#31 – Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman


Remember at school when you’d take a class trip or at work where the company takes you on a company picnic once a year? It’s great to get out of your normal environment and shake things up a bit, because staring at the same four walls can get really dull. Sometimes I get excited when there’s a fire drill, because it means I can get out of the office for ten minutes. God bless you, guy who always burns his toast.

In Death: The High Cost of Living it is Death herself who is taking a step out of her usual environment. Every hundred years she spends a day living inside a human body, supposedly so she can understand what it is like to be alive. Kind of like the idea that a doctor who has actually experienced an illness will have more empathy for the person he treats for it.

In her latest earthbound day trip Death occupies the body of Didi, a young goth girl who takes a man named Sexton on a trip to discover himself. We have seen many incarnations of death in various forms of fiction, but Gaiman’s interpretation of her as a young girl is something new. There are lots of fresh ideas in The High Cost of living, which is what you’d expect from the author who also brought you Sandman and Midnight Days.

This book is a spin-off from Gaiman’s massively popular Sandman series, so if you’re a fan of that then you’ll love The High Cost of Living. This is a great graphic novel from one of the best graphic novel authors, and it comes highly recommended whether you’ve read Sandman or not.