When Neil Gaiman announced that he would be once again returning to his much beloved comic book series The Sandman with a six-issue prequel series titled The Sandman: Overture, fans rejoiced. There really isn’t anything quite like The Sandman, a 75-issue story about stories written by Gaiman and illustrated by a long list of some of the best artists in comics. Illustrated by J.H. Williams III, one of the most jaw-droppingly gifted artists working in comics today, Overture was to tell the story that immediately preceded the first issue of Sandman, which saw the Master of Dreams laid low—something had weakened him, leaving him vulnerable to human occultists that imprisoned him for 70 years.
However, Overture hasn’t had the smoothest release schedule. Initially planned as a bi-monthly series, the book has slipped to an irregular schedule—issue three was released in July. While the long waits can be frustrating, when an issue does come out, it’s absolutely worth it. Williams’ art is lush, inventive, and ludicrously pretty, while Gaiman’s writing feels like he never quit telling Sandman stories.
With Overture’s fourth issue, available tomorrow, we’re approaching the confrontation between Dream himself and the mysterious force that lies at this story’s end. There’s a city of anthropomorphic stars, an asylum where one insane star resides, and the father of Dream and the Endless makes his first appearance. As things start to build toward Overture‘s conclusion, EW reached out to Gaiman and Williams to talk a little bit more about what readers can expect—and to share a few stunning preview pages.