Sandman is arguably one of comics’ greatest series. This is one of its finest issues.
In this issue we’re introduced to Hob Gadling. It’s 1389 and he’s boasting that he’ll never die. Morpheus (Sandman) and his kid sister Death overhear these boasts and challenge Hob Gadling that if that’s true, they’ll meet him in this very tavern in 100 years…and so the story goes.
Dave Mckean’s original cover art to Sanman #13
They meet up every 100 years. With each meeting we see Hob Gadling’s fortunes rise and fall, but even at his lowest when offered the comfort of death he exclaims ““Are you crazy? Death is a mug’s game…I’ve got so much to live for!” It’s this line that has stuck with me for the past 21 years. So often immortality is portrayed as a curse. I’ve never understood that, and it was comforting to meet someone who thought the way I did.
Though part of the larger “The Doll’s House” story arc, this is a stand alone story, and I believe one of Neil Gaiman’s finest short stories. Well worth finding a copy.