The Little Endless Storybook
Jill Thompson, writer & artist
(DC/Vertigo, 2001)

Jill Thompson made a brief appearance during the Brief Lives segment of Neil Gaiman's highly acclaimed Sandman series. Now she's back with a stand-alone story, The Little Endless Storybook, which features her diminutive versions of the seven incarnations of existence. (Think Li'l Archies, but with Destruction instead of Jughead, Death instead of Veronica, and so on.)

The story is published by DC's mature-readers Vertigo line solely because the sadly defunct Sandman series was a Vertigo title. Rest assured, there's nothing offensive here; it's a children's story. However, it's a children's story for children who have read the Sandman books, because without that foreknowledge, it won't make as much sense. For Sandman fans, however, this tale is priceless.

Delerium has lost her dog Barnabas. Or, rather, Barnabas has lost his immortal charge, Delerium. So he visits all of her siblings for their aid in finding her. But these aren't the sometimes ominous figures from most of the Sandman tales; these boys and girls are cute. And Thompson does a marvelous job, both in telling the tale in a storybook fashion and in illustrating it accordingly.

Anyone who's been pining since Gaiman gave up his chronicles of Dream, Destiny, Death, Destruction, Delerium, Desire and Despair should pick up this book for a welcome reunion.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 8 September 2001

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