Death / Signal to Noise
And, afterward, I thought, this is what art is for. It is our only chance to listen to the voices of the dead. And more than that, it allows them to touch us, and it allows us, the living, to learn from them.
While I’m waiting for Dance with Dragons to be delivered (and it’s a pretty long wait, I’m telling you) – I thought I’d catch up on my last two Neil Gaiman comics.
Death & The High Cost of Living is a little tale with Death, Dream’s older sister, at its center. Once every hundred years Death spends a day on Earth as a mortal to better understand what taking a life really means, and we get to share this day with her. And by ‘we’ – I actually mean Sexton, a sullen teenager with suicidal thoughts and a weird name. They cross paths with The Eremite (an enemy of sorts) and Mad Hattie, a woman of over 200 – both recurrent characters in the Gaiman comics-verse. Of course, little Sexton comes out of this adventure with a renewed taste for life – and Gaiman’s Death has something of the manic pixie dream girl in her, but it’s still a fun comic. Plus, at the end there’s a PSA where Death tells you all about AIDS 😉
Signal to Noise…it was great. The story, with the guy who has cancer and tries to write down and see with his mind’s eye the last film he’ll ever make, is quite simple – but not simplistic, since it covers the ground of Apocalypse vs. the private apocalypse we all experience eventually. Somehow, the spirit of it reminded me of Paul Auster’s Book of Illusions and Dave McKean’s illustrations set the mood and the tone perfectly.