We were supposed to get the second part of a brand-new Sandman story next month, but now we won't, and Neil Gaiman's explaining why.
Nearly two weeks ago, the first part of a brand-new Sandman prequel story, Overture, by Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III, debuted in comic shops to much praise and very robust sales. The rest of the six-issue limited series was supposed to be published in two-month increments, making the second issue's original release date Dec. 31, 2013. Unfortunately, DC and Vertigo Comics announced yesterday that the book would not make it to stores by that date, and would instead be released two months later, in February 2014. As a result, DC is canceling original orders and resoliciting the books, retailers are being asked to order it all over again, and comics fans are sad.
One particular sad fan took to Gaiman's Tumblr page to express disappointment over the news, and Gaiman offered this contrite response.
"I understand your disappointment and sympathise. [J.H. Williams III and I are] both really sorry about the delay. It’s unprofessional, and is mostly due to the giant signing tour I was on from June, and me not getting script written on the tour, with knock-on effects. We’re hoping it’ll be the only delay though."
Gaiman spent a large chunk of 2013 on a massive tour to promote his novel The Ocean at the End of Lane, which he claims will likely be his last major signing tour due to the sheer exhaustion tours produce, so it looks like this is just a case of too many balls in the air at one time. But, as Gaiman noted in his response, this first delay on Sandman: Overture will hopefully be the last.
So, if you're still hoping to get a copy of Sandman: Overture #2 in February, be sure to check with your local comic shop to reorder the book.