Monday, April 13, 2015

Bartender (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

Although this character appears on only two pages of the entire Sandman series, I am really drawn to her and feel that she’s pretty important.

After leaving Worlds’ End, Brant returns to his life, although drastically changed by the events of his visit at the inn. He never returns to Seattle.

One evening he recounts his story to a bartender. He tells her that after leaving the inn he woke up in the car in a McDonald’s parking lot. The car was not damaged from the crash that caused him to wander to the inn during the storm. He tells her that Charlene wasn’t listed in their company directory and she seemingly did not exist.

The bartender asks if he ever wondered if perhaps he imagined Charlene and the pub and all the stories. He tells her that he does wonder, but he remembers seeing the funeral procession and remembers Charlene even though nobody else does.

He thanks the bartender for listening and expresses his concern that she might think he’s crazy. She says that she doesn’t and that she hears a lot of weird stories while behind the bar.

Brant says goodnight and walks down the street into the night. She watches him until he is out of sight.

The bartender appears in Sandman # 56, on pages 23 and 24.

One of the things I really like about this character is that a common theme throughout this storyline is people telling stories, and mostly men telling stories. These last two pages continue the tradition of storytelling as Brant tells his story to the Bartender. From the first page of this book we are being retold Brant’s experiences and so it’s only when we get to these last two pages we understand that this entire book is just another tale being told.

Anna did a great job with this portrait. I like the perspective of the character and it appears as if she’s looking at someone or speaking to someone.

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