Neil Gaiman‘s two Death comic spin-offs are very different (to my mind) than the whole Sandman saga. Firstly, these are quieter in-the-moment stories, and they are also more relational stories (especially “Time of Your Life”).
If you’re expecting odysseys, these two books don’t really have them. The “High Cost of Living” is about the one day Death becomes mortal so she can appreciate the lives she takes. This is a pretty good story and it has some adventure in it. Mad Hettie makes an appearance, likewise Floxglove and Hazel from the Sandman’s “Game of You”. I wish more about the antagonist was discussed (who is he?). This is much more in vein with the Sandman comics, but still far quieter than any of the stories in that epic.
“The Time Of Your Life” has Foxglove and Hazel leading the plot, with Floxglove now a famous recording artist and Hazel left behind at home with Alvie, her toddler son. This one is really a quiet story but it really is great, with surreal art throughout and I loved it, even though Death played a smaller role than in the “High Cost Of Living”.
Also to watch out for – the humorous public service announcement in the “High Cost Of Living”, with a very Tori Amos looking Death and John Constantin doing the honours.
- Re-reading The Sandman (pottedplot.wordpress.com)
- Neil Gaiman Writing Sandman Prequel (izabael.com)
- Neil Gaiman’s Calendar of Tales (portablemagicblog.com)
- Comics You Should Own – Sandman Mystery Theatre (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com)