Gaiman's 'Sandman: Overture,' 'Children's Crusade' get deluxe treatment

Vertigo has announced the fall release of two Neil Gaiman deluxe hardcover editions, The Sandman: Overture and Free Country: A Tale of the Children's Crusade.

The first may seem a tad optimistic, as the six-issue bimonthly miniseries by Gaiman and J.H. Williams III, which debuted in October 2013 as part of the 25th anniversary of The Sandman, has yet to release its final two chapters. Set to arrive in November, the deluxe edition will include all six issues, the gatefold from the debut issue, plus extras like pages from the Special Editions and script pages.

The other hardcover is long past due, collecting the Children's Crusade two-issue limited series by Gaiman, Alisa Kwitney, Jamie Delano and Chris Bachalo, for the first time since its release.

"A long time ago, I wrote the first part of a story, and waited to find out how it middled, then worked with Jamie Delano and Alisa Kwitney on the end," Gaiman said in a statement. "For years people have asked how and when they could read all the story of the Children’s Crusade. I’m glad to say that it’s now been retooled and refinished, and is something both old and new — a forgotten jewel and a new delight."

Published as bookends for a 1993-1994 crossover that enveloped five Vertigo annuals, The Children's Crusade follows the Dead Boy Detectives as their investigation of the disappearance of several children in a small town leads them to Free Country, where kids never grow old and are free of the tyranny of adults.

In addition to the original story, the deluxe edition will include a 64-page new chapter by Toby Litt (Dead Boy Detectives) and Peter Gross (The Books of Magic), an introduction by Gaiman and a new cover by Mark Buckingham (Dead Boy Detectives). Free Country: A Tale of the Children's Crusade arrives in September.

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