"Wake up, sir. We're here." It's a simple enough opening line--althoughnot many would have guessed back in 1991 thatthis would lead to one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comics of the second half of the century.In Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman weaves the story of a man interested in capturing the physical manifestation of Death but who instead captures the King of Dreams. By Gaiman's own admission there's a lot in this first collection that is awkward and ungainly--which is not to say there are not frequent moments of greatness here. The chapter "24 Hours" is worth the price of the book alone; it stands as one of the most chilling examples of horror in comics. And let's not underestimate Gaiman's achievement of personifying Death as a perky, overly cheery, cute goth girl! All in all, I greatly prefer the roguish breaking of new ground in this book to the often dull precision of the concluding volumes of the Sandman series. --Jim Pascoe--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.