“The Day the Saucers Came”: Neil Gaiman’s Poem Perfectly Concretized By Paul Chadwick

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Saucers“The Day the Saucers Came”
in Dark Horse Presents #21 (2013)
Words by: Neil Gaiman
Art by: Paul Chadwick
Letters by: Gaspar Saladino

First published in 2006’s Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman’s (Sandman, American Gods) “The Day the Saucers Came” creates a succinctly symphonic orchestration of the terrors of omission and commission that bedevil and bestir the aching hearts of pop cultists everywhere. There are so many ways for the world to end (at least in theory), and so very few chances for life to truly begin. Gaiman’s short poem takes that fundamental insight and runs amok with it, leading its readers on a melancholically merry chase through a Disney-esque “Apocalypseland” before settling into its snug (and undeniably smug) coda.  Riffs on this much-loved piece abound across the internet – but Concrete artist/creator Paul Chadwick’s version promises to become the definitive visual interpretation.

From its Ed-Wood-meets-Jack Kirby opening splash to its sick-day-in-hipsterland finale, this 7-page collaboration manages to squeeze in just about everything any self-respecting (with a side-order of possible self-loathing) genre aficionado is wont to think about (or actively avoiding dealing with) – from traffic rule cognizant undead to amiable abominable snow monsters to little “imps of the perverse” under the bed. If you’re a fan of Gaiman, Chadwick or mirthful malaise of any kind, “The Day the Saucers Came” is worth the price of admission to this entire issue of Dark Horse Presents.

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