I enjoyed Jill Thompson's first book about the Little Endless, but it was perplexing. It seemed more geared towards children than the grown-ups who have probably read "Sandman."
"Delirium's Party: A Little Endless Storybook" isn't like that at all. It's still meant for kids, but the Endless are here for more than cameos, and it does have a real story based on Delirium's.... um, delirious thoughts. It's simply a charming little story about the Endless, festooned with charming illustrations set in Delirium's sparkly sprinkly realm.
Delirium lives a carefree, blissfully psychedelic existence in her own little realm -- playing with her dog, calling her siblings, and having random things spray out of her multicolored head. But while she's sleeping one night, she wakes up. "I have never seen my sister Despair smile! NEVER NO EVER!" She immediately makes it her mission to make Despair smile.
And after she's "thinked, thunked and thoughteded," she works out a solution: have a Party! She decorates her home, makes a vast and terrifying "surprise" cake, and invites every one of the other Endless (with gifts!). But nothing she does seems to make Despair smile!
"Delirium's Party" is just a really charming, colorful little picture book, all about a charming little girl who seems to be perpetually on acid -- her hat is made of flames, bubbles and pipe organs; she has donut cushions; her hair can turn into a rainbow, seaweed or a bunch of party balloons; and she wears banana peels for slippers. It's the kind of hallucinatory weirdness that only children usually can dream up.
And yes, all of the Little Endless appear here, and they're pretty recognizable -- Death and Dream are especially noteworthy. Jill Thompson manages to capture the essence of their duties (in a G-rated way, when it comes to Desire) as they cluster around the gloomy grey blob of Despair, and try their hardest to make her happier.
"Delirium's Party" is just a really charming little story, with deliciously oddball illustrations and appearances by all of the Little Endless.