponymus so found sir. Yes, but first, beyond this and laws and ladies, being adaptations and revisions of mid someone nights dream. You might be asking why we're talking about beyond game and not Terry Pratchett, because Protchett and gaming they're like literally literary Book Buddies. Yeah, good, good friends. All I can think now is other literary best buddies, or or else we got. Who Are you? I'm thinking like Percy, Percy, shelley and love, Byron, Shelley and Byron, Jonathan, friends and and the first...

...of walls who's his buddy does and friends. And Yeah, Ranson's kind of later, isn't he? Yeah, for sure that buds. Okay, all swear, but Bob Buddies. That's true. I think Philip K Dick and Rogers Lasnie we're pretty close. So I got wall now as well. I mean we haven't mentioned this before. That game and I'm Pratchett. We're part of the same sort of conference group of fantasy writers and fans that would go to conferences together with Mary Gentle who wrote the K book months so that was the the lovecraft society or whatever it was called. Yeah, so they were part of the same conference group and project was actually Gamen's first interview in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five. Interviewed him about the color of magic and that's how they met and they sort of hit it off and band became friends from there. And game and begins his forward to Pratchet's two thousand and fifteen nonfiction collection, a slip of the keyboard, by recalling a Texas convention handler who referred to Pratchett as a Jolly Old Elf, going on to tell of Pratchett's driving. I A driving anger as and he was driven by his anger. And concluding the Pratchett was not a jolly old Alph at all, not even close. He was so much more than that. I will say that that's a good epithet if you're going to have one. I mean this. This tells me that Pratchett's Gat sorry game is not really vibing with Pratchett's take on the else, because pratchett would say else aren't jolly and Alps are driven by a drive and anger. So Pratchett is quite Alf esque. You're right. HMM. Conversely, in his two thousand and two books, Book Scorn Convention Address. I don't know if that's how you say it, but some kind of book convention. Two Thousand and two books are in convention address. Project described Gayman as neither a genius nor a wizard, but a Condra, who you considered better than wizards and geniuses, since conjra is work very hard and can't just wave their hands. Gay Practice getting compared to elves, as that's sort of playing them. His thing. This is going to like the witches and wizzers thing. GAMAN's are real. He sort of like the witches who do the practical magic. Yeah, know how the spells work and work hard rather than just being these wizards who go quantum. Thought that was interesting there. Yes, Pratchett says conjurras like game and spend a lot of time in their youth watching very carefully the best conjurors of their day. Ay, they seek out old books of trickery and, being natural conjurors, read everything...

...else as well, because history itself is just a magic show. I mean, yes, but also come up well. I pointed that out because history itself being a magic show sort of ties into the themes of this comment, as we're going to get to, but also because I think game and paid very close attention to what Progett was doing and I sought to reproduce it a lot of the time, even though this issue, which adapts mid someone ars dream, does come out a year before Lords and ladies. So this is one of the occasions where game does actually pre empty Pratchett, or at least beat him to the publisher. I assumed they're writing these books around the same time. They're probably hanging out talking about the same ideas and then they go away and do them, because this is also just after they've collaborated on good omens, which we are going to do as part of the main show at some point, I think after the death series. But we're not talking about today. Okay, all right, we're talking about mid someone I strain now. We're going to do a whole episode on that. It's gonna be a whole thing. Did you have anything just like it? Well, we can do we go a little bit of a Preev. Yeah, I read it a while back and I was like, I saw, didn't really like it the first time I read it because to me it was sort of a the third like this small God's by a Pratchett and American gods by Neil Gamer and then there's this and they're all sort of playing with the same ideas and was sort of the third rehash of the same ideas by the same authors. I wasn't really into it. Yeah, recently reread it this time after I went through reread all Pratchett's books and I really liked it. It's way better than I remembered it. There's a lot going on there. Yeah, I read it as a teenager. Love to reread it as like twenty something year old and was like UF, this is rubbish, and then re read it again when the show came out. Actually, this is amazing, but by then I was so deep into dark hero stuff that I had a whole new lease on it. Well, that's what I was also. I was reading it going Alice, this is Alice, that's Alice. And have you seen the TV show yet? No, I saw a bit. Maddie watched it and I'd subducted in an out. I cannot stand David tennant so interesting, but I will. I will revisit it when we do come to doing that's fun. It's not great, it's fun. I think that's the thing. The book is fun to read. When you translate it to a TV show, it's not for everything everyone thinks it's going to be. I think everyone thinks it's going to be a you know, a direct translation. It will be always be just as good. But actually I think this story works better as...

...a book, whereas there are some books that work better as a TV show. Like freaking normal people, man, it was only good as a TV show. Never read the book, anyone? Okay, yeah, I just reread that the other week. And this leads us into well, how do we feel about gaming in general? Right, because he's like a big deal in literary studies, like Contemporary Literary Studies, especially with the fantasy. Literally, like he's the Guy I'm so clearly we worship at the altar of new gaming. Right. I don't know if worship is the right idea. I glanced at it occasionally. Appreciate that it's a nice altar and that I look at other old those that are better and should be given more attention. I did see him last year and got sucked in a little bit and then I was like in the flesh, in the flesh. I went to the bush fire concert organized by him and Amanda Palmer and Missy Higgins. was meant to be here there, but that odd. I would probably like that on fire if I was there. Shit, it was fine, but I did. Yeah, I don't know, I'd had a weird feeling. Knowlti my feelings about Neil game and shouldn't come as a shock because I've made some passive aggressive comments ading on the regular podcast. But I'm sure if I met Neil Gaman in real life he's a really nice dude who like and I would never say anything. Me Too, but I only say these throwaway jabs at him because he is such a big deal. Right. It's like I'm being overly dramatic and I can't. I kind of clastic about it. Where it's I'm told he's so amazing. So I do want to drag him down a peg because I don't think he's as good as everyone says he's. In fact, I don't think Neal Gayman is a very good writer m and that's what I've noticed. We're doing the same an issue. I reread the whole Salman series, I rere good omands. I'm on a bit of a revisiting neo gaming kick and I am liking more the second time around. But what I'm coming to is I don't think he's a good writer. I think he's an ideas man. I think also a lot of his appeal is in him as a person, because he is such a figure in the world, whereas other authors are not like and everyone loves Neil. So then the like the ideas and overlook the work. He is the one who said, you know, ideally you three things. You're on time, you're good and you're nice, but you can get away with any two of those, and I think he he does...

...that. You know he's on time and he's Nice. Yeah, and he's got good ideas. Maybe I'm when I say ideas like premises. Neil Gaman's premises are great, but what I find with almost all his books are they good for the first half and he does not know how to finish the story. Did you find that with good urbans? Good Lands, I think, ended well. So I just assumed as I was going through it every bit I enjoyed was written by Pratchett and everybody didn't was written by now with gaming, and that is a little bit of a protest thing. But I have done a little bit of research trying to work out who wrote what and from what I can tell it is majoritially written by Pratchett. Wow, there's conflicting arguments and I cannot find anything to for new. What I can work out is neal game had the idea for the book and started writing it and just couldn't work it out. went to Pratchett and said I've got this idea for a book but I'm not anyway. Practice said well why? And we write it together. And at the time they were experimenting with writing, like with computers and online, with the early Internet. They were like, what if we do an experiment where we write a book and we email it back and forth and then that is right in the middle. I've when Pratchett it sorry game and is starting to write the same man the same and takes up Sam and becomes huge, as we discuss. Soon. So Neil game and got caught up in that, got busy with that and pratchet went okay, we are too busy, I'll just take it from here. And he writes most of it and from what I've read is he wrote pretty much all of it except for the bits with the the four horseman. That was sort of game and stuff. But Pratchett wrote all the stuff with the witches and the kids. I'm sure there's like bits of Burton. They both read each other's but that is what I've been told and we'll come back to this more thoroughly when we do cover it for the thing. But the bits I didn't really like going back to it with the bits with the new horseman. That's going to be my one thing I don't like when we get there, get them out of the book. They had nothing okay, whereas I found all the stuff with the kids and the witches very good. But it also it was a lot more bounty. It was a lot more funny. It had a distinctly sort of Pratchett style jokes and quality to it. So I thought it was you could tell when Pratchett was writing, I thought. But that's all about a book that will do in another six months. What about NEO gameings other stuff? All voraciously as a teenager and have never gone back. Some of...

...my memories on them are murky. I think I re read American gods a few years ago and then they got about half way through it. Yeah, I think my main beef with new gaming is with American gods, because that's the book that everyone holds up. Yeah, it's a rehash of Terry Pratchett and small Gods and good urmands and I love the ideas. In the same man it's not particularly original. He does the thing where you get to the end and none of it mattered and it just gets diss macketed away, which is how all of gay men's books end, including the same man and and several arcs within the same man, although I think as the same the same man is great. I've literally just read the whole thing. The same man is better than everyone says it is and everyone says it's the best thing. It's phenomenal. Okay, but he just has problems with ending stories. He writes himself into these really interesting corners and then just clears the deck. It's notice that in some of just the issues, and I've only just started. Oh, we'll get ready for it. Yeah, and the same man is playing with more of this thematic thing. It's more about character and theme development than these plot things. But then you get into something like American gods and it's just like why, why did I read these hundred pages if at the end it literally resets history? Yeah, and a Nancy Boys, which is the sequel, I think, is one of the worst books I've ever read. I did hate that even as a teenage. Yeah, there are. There are some neal game of stuff. I do like ocean at the end of the lane, ocean at the end of lanes, one I really like because it has an ending that ties together authmatically. The other one of his that I really like is never where. I think never where is great. Never was good. Yeah, and I'll good armonds to that now after re reading it. The graveyard book, which is more a kid's book like that, was that was fun as a kid. You know, they are meant for young people, and I mean and we can't put up with them. I think. Yeah, I mean I just reread a carline because I'm having to teach it to a high school student. And Yeah, note makes such a fuss about caroline. It's just a spooky lady. Right. This is the thing error makes us such a fuss about American gods and Caroline. It's like, and I don't think they're terrible, like I get why people are reading, but it's just like they're not the best thing ever, and that's where my resentment towards new game and comes from. Yep, he gets all of this praise and some of it have not dessert. Yeah, but I...

...do think all these books, with maybe the exception of a Nanti Boys, they're worth reading. There's interesting stuff in them, there's interesting ideas. I just yeah, I don't think he's a good novelist. I mean, my main bee for the American gods, I mean you know this, is that the main character is called shadow moon. That is something you would get laughed out of an amateur writing class for if you came in and said then shadow moon walked across the room. You would get told immediately, like change your protagonist name. Absolutely you would. The other thing that still shits me about that is like when he's wife dies or whatever, she's sucking someone's Dick and like bites the penis off and dies with it an amount. I'm like, come on, I'll design line. American gods. Yeah, do we need that? I mean maybe I've picked it up from the show. It's something the original book, but I remember being appalled. So I don't think that's in the book. But that does seem like something which I watched the first couple episodes of the show and went nurp. So you yeah, that's how our general vibes on gaming. Not have favorite, not our favorite, not my least favorite, but someone I do have a grudging thing againsst but also one of the things I really like is the Sam man and I really like this midsum an ice stream issue. I think it's really great. But Neil game and comes from comics. This is like where you say he's not a writer, like American gods is essentially his first novel twenty years into his career, because before that he has the comic stuff, which is all collaborative. He has good urmands, which is co writing with Terry Pratchett, and maybe Pratchett wrote most of it. And then you have never wear, which was based on a series that he wrote with Lenny Henry, which is really fucking weird, and then he novelized this series and then he's doing comics all through the N s. So it's all this collabrity stuff. And then coraline and American gods are like his first actual novels about whin he's such a big name that he's sort of almost too big to fail. Yeah, on this, by the way, when I saw him at the bush fire benefit thing, he read some stories and they were nice stories, but they were just like premises. They didn't have endings. They were like yeah, they were just ideas that were interesting. So just to Reider at your point from before, yeah, that's what I've found that with all his yeah, short stories as well the fun, but they don't know where. Well, I'm a good bits in American gods are all the little what are the words? Where the vignettes about the other gods that aren't actually part of the plot, but it's...

...just like, Oh, here is the African sex godss eating a guy with a vagina and it's like that's a cool scene, but it doesn't have to go anywhere because it's just this thing. And there's a lot of stuff like that in the same man as well. As we're reading the same I'm like, Oh, this is you were just redoing American gods. You took those ideas and what about in America? But yeah, game and makes his name in comics. He's I'm not too sure the details, but I think he is. He's like the prodigy of Alamore, who's the big guy who he rewrites viva vendetta and watchman and it's one thing and everything revolutionizes comics. And then game and sort of a protege of him and comes in writes Black Orchard, which is a DC superhero that takes in kind of a weird dark fantasy morrid which I'm halfway through reading that at the moment, and then does the Sam man, which we're talking about now, and then then blows up. Yeah, in the same book convention address where Pratchett describes him as Achondra, Prochett says the effective game and work on the comic world was akin to that of Tolkien on the fantasy novel and that everything afterwards was in some way influenced. And well, I do think that's true. I think the comparison to Talkin is also entirely misleading and inaccurate. Jack Kirby, who created the xmen, the fantastic for the hulk, iron man, though Lokey captain, America at Man, the Wasp, the winter soldier, Black Panther, the silver SURFA, Nick Feury, the scarlet which vision and Grout, among others, is the tolken of the fantasy world. Right. Yeah, agree, he also creates devil dinosaur and Dr Druid. So here they weren't all it's but I am keen to get a copy of devil dinosaur and see what all that's about. Oh and I still haven't finished back going off about Jack Kirby, apparently because he also embedded literary and mythological figures like low key right, including loose fur and Dr Faustus and Oberon, into the Marvel Universe, not the DC universe, which is where Sam and is. So Neil gaiman's versions of loose far and Oberon are not the same ones. But even that Jack Kirby already did it in the Marvel universe. Already. Jack Kirby also created the s version of the same man for DC, who becomes a major character in one of the Samman Arcs of Gamers. Think so. Yeah, he's the talking although there's a quote on Wikipedia or about Jack Kirby. The quotes a...

...guardian article which calls Ja Kobe the William Blake of comics. Trust all this weird. I don't really get it. I think I might have something for this. Okay, yeah, I mean the reason William, I mean he was insane. But the reason blake, you know, is is whenever I teach it, the students like I didn't really like the poetry or the drawings, but and it's like no, no, that's not the point. The point is he revolutionized this new way of merging poetry and art together using like chemicals and this strange process you like put a chemical and page and then engraved it and then like set it all up. So No, drawing by Blake is never the same. And No, and that means no poem is ever really the same because the image changes the meaning of the poem. Certain things are darker or bigger or changed, and like you can say how that doesn't matter. But also it does for some of them, the way Blake is trying to write. So I don't know if there's anything there about, you know, revolutionizing the way that we experience or respond to or engage with these art forms. Does that give you something? Yeah, I mean that's that sounds interesting, but it also sounds more like a game and Sam and kind of thing. Manage if everything Jacoby could. You're saying he's like the Tolkien. So he changed the way we engage with them. He made it. Well, it's more that he just he set the standard of like these are the archetypes, this is how you do superhero comics, and then everything is a response and anything that deviates from it is sort of position in response to it, like this is an anti superhero comic. But I guess what with the talking of Paris and it's like talking established the archetypes. He was like this is what else are, this is what dwarves are, this is what hobbits are. The he gave the language of it and said this is what it all looks like. And then everyone else who's going and writing all these post talking as fantasies, playing around with his tool box, which I feels like what Kurber did, Kurby went this is what superheroes are these, this is who the superheroes are, this is what superheroes do. And then superhero comics are just reiterating on the Kurby mold, whereas like Blake doesn't really do that. He doesn't create like a mythology or an archetype that. He does create an entire mythology. Actually, now I think about it, so it kind of works. It's just not incredibly influential like it does. The Byron doesn't then take that mythology. But I mean everyone's obsessed for trying to understand Blake's mythology, and my theory is he was actually insane and you're never going...

...to get there like this man stood all the streets of London staring at a tree going there are angels in it, and everyone went ire. He's right. While speaking of insane, I would argue that game is more king to being the Michael Moorecock of comics, in that he ushered in a darker, more artistic new wave. Do you know Michael Moorecock? I know the name and after filling in. Well, I mean if you're doing dark here is you got to know Michael Moorecock because he does eleric. Oh, okay, okay, I know. Yeah, yes, he is also the author of New Worlds, which is the Science Fiction magazine in the new way in the S and seventy. So he's like as science fiction and fantasy is changing into this new wave mold, he's sort of the directing it. So I'm actually, I'll argue, rather than Gayman, he is closer to what's his name, Alan Moore. We mentions that, the watchman swamp thing, leaving story. Gentleman Guy. This is the connection to like being insane, because Alan Moore thinks he's a litteral wizard. I know, yeah, he's maybe more the more cock. I don't know who gaming is exactly. He's got some Philip K dickish qualities, but Dick's earlier. Maybe there isn't a real analogy because these are all people who have their individual lives and history doesn't work out like that. He's Percy shelley kind of figure. Like Percy Shalley was experimenting with ideas, but he really struggled to like finish stuff off and like finish off his story, like think of. For me he's unbound. That's meant to be his masterpiece and X ray and for a track. That's true. He does the wipe away. Yeah, well, I mean they you've just he's Barron, right, he's a cool thinking the leather jacket Byron. Yeah, yeah, who, the cults of celebrity is bigger than he is actually. Yeah, okay, so he's Barron. Also, Michael Moorecock wrote a novel that I haven't read, but I will. That is called glory honor, which I sent you a link forward. By the sense of your action, you do not look at it. I don't think. I have no memory of this link. Ah, so, Glory Ana, as I again I haven't read. It is a novelization of about Gloriana from the fairy queen. Now I remember this link right, and apparently one the other world fantasy award and things. So I will read that and report back at some point.

Okay, but unnecessary analogies aside, game and Salmon is one of the most influential comics in the medium's history. Probably, I was gonna say, the for for modern comics. Definitely. I again. I don't think you can say, like Jack Kirby and the xmen and stuff like is less influential. But as far as comics coming this serious literary medium, Sandman is Ground Zero and midsummer night stream is I've written perhaps there, but is its most influential issue. So it won the world fantasy short story award in one thousand nine hundred and ninety one, which is the only comic ever to do so. Since it's rumored they change the rules afterwards to rule out your graphic novels from being nominated for the literary award. That's a bullshit. Well, they didn't. I was reading somewhere today actually, that they didn't change the rules. They just came out and clarified and said no, comics were never meant to be nominated for this but either way they let it slip through. It one and they said never again. So it was the first comic book to Win The World Fantasy Short Story Award and will be the final one to do so because apparently they said, well, comic books are alligible and other category, but no comic books have ever been nominated for that category either. So there is a genre prejudice going on. They're absolutely in the script for the issue, which I cannot get telling else this before the thing, but apparently there is a copy of the script in the deluxe absolute sandman edition, a copy of the script for the midsumer night stream issue, which I really wanted to get for this podcast, but I've been going back and forth for over a month now with the library people who tell me it doesn't exist. So if anyone out there has the absolute say man has a copy of this script, because we're in lockdown right now, I can't just go out to a bookstore and try and find it and also these absolute Saman collections are like a hundred dollars. But if anyone has that can email me confirm it exists. Maybe so me a copy. We could maybe add an adendum or something in later, because I would really like to check that out. That's unseen. academicals pot at gmailcom. But apparently in the script this is a secondhand quotation. I'm here game and says to the artist, Charles ves says this is a really fascinating comic to write. I mean either it'll work really well or it will be a major disaster, not just a disaster. I mean people will talk about this in the list of great interesting failures failures forever. But I see things like cough, you call the hulk versus the thing and D...

...pop up graphic novel with Free Songbook and interesting failure. You should have been there when game and invest made idiots of themselves on Samman. Or, like I say, it may work. It's a million to one shot, but it just might work. And I bring that up because, as disco of readers, we know the million to one shots turn up nine times out of ten. Really, this was a safe bet they were going for here and obviously turned out really well for them. Became the biggest critically acclaimed comic of all time. I think we need to read all other gate game and quotes out and Gayman's voice from here on out as well. Go for it, he'd but like this is a really fascinating comic to write like. He really a nunciates and gets his tongue around all the words. I yeah, no, he does, because I've listened to a couple of audio books. He does a lot of the audiobooks for his our book and there's actually an audio adaptation of the Samman that they did like the first arc up to this. This was the last issue they did and they're making parts three, two and three at the moment. Yeah, he's the narrator on that as well. So he does have that very clicky tongue, sort of soft where he's like here, where we're going. I mean people will talk about this in the list of great interesting failures forever. Yes, that Weird Kate. It's where he drops him. Yeah, breaks, yeah, but yes, Neil gaiman and Charles vess mids of night stream is the most critically celebrated comic issue ever written. But what do we think about it? Alice, in honor of the route pauls drag race recap podcast, could I get your name? Two things you like about the issue and one thing you did not. Please say this bit. Did prepare wrote the roles, but the other way okay, no, I can do it on the spot. I liked the art. Is that allowed? Yeah, I really liked the art and I don't know, man, I just I get really off on seeing Shakespeare represented as a literary character and other works as actual Shakespeare. So that was fun and I and here we go, am going to break the rules again. I liked the fact that they do mid someone nights dream and it's all matter and fun. Like I guess this is three things you'd like. Yeah, nothing, you didn't like. Um, no, I enjoy it. That's pretty good. Right, thank it. Yeah, you've got six things you didn't like. No, no, I like this and we'll get into the things I liked and didn't like. But I do have to ask. I've reread the...

...same answers as twice. I've read it. I've read this issue a couple of times. This is your first time and you've read send men Virgin. Yeah, I've done the same thing as people from comic fans from ages passed done, which is try and get Ellis into comics by giving her a copy of Neil game and smidsommer night's stream and tell her to read the same man. That's that's what everyone does. So do you? How do you read comics in general? I did as a teenager and I've never done since. Right, I mean I got I wouldn't say I became prejudice, I just was I'm going to read the real books. Now, I'm going to be a literary studies person. And now I am back to the fucking girl links, because you've started reading the actual samn series. Have Yeah, I read the first one last night after I read Kelly op yeah, cool. As you go through, I mean maybe we could revisit this and we could do a little very us catch up with Alice as she goes through the series, after every major arc, not in like this much detail with research and everything, just we chat. I say, how did you feel about this, because I think there's some interesting stuff. They're a lot of Satan stuff and there. That's why I'm doing it fast things. Yeah, so I think it'd be interesting to catch up with you actually go through. I think it's the first eight issues, is the first arc, up to when death is introduced. So when you get to the knork with death and it hit me up and we'll jump back in and maybe we can just put those out as you go through and maybe you'll lose interest, but we'll do it. Why you still maintain it? As for me, two things I like. I love the meditextual layers of this, which is obviously just what it's doing, but I think it does it really well, that you've got the play within the play, within the player within the play, and then the comic as a metacomic UN players and all of that. And as he says in that quardit is ready earlier it could have been an absolute pretentious disaster and I think he absolutely nails it like weird sisters. Like how weird sisters we think is a disaster. I don't think it's a disaster. Just think it's kind of land he simple. Yeah, no, this is definitely more engaged than weird sisters. Yeah, I don't like this as much as lords and ladies, but it's closer to that than weird sisters. The other thing I like is pucks monolog, the treatment of puts a Longolog and all the implications which builds off the metafictional things. We're going to talk a lot about that as we go but that scene in particular is left a pretty big impression on me in...

...general. I think going back to it I was like I didn't realize how much that had really carried through into the way I look at literature and things. So we'll talk a bit more about that as we go. The one thing I dislike. I'm like you. I was struggling to find something and I've said on I think some of the hamlet stuff is a the hamlet stuff is a bit heavy handed. Okay, which is sort of country because I've got the full quote in here somewhere. But Damon says he submitted this, this issue to his editor, the script for it, and normally, he said, he doesn't get much freeback. Normally they just go to the end. They got yet great prove it, sent it through to the artist and this was one of the few times they send it back and said change something about it. He's editor, Karen Burger, and inspired the hamlet twist after she criticized the first draft of the issue for lacking a human center of any kind and being of interest. I'm going to Shakespeare's cause, which is why we were into it without it just now hot for us. Yeah, so he kind he left almost everything in the script exactly the same, except for the addition of the six panels that reveal Shakespeare's career from hamlet's perspective, and that theme is Great and where. We'll talk about that. But I think get having hamlets stair into the camera and explain the moral of the issue when it was implied already. I do think that is a bit heavy handed when everything else is so nuanced and so perfect. So is it just because he had to add it last minute and he was like dumb? Well, no, he thinks it's great. He's thinks that was the best advice I ever got, because without that this comic wouldn't work for me. That's the bit where I go. It's sort of a bit clunky. I think it's fine. I think it ruins the comic. I just don't think it's as deft as every like everything else is so implicit. And then that is literally explaining on that actually interesting. You bring it up, and I brought this up before, but in upstart crow it ends with hamlet's death and it's far too heavy handed. It just can destroys the show because it just says goes from this lighthearted, funny comedy with all this metal stuff to pay introduns like, Oh God, so yeah, they are patent h yeah. So, given that we've been talking about the same ansers, we should probably explain what the same man series is, and I for those who don't know, the Salmmon is a comic series by Neil Gaiman. It's about the dream God morpheus. He has lots of names. Morpheus is sort of the main one he's referred...

...to, so that's what I'm going to call him. It's about the dream God morpheus, who is one of the seven endless along the death, destiny, delirium, desire to spare and the last one, which is a bit of a spoiler, so I won't name them as Alice is going through it. But morpheus is also considered the prince of stories, so there's a lot of Meta fictional stuff going on and references to other writers, including Shakespeare obviously, who first appears in the same man as a struggling playwright in issue thirteen, which is called men of good fortune. You've read this one as well? Yeah, can I say like I mean I enjoyed Misione, I dream and I get it all, but I was really that for men of good fortune. If you tried to sell me on the series with someone, I dream actually it was the men of good fortune, I was like Um and okay, yeah, do you want to explain what what men are good fortune is? Yeah, okay, so men of good fortune is about a man who's like death isn't real. I'm trying to remember. As a few weeks again, did you want me to do it? You do it please. So I'm gonna good fortune and these are this and mid some of my stream up, both standalone issues. You could start with these two, and most people sort of do because this is the salad point. Yeah, so dream is this endless dream? God, so he although the main samemn series is set in contemporary times, in the s when it's being written, there are these flashback issues. Essentially, dream and all the endless have been around the.

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