Saturday, April 20, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 110: DC Annuals House Ads Week, Day 7

Let's wrap up DC Annuals House Ads Week with something unique: the only Vertigo crossover event in their Annuals (and for that sake, some of the few few Vertigo Annuals of all). The Children's Crusade ran throughout the '93 DC Universe situated Vertigo titles. Fittingly, instead of the then-usual practice of Annuals being published in the summer, The Children's Crusade came out in the autumn—whether international or not, a nice subtlety that adds to the "slightly off-kilter" aspect of the Vertigo titles that featured character with origins in the DC superhero universe proper.

House ad for the 1993 Vertigo The Children's Crusade Annuals; printed in Sandman Mystery Theatre #20 (May 1994)

The event was bookended by a pair of Children's Crusade specials written by Neil Gaiman and starring his Dead Boy Detectives (introduced by Gaiman in Sandman #25). The DBDs—Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine—also star in the house ad above, which is redialogued art from the first Children's Crusade special.

Panels from The Children's Crusade #1 (December 1993), script by Neil Gaiman, Pencils by Chris Bachalo, inks by Mike Barreiro, colors by Daniel Vozzo, letters by John Costanza

Since Charles, Edwin, and Avril are looking at an advert for The Children's Crusade crossover, we might guess that they're looking at the exact same advertisment we are. Is your mind sufficiently all explodey yet? Yep: that's what the Vertigo Universe can do to you.

Earlier in the week I challenged you to identify a DC annual, besides Sgt. Rock's Prize Battle Tales Annual #1, that not only was not named after an existing series, but (when the series was eventually published) the series wasn't named after the annual, either. That annual is right here in this it yet?...yes, it's Arcana: The Books of Magic Annual #1, the first appearance of Tim Hunter following The Books of Magic miniseries, and well before his regular monthly Vertigo comic The Books of Magic. I'm not certain why "Arcana" popped up between those two. Isn't that one of Zatanna's female cousins? Arcana Zatara. Arcana Zatara. Well, I'd date her.

So, that's Annuals Week.

1 comment:

Blam said...

I always thought it was a funny thing about the one-time-only transition to Arcana too. Don't recall ever hearing a story behind it, though...

Since I know how much you liked Bloodlines, however, this is the perfect place to mention that the Psyba-Rats (introduced in 1993's Robin annual) were originally going to be called TECS [Teen Electronic Computer Squad or something like that]. I was really looking forward to a crossover between them and Tim Hunter called TECS/Arcana.

I might have made some of that up.