The Sandman Presents...
Thessaly: Witch For Hire

Author: Bill Willingham
Artist: Shawn McManus
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99
1 84576 194 4
Available 21 October 2005

As the world's oldest and most powerful witch, Thessaly has learned through millennia of experience to be prepared for almost anything. But she could never have foreseen the persistence of one lovesick ghost named Fetch - or the conniving, underhanded lengths he would go to in order to win her heart. Attaching her name to a monster slaying business behind her back is one thing, by agreeing to take on the universe's ultimate destructive force - well, that just proves that love makes you stupid. Faced with this kind of courtship, it'll be a miracle if Thessaly can survive long enough to smack some sense into Fetch's intangible head - never mind stopping the unstoppable doom he's unleashed...

Thessaly: Witch For Hire is a collection that no self-respecting Sandman fan should be without. From the first few pages it's obvious that this release means business. And the great thing is, you don't even have to be a Sandman fan to appreciate this. In fact, if you've never even read a Sandman story, you can still pick up Thessaly and latch onto the characters in no time.

The story is simple. Fetch, a ghost, has been sending monsters to Thessaly, whose been in hiding, for ages. She was a little curious as to how they'd all managed to find her. When she slays them all, Fetch informs her that there may be one more. A crazy old man told him that he was haunted by a monster. Fetch humoured the old timer and told him that he would rid him of this "imagined" beast. However, it transpires that the beast is indeed real and the one thing that Thessaly can never kill. So Fetch and Thessaly set about trying to do what they know is impossible - slay the beast before it tears them apart.

The art work for this collection is fantastic, and the writing is spot on - leaving you wanting more. I particularly liked the scenes where Thessaly goes around letting loose all the demons she has kept prisoner - for goodness knows how long.

Treat yourself and spend a little time with Thessaly, you won't regret it.

Nick Smithson

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