‘Sandman’: Vertigo unveils details for Neil Gaiman’s prequel comic

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DC Entertainment imprint Vertigo has released the first image for Neil Gaiman’s upcoming “Sandman” prequel comic series, as well as its title, release schedule and Comic-Con International plans.

“The Sandman: Overture” unites Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III (“Batwoman,” “Promethea”) for a new six-issue miniseries set before “Sandman” No. 1, the critically acclaimed comic series that ran from 1989 to 1996. Gaiman’s series, which garnered 19 Eisner and six Harvey Awards, followed the mysterious Lord of Dreams, also known as Dream or Morpheus, after he was captured and held prisoner for 70 years. Morpheus escapes his imprisonment and enters modern times, and works to rebuild his now-rundown kingdom in the dream realm.

“Overture” will explore Morpheus’ world before he was captured.

“This is the one story that we never got to tell,” Gaiman said in a statement. “In ‘Sandman’ No. 1, Morpheus is captured somehow. Later on in the series, you learn he was returning from somewhere far, far away — but we never got to the story of what he was doing and what had happened. This is our chance to tell that story.”

“Overture” will launch Oct. 30, Vertigo executive editor Shelly Bond announced Monday, beginning with an oversized issue No. 1. The comic will be published bi-monthly, each with covers by Williams and original series cover artist Dave McKean.

In the alternating months starting in November, Vertigo will release “The Sandman: Overture Special Edition” deluxe issues, which will include original scripts by Gaiman, concept art and sketches by Williams, Q&As with the creative team and other special features.

Gaiman praised Williams’ artwork for the book, calling it “the most beautiful thing in the world.”

“They are the most beautiful pages I have ever seen in periodical comics,” Gaiman told the New York Times. “I ask him to do the impossible, and he gives me back more than I asked for.”

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