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Absolute Death Hardcover – October 20, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"* "Easily the best comics series around." Time Out * "A comic strip for intellectuals." - Norman Mailer" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the author of the best-selling Trigger Warnings, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, The Sandman series, and many other works. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. His novel American Gods is being made into a TV miniseries to air in 2017. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States.
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Product Details

  • Series: Death
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Absolute Deluxe ed. edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401224636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401224639
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.7 x 15 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Trevor Burnham VINE VOICE on October 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you already have all 4 volumes of The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 on your shelf, you'll be pleased to know that this finely-crafted collection, though thinner than any of the Sandman volumes, will look equally pleasing on your shelf. However, if you're not a collector with money to burn, you should think carefully. This is a very expensive comic book, and disappointingly short on content.

There are two issues of The Sandman in here (#8 and #20), a handful of short pieces (only one of which, "Death and Venice," memorable for me), and a hundred pages of miscellany (sketches, promotional pieces, a curious pamphlet about AIDS called "Death Talks About Life"). All of this felt like fluff to me. The meat of the volume is two 3-part stories: "The High Cost of Living" and "The Time of Your Life." I was indifferent to the latter, but "The High Cost of Living" is a very solid short story in the classic Neil Gaiman tradition. Fortunately, it's available in a much cheaper volume: Death: The High Cost of Living

If you're on a budget, you can live without Absolute Death.
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Format: Hardcover
Yes, this book is a bit overpriced if you pay full list price. However, like the other volumes in DC's "Absolute" series, it is very high quality. Since the two Death miniseries ("The High Cost of Living" and "The Time of Your Life") were only three issues apiece, some padding was needed to make this into an Absolute. It was originally to be called "The Compleat Death", but it was later changed into an Absolute, perhaps so it would match the Absolute Sandman volumes on the shelf (which it does). Note that if you have Absolute Sandman Vol. 1, two stories in that volume also appear here (#8 and #20), along with the Death story from the "Endless Nights" graphic novel, a few short vignettes, the Death Talks About Sex PSA pamphlet, the Death Gallery (which benefits the most from the larger format), a merchandise gallery and Neil Gaiman's complete script for Sandman #8 (with the original pencils). "The High Cost of Living" (which has been relettered for this edition) is the highlight of this book; it is here that penciler Chris Bachalo created the version of the character that would become most familiar to comics fans for the next decade. The original printing of Death: The High Cost of Living #1 erroneously split up a 2-page sequence (the left half of a splash page appeared on the right, and you had to turn the page to see the right side of the picture). No such problems here. This is the definitive Death collection. It is probably not worth $100, but if you buy it with a discount from Amazon or otherwise can pick it up as a discount, it may be worth it. Note: I don't think anything has been recolored, with the exception of Sandman #8 (which was also in Absolute Sandman Vol. 1).
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Format: Hardcover
So I won't waste time recapping what is in this collection.. the other reviewers cover it pretty well. However, I will call attention to 1) the astounding beauty that the larger Absolute format brings to the work, 2) the complete-ness you feel in this collection (its got all the major Death in it - if you were a Death-goth kid you may not have wanted to buy Absolute Sand 1 just for the 2 Death issues, so they are included here - I see that as very reader-friendly of DC), 3) how great it is in connection with the 4 Sandman collections - amazingly amazing. Gaiman is an incarnation in his own right, and 4) how much I love DC for including the Death / AIDS pamphlet. It is surprisingly hard to find, and yet of great interest as an historical comic artifact and something that is still relevant to this day - using comics as education never gets old, especially when it promotes understanding and tolerance. If you're a Gaiman fan, a Death fan, a Sandman fan, or all of the above, buy this - just don't pay full price (it's worth it, but save yourself some dough, eh!)
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Format: Hardcover
The Absolute Death is a complete collection of Neil Gaiman's Sandman spinoff character Death, and the various ways that her story is woven between Sandman and her own story in a gorgeous and well-produced volume. The volume also includes a great introduction by Amanda Palmer, an afterword by Gaiman, and a hundred pages or so of ephemera and other releases by the comics publisher (which I thought was Vertigo but I may have caught that some of it was DC?).

The interesting thing about this character is that in a lot of what I had read, she was hailed as being one of the first truly feminist characters in all of comics. She was the first character that wold get women out to the comics shop to shop and get the newest issue. I am not sure she is entirely feminist (as a matter of fact, the one or two Sandmans that I believe she was in that might be the most feminist story was not included in this collection, but I believe this was mostly intended to solely be spinoff material. While the anecdotes that I read somewhere (Art of Neil Gaiman, maybe? Some editorial somewhere?) may have been facts, I am not actually sure that this is is even a compliment to Gaiman's work, the character, and to the Sandman universe as a whole.

Sandman comics are hugely more introspective and beautiful than a lot of the other comic material out there, and it is interesting that there is even an audience. I do wonder if it is in fact more fair to say that Sandman and Death are the first almost literary comics to have the widest possible audience that – which does buck a trend – includes more women than most comics.
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