Okey-doke. The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You contains some of the most vivid nightmares that I’ve ever read. It’s weird. If you read about a nightmare in text, it’s at arm’s length. If you watch a nightmare in a movie, it’s usually of the form “Something awful happens that we know can’t really be happening because we saw the trailer and we’re only 20 minutes into the movie… WHAM” and we watch the protagonist (or one of the patsies) gasp and wake up with a start. Whew. It was all a dream… but that’s arm’s length too.

In a comic book, however, they can come out and say “this is not real, this is a nightmare” and that makes it so much more horrible. You can have the text you need to give the skeleton to the nightmare and the nightmare image to give it the meat and, instead of being at arm’s length, it’s right there in your bones. Like when you wake up with a start and you can’t move your arms or legs for a second or two.

Anyway, we’re taking a week off so that those of you who ain’t yet ordered your copy can do so by clicking the link above and still have time for it to show up at your house before we get going. Come Friday, I’ll point out that we’re going to be reading the first couple of issues.

If you absolutely positively have to talk about some major spoiler in comments, please rot13. Or just talk about the dream where you’re falling down the stairs and there’s a monster at the bottom of them and you just keep tumbling and you don’t know which is worse that you keep falling down the stairs and keep falling down the stairs or what’s going to happen to you when you stop.


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com


  1. This isn’t a very exciting recurring nightmare, but my variation of the “blindness” nightmare (everybody gets that one, right? The one where you can’t see, and you need to see, so you can flee to escape the horrible thing that’s coming for you?) is always “light” blindness.

    You know when you first wake up and your pupils haven’t adjusted and you try to look at say a bright monitor or something and it’s just way too painful to open your eyes, you can only barely squint agonizingly through blurry, teary slits?

    It’s like that, only your eyes never adjust.

    My nightmares are kinda lame.

    My little brother used to have nightmares as a kid about The Creature With The Spinning Fur.

    That sounds like a boss nightmare, though he did not think so at the time.

    • OK, here’s the latest in questionable content that I am going to post here at MD. Jaybird, if you think this is inappropriate, feel free to delete.

      But since this is a thread about nightmares, here’s one I viewed that has stuck with me, and I just have to share it with SOMEBODY.

      This video is NSFW.

      No, really, NSFW. Do not click the link if you are in public.

      It’s a YouTube music video, done in anime/hentai-ish style. I actually kinda like the song, and the animation itself; they are well-done.

      This thread is about nightmares. The animators appear to be French.

      Did I mention, link is NSFW, and possibly NSF your sanity?

      Well, OK then.


      Fb guvf ivqrb erzvaqf zr n ovg bs Puneyrf Oheaf’ zbfg-rkpryyrag “Oynpx Ubyr”.

      Nyfb, vg’f cebonoyl n onq vqrn gb oernx vagb gur cbby ng Zvfxngbavp Havirefvgl, be naljurer gurl qrpvqrq gb pbafgehpg bire n Uryyzbhgu.

      Gur LG pbzzragf ner cevpryrff: “Jryy, gung rfpnyngrq dhvpxyl.” naq “Lbhe zbir, Wncna.” orvat gjb bs zl snibevgrf.

  2. I’ve been reading the League for about a month and a half, and I’d like to say I’m impressed by the level of discourse here.
    Now I’m even more impressed by the fact you folk are reading Gaiman’s Sandman. A Game of You is definitely the most disturbing story arc in the whole series. While it’s a nightmare. it’s also a bit of a dissertation about identity and, to a lesser degree, the nature of evil.

    Not much else I can add without spoilers here… but I’m looking forward to your collective take.

  3. I’m a quote Orson Scott Card here “Dread is… the fear when first realize your spouse should have been home an hour ago; when you hear a strange sound in the baby’s room…”

    My nightmares all involve a slightly changed version of my home town, familiar but not.

  4. “Nothing looked wrong, but it was horrible for the same reason dreams are horrible, when you dream about an empty white room with an empty wooden chair in it, and cannot remember why that terrifies you.”

    From John C. Wright, Titans of Chaos.

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