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I can't wait for the new prequel to come out. I did read something where Gaiman said what a hard time he's having writing it since the expectations as so extremely high. I do hope he takes his time, though. I know they have a planned publication date of this year, but if it isn't actually ready, I do hope they wait until it is!
I'm curious about "The dream hunters" now - where in the big story arc does that fit? Is it about old or new Dream?
A few things I thought about reading The Wake this time around:
Among the many cameos among the mourners I can't remember who the asian looking little child throwing blue roses into the river on page 83 is. Can any of you enlighten me?
It also strikes me as strange that emperor Norton I is sitting next to rose on page 73, since he's dead. No other dead character from the real world is present at the Wake, and that death is a "real" threshold is one of the key features of this universe. Any thoughts on this? A simple mistake, an inconsistency - or a clever twist that I fail to see?
Any ideas on the asian kid with the blue roses?
This character is known only as a Young Ox Drover.
As Destiny flips through the pages of his book he sees a brief moment of Death, on the day she is mortal sitting, at the edge of the Yangtze River, with this young ox drover. He is telling her of his "grand schemes and plans."
There is another moment in The Wake when this boy MIGHT appear again. As Dream is floating down the river into his afterlife, there is a young Asian boy who throws blue roses into the river. Based on the clothing, I think this might be the same boy, but they appear to be different ages (but age is just a perception in dreams) and so I am not 100% sure it's the same character. I guess we will all need to wait until one of the future Annotated Sandman volumes is released.
I wouldn't go so far as to say all mad people will end up in the Dreaming, but Norton was given his madness by Dream, so it would make sense that he is a little bit closer than "regular" dead people. And, yes, he absolutely dies for real and Death collects him (I've been to his grave, so I do hope he's dead... It's in Colma, CA, if anyone is passing). However, Matt Cable (Matthew the Raven) also dies in real life, so there is some leeway - he is offered a place in the Dreaming, so it's not exactly the same, granted. If anyone finds an answer somewhere, I'd be more than interested to hear!
Don't know about the Asian kid, but Pete's research looks sound to me.
I think your thanks need to go to Mr. Gaiman himself - the idea for the group read came from the news that Gaiman was going to publish a prequel. The first single issue is out already and it's beautiful, I have to say.
I'll add my thanks too to whoever had initially suggested the group read and to the people who organized it. (Psutto? Eva?)
I do plan to read the new prequel at some point, but for the moment, I'm happy to let these 10 volumes sink in for a while.