Death: The High Cost of Living, Neil Gaiman

For a quick interlude between new books, I paused and reread Death: The High Cost of Living.  Neil Gaiman has written two graphic novels about Death, and this one’s the one that’s actually about Death.  Although Death: The Time of Your Life is also very, very good.  In this one, we get the story of how Death becomes a human once every century, for one day.  This time, she meets a bored, slightly suicidal kid called Sexton Furnival, and they go around town looking for fun.  They look for the heart of an old, old woman called Mad Hettie, and they see the very first gig of a singer called Foxglove (singing, incidentally, the Flash Girls’ “Sonnet in the Dark” under a different title, about which I was briefly outraged before I remembered that Neil Gaiman wrote the lyrics for “Sonnet in the Dark” so can hardly be accused of plagiarism), and they have some trouble with a crazy man called the Eremite who wants to keep Death captive.

This is one of the first graphic novels I ever read – actually, I believe I read it before I read the Sandman – and it’s a good way to ease yourself into graphic novels.  It’s well-illustrated, and it’s a sweet story.