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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Death: The Time of Your Life

Title: Death: The Time of Your Life

ISBN: 1563893339

Price: $12.99

Publisher/Year: Vertigo, 1997

Artist: Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Collects: Death: The Time of Your
#1-3, A Death Gallery, Sandman: A Gallery of Dreams

Rating: 4/5

Neil Gaiman has a wonderful gift of
taking the profane and giving it life.  I have been slowly making my way
through Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels thoroughly enjoying the rich and
mystical world he has created.   

One of my favorite characters in his
series is the Sandman’s older sister Death.  Other personifications of
Death have been of a man in a dark cowl carrying a scythe.  Many stories
about Death are of how the Grim Reaper was outwitted, as death is something to
avoid, escape and cheat.

As he has done time and time again
Gaiman takes the myth and turns it on its head.  Gaiman’s Death is a
perky, optimistic and loving woman.  She dresses like a goth but does not
have a gothic temperament.  Instead of being menacing she welcomes you
into death with a loving embrace and a smile.  It is odd to describe the
character of Death to be as full of life but she is

The Time of your life is a spin-off
from the Sandman comics focusing solely on the character of Death. 
Foxglove and Hazel, other characters from the Sandman comics, appear as
well.  In this issue Foxglove has become a famous rock-star and Hazel is a
stay at home mother, pretending to be Foxglove’s secretary rather than her
lover.  Hazel's tries to make a deal with Death to extend a life and
Foxglove travels to the shadowlands save Hazel.  This issue takes the
reader through a journey of life, death and dreams.  It is explained that
there is no balance to death, no taking of one life for another, as death is

The graphic novel is illustrated
beautifully and it is easy to see how Gaiman and his team have created a series
that is widely praised and timeless.  I thoroughly enjoyed the deeper
exploration of Death’s character with an issue to herself and no Sandman. 
Four out of five stars.

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