If you're itching to read the rest of the Sandman prequel comic, Overture, brace yourself for some waiting, and then some more waiting.
The first issue of Overture -- Neil Gaiman's collaboration with artist J.H. Williams III that both commemorates the 25th anniversary of Sandman and tells the story of what Morpheus was up to right before Sandman #1 happened -- arrived in comic-book stores in October, and subsequent issues of the six-part series were scheduled to be released every other month after that. Then the first delay hit. Overture #2, which had been schedule to go on sale Dec. 31, 2013, was pushed back to February 2014, and didn't actually hit comic-book stores until this week, on March 26.
Back in November, Gaiman responded to fan questions about the delay with an apology on his Tumblr page, calling it "unprofessional" and blaming it "mostly" on the demands of the very large book tour he was on for much of 2013. He ended his response by noting that he and Williams were "hoping it'll be the only delay."
Well, sadly, it's not the only delay. If you were hoping Overture #2's release would put the schedule back on track, we've got some bad news.
In an interview with CNN this week, Gaiman announced that, though its official release date was listed as April 30, we won't see Overture #3 until this summer, and then we'll have to wait again for the remaining three issues of the book.
"July will be issue 3 and then probably some more months then issue 4, issue 5 and issue 6," Gaiman said.
Gaiman didn't elaborate on why the delays on the series will persist, or how much of the series' scripting and artwork is done already. He did note, though, that he may yet have more Sandman stories to tell even beyond Overture.
"Can I tell Sandman stories until I die? The characters are still in my head; they're still there. But there's so many more things I need to write before the long night comes, before I put the pen down for the last time. I really hope there's more Sandman in there. It would be sad if there wasn't. But there's so much more left to write."
For his part, Williams hasn't spoken about the new delays yet, but he did offer this little nugget of optimism in an interview with Newsarama after the first delays were announced back in November.
"At the end of the day, I think Sandman: Overture is a pretty special project, and Neil’s writing it," Williams said. "It shouldn’t matter how long it takes as long as the end result is worth it. Ultimately for me, I think the end result is the most important thing."
So, while we're all groaning with disappointment about these delays now, it's nice to focus on the idea that one day the whole series will be finished and in our hands ... one day.