Thursday, January 10, 2013

death: the high cost of living

death: the high cost of living
neil gaiman/chris bachalo/mark buckingham/dave mckean
graphic novels/supernatural
dc comics vertigo
published 1994

From the pages of Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN comes the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.

I have always loved Neil Gaiman's Death character.  She is so opposite of what you think Death should be (the cloaked bony figure playing Chess with Bill & Ted).  She's bubbly, fun, honest and beautiful.  I used to have a t-shirt with her picture on it and it said 'You get what anybody gets - a lifetime'.  So it goes without saying that this compilation of the 3 issues of Death: The High Cost of Living and Death Talks About Life is one of my favorites.

The story sort of revolves around 3 characters, some more than others.  Sexton, Didi & Mad Hettie.  Mad Hettie is a 250 year old woman who is looking for her heart.  She knows Didi (Death) can find it.  Sexton is a boy on the brink of suicide when he meets Didi.  Death gets one day a century to walk as a mortal.  To eat, to breathe, to laugh and to ride taxis.  Everything is wonderful and it doesn't matter much what she does as long as she does something.  

The art is creepy and sad with Didi Death a shining beacon in the pages.  Gaiman's story is simple and concise.  The only thing I wish I got to read more about was the Eremite, but I guess that's another story.  The Tori Amos as Death PSA thing at the end was a little spooky too.

It definitely makes me want to go back and read Sandman again....

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