The Dream Hunters [*****]
The Dream Hunters
by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano
published by Vertigo/DC Comics
Available at Amazon.com
This book is simply too beautiful not to own.Neil Gaiman re-tells a classic Japanese fairy tale, "The Fox, the Monk, and the Mikado of All Night's Dreaming." Gaiman first happened across this tale while he was writing the english dialogue for "Princess Mononoke," and was struck with the disturbing similarities between this old fable and the Sandman comic series with Gaiman created for DC Comics begining in 1990. This is not a graphic novel. It is a prose version of the tale, illustrated by a series of lush paintings which Amano renders in a style that is at once ancient and timeless. The 60-plus paintings are worth the price of the book, alone. The story, particularly to either fans of anthropomorphics, anime, or the Sandman comics, is equally wonderful. The story begins with a wager between a fox and a badger concerning a solitary monk. The two animals try various illusions and enchantments to trick the monk into abandoning his temple. When the two animals fail, the fox comes to apologize to the monk, and discovers that she has fallen in love with him. Before she can figure out what to do about this, she learns that an evil sorcerer is plotting against her beloved. So begins first the fox's quest to save the monk, and then the monk's quest to save the fox. It's a wonderful story. Go out and buy it. You won't regret it.