I didn’t read Sandman from the very start, but fairly close to it. I can’t even remember how I found out about it (we’re talking about the days before the internet here). I just have a vague recollection of it becoming A Thing amongst my segment of the goth community in Leeds. Once a decade or so I re-read at least part of the sequence.
Every time I find I have forgotten how perfect these early instalments were. There is so much going on and the stories are just beautiful and the bits that made me cry when I was 22 still do.
Aside: I don’t re-read much, ever. It’s not that I don’t want to, but there are always so many new things I need to read.
The annotations are impressive. For me personally, I’m not convinced that they added much. I’m already familiar with the mythology and literature references, andI’m not very interested in the minutiae about the characters lifted from earlier superhero comics. I will grant that the notes gave me a new appreciation of just how much stuff Neil packed into these, and made me boggle again that he knew so much about so many things at a relatively young age. The quotations from Neil’s original script notes are a nice touch, though, especially where they show that he wasn’t yet sure that Sandman would ever get off the ground.
For someone who is not convinced by the annotations, I will of course buy Volume 2 just as soon as I can afford it (and can face schlepping it home on public transport).