Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tradio #50 - The Sandman: Brief Lives

Howdy all!  This week on Tradio we take a look at an oddity for The Sandman series.  We look at The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman with art entirely by Jill Thompson and published under the Vertigo imprint of DC comics.

Brief Lives is, I think, the first volume of The Sandman series where the art done entirely by one person, Jill Thompson.  What we get is a story that is the classic road trip tale but with the typical Sandman twists.  Delirium misses her missing brother Destruction.  Destruction left the endless three hundred years ago with instructions for his family to leave him be and not follow him.  After asking her sister Despair and brother/sister Desire for help, she ended up asking for help from a recently jilted Dream who is in the depths of depression.  Wacky adventures ensue as Delirium and Dream hit the road to talk with people who may know where Destruction is and we see just how much Dream cares for his siblings.  The story full of highs and lows, we get to see just what is at the heart of Dream and he ultimately has to make a great sacrifice in order to give his sister what she wants.  It seems like we get to see a major turning point for Dream and it will be interesting to see where it all leads.
Brief Lives is great arc of story telling and the use of one artist for the entire run really helps to lead to a cohesiveness that the series as a whole has lacked.  The cast of characters is varied and rich and Thompson really adds a distinct personality to each one.  The story itself seems to have a lot of weight and I really think it is a big event in Dream's tale that will have major repercussions as the series goes forward.  Highly recommended and one of my favorite stories overall. See you next week with World's End.

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