Death is everyone’s favorite older sister. She’s sassy, pragmatic and brings real sartorial flair to the concept of the grim reaper. Every so often Death likes to take a day and spend it as a human, to keep in touch with what it means to be alive and what you risk when you die. This time she spends the day in the company of Sexton, a teen contemplating suicide. Along the way Death helps a witch find where she hid her heart, and gets waylaid by someone who wants to steal her necklace. The inherent message of a possibly suicidal teen spending a day with Death is indeed not subtle. For a fairly obvious plot device, however, it’s not obnoxious, and I never felt like Gaiman was beating me over the head with a message. That might be because Death herself is so endearingly not concerned with making a point or teaching a lesson, or it might be a tribute to Gaiman’s skill as an author. Either way, this is a nice addition to the Sandman universe.
Death: The High Cost of Living
By Neil Gaiman
Art by Dave McKean, Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham
DC Comics/Vertigo 1994