Everything by P. Craig Russell is amazing, and this is the best of both
Gaiman and Russell. While the epic entire Sandman run is impressive,
you can sample all of its strengths in this single issue.
Death: The High Cost of Living
The ultimate story featuring Gaiman's best character, the cuddly-cute-sexy
Death, naive and sweet and infinite. Maybe it doesn't quite live up
to this Amazon.com customer review: "It is a story, foremost, and
it lives up to that ideal more powerfully than any story yet written."
Maybe not, but it's very good nonetheless.
A great short story, arguably made even better with Russell again. If
Jung were a religious man, he might say this is where the hard-boiled
detective story always originates.
Gaiman's best prose novel, with memorable characters and all the myths
of humanity framed by a classic American road trip.
Sandman: Season of Mists
The best of the full-length Sandman stories, this introduces
several other members of the Endless, the immortal beings that personify
the forces of the universe. (Sandman himself is Dream, one of the seven,
along with Death, Desire, Delirium, Despair, Destruction and Destiny.)
It tells of a Lucifer that decides to quit Hell and gives Dream the
key, a gift that's more trouble than it's worth.
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Gaiman's newest book on this list (as of this writing), these short stories are even better than his last collection. And the translucent cover is really cool.
This novel was first a BBC TV series. It tells of a secret universe
of strange characters living under London. It's very British.
Sandman: Brief Lives
Another good Sandman book, this focuses on the wild-eyed Delirium,
one of the most enjoyable Sandman cast members to read. She's like Tori
Amos and Salvador Dali mixed in with multicolored frogs.
Smoke and Mirrors
A collection of prose short stories, this book covers everything Gaiman
His most recent novel, which we got signed! A more comedic style that is not exactly riveting, but at least fun.
The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish
The first of two children's books created with long-time collaborator
Dave McKean, this book has the right combination of childish insight
and non-sequitors. I can't wait to read this to my kids.
Another kids' book, this one for slightly older children, Coraline
is prose but still includes beautiful black-and-white illustrations
by McKean. It's scary. Think Alice in Wonderland meets House
Sandman: The Wake
The final Sandman book, this serves as an epilogue to the events
of The Kindly Ones. Michael Zulli uses his trademark colored
pencils to beautiful effect.
Gaiman's first work, with collaborator Dave McKean. Best in a series
of short graphic novels that include Signal to Noise and Mr.
Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream
A single issue story, this tale is the only comic ever to win a World
Fantasy Award, and helped catapult Sandman to fame and legitimize
comics to a new adult audience. Charles Vess creates incredibly lyrical
artwork to evoke a real world of Fairie that watches Shakespeare's actors
perform. What are the consequences of Puck escaping into the real world?
Sandman: Endless Nights
The newest Sandman book, after a sabatical of seven years.
Seven stories by Gaiman and seven incredible artistic legends. Each
story is great, but I wished they wove better into a bigger theme.
Many people also really like Good Omens,
a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-like comic send-up of theology, but
I'm not as enamored with it and Gaiman co-wrote it anyway with Terry Pratchett,
so it's not on my list.
I also was not a huge fan of the the Marvel Universe 1602,
even though the art was great.