Miscellaneous Reviews:

Death: The Time of Your Life

(Words by Neil Gaiman, art by Chris Bacchalo and Mark Buckingham Trade paperback published by Vertigo/DC)

Is it possible to make a deal with Death? That's what this is all about. It's about relationships, and how death affects us all.

Once again, the narrative involves the lesbian couple that featured in Sandman: A Game of You and Death: The High Cost of Living. As usual, Neil Gaiman's characterisation is convincing and even moving at times. The book is visually impressive too, with Chris Bacchalo's wonderful layouts. He has a tendency to prettify the female characters he draws, but I prefer this to the ugly, stereotyped "bull dyke" depictions of these people that featured in the Sandman stories.

On first reading, the plot seems wafer-thin. However, delve deeper, and the connections with the characters' previous Sandman appearances turn up on every page, helping to round out and deepen the story. This time around, Death has a harsher attitude to the people she talks with, but it's not nasty just for the sake of being nasty; Death isn't like that. She's practical, honest and intelligent - and she talks to people as if she expects the same of them. If only more people were like that. I really like this. Of course I really like this. If I didn't, I wouldn't be recommending it to you.

http://www.holycow.com/dreaming/ -- useful site dedicated to Neil Gaiman.

Anna Jellinek

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