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Books of Magic, The:

John Ney Rieber Era (1993-1998)

When Vertigo launched in January 1993, it immediately collected Neil Gaiman’s mini-series The Books of Magic, which sold well because Gaiman’s The Sandman had become increasingly popular. The new imprint was eager for additional ongoing series, and The Books of Magic was an obvious contender.

Vertigo chose to launch the series through its first-year crossover, The Children’s Crusade, which focused in its young characters and ran through its annuals offered for 1993. The final annual, before the special that concluded the crossover, was Arcana Annual #1, starring Timothy Hunter. Vertigo planned to title the ongoing series Arcana as well, but it reconsidered, and the ongoing debuted as The Books of Magic Vol. 2.

Both Arcana Annual and The Books of Magic Vol. 2, along with the first two issues of The Books of Magic Annual (numbered from #1, ignoring Arcana Annual), were written by John Ney Rieber, who remained on the title through issue #50. During this time, Bronwyn Carlton wrote a three-issue spin-off mini-series, The Books of Faerie.

The Children’s Crusade

Arcana Annual #1

“Long Walks in Dancing Shoes” -- 57 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross
  • Timothy Hunter returns
  • contains the first appearance of Tamlin

only issue; part 6 of Vertigo’s The Children’s Crusade crossover (running through Vertigo’s 1993 annuals); cover by John Bolton; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $3.95; cover-dated Jan 1994

The Children’s Crusade #2

“In Which Avril Mitchell Learns the Story So Far (Chapter One)” -- 4 pages

  • written by Neil Gaiman; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine update Avril Mitchell

“In Which the High Council Does Not Reveal Its Secret Plan (Chapter Two)” -- 7 pages

  • written by Alisa Kwitney; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • stars Junkin Buckley

“In Which Timothy Hunter is Formally Welcomed to Free Country (Chapter Three)” -- 3 pages

  • written by Alisa Kwitney; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • stars Timothy Hunter

“In Which We Visit the Beach (Chapter Four)” -- 3 pages

  • written by Alisa Kwitney; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • features Oliver Mitchell, Avril’s brother

“In Which We Learn Something of the Language of Flowers (Chapter Five)” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alisa Kwitney; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Timothy Hunter and Suzy (Black Orchid) meet and look for a way out of Free Country

“In Which the Pigeon is Taken (Chapter Six)” -- 5 pages

  • written by Neil Gaiman and Alisa Kwitney; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine jump into Free Country and meet Tim and Suzy, then find Oliver Mitchell

“In Which the Plot Thickens (Chapter Seven)” -- 9 pages

  • written by Neil Gaiman; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • the gates to Free Country are closed
  • Charles, Edwin, Tim, and Suzy try escaping from Free Country
  • Maxine takes gang to the high council

“In Which Maxine Ponders on Budding (Chapter Eight)” -- 9 pages

  • written by Jamie Delano; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Maxine Baker creates a twin of herself that she sends back to the real world

“In Which We Pause to Reflect (Chapter Nine)” -- 12 pages

  • written by Neil Gaiman; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • the council tries to get Tim to open a gateway
  • Tim, Charles, and Edwin return to real world

“In Which Maxine Wakes to a Bright New Day (Epilogue One)” -- 1 pages

  • written by Jamie Delano; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Maxine Baker decides to leave her twin alone

“In Which, Some Days Afterward, Our Heroes Seek Their Just Reward (Epilogue Two)” -- 2 pages

  • written by Neil Gaiman; art by Peter Snejbjerg
  • Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine demand their money from Avril Mitchell for finding her brother

final issue; part 7 of Vertigo’s The Children’s Crusade crossover (running through Vertigo’s 1993 annuals); cover by John Totleben; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $3.95; cover-dated Jan 1994

The Books of Magic: The Children’s Crusade

written by Carla Jablonski; adapts The Children’s Crusade #1, Arcana Annual #1, and The Children’s Crusade #2; Books of Magic novel #3; in the Books of Magic novels, the order of “The Children’s Crusade” and “Bindings” is reversed, relative to the comics; introduction by Neil Gaiman; cover by Christopher Moeller; published by HarperCollins; $5.99; published Aug 2003

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Bindings

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #1

“Tearing Down (Bindings Part I)” -- 28 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross
  • Tamlin leaves Titania a present she doesn’t want and returns to Earth to try to force Timothy Hunter into becoming a magician

first issue; cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated May 1994

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The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #2

“A Book of Leaves (Bindings Part II)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated June 1994
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #3

“Closing Circles (Bindings Part III)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated July 1994
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #4

“Lost Causes (Bindings Epilogue)” -- 23 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro (pages 2-6, 13-15, 20-23) and Peter Gross (pages 1, 7-12, 16-19); inks by Peter Gross
  • Death appears

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Aug 1994
The Books of Magic: Bindings

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #1-4; introduction by Jane Yolen; cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; 100 pages

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The Books of Magic: Bindings novelization

written by Carla Jablonski; adapts The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #1-4; Books of Magic novel #2; introduction by Neil Gaiman; cover by Christopher Moeller; published by HarperCollins; $5.99; published May 2003

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Summonings

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #5

“The Hidden School” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Sept 1994
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #6

“Instruments (Sacrifices Part I)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Oct 1994
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #7

“Victims (Sacrifices Part II)” -- 25 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Nov 1994
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #8

“Altars (Sacrifices Part III)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Dec 1994

The Artificial Heart

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #9

“Handmedowns of the Ragged School” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Jan 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #10

“Bleak Houses, Hard Times (The Artificial Heart Part II)” -- 23 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Feb 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #11

“The Climbing Boy (The Artificial Heart Part III)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Gary Amaro; inks by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Mar 1995

Small Glass Worlds

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #12

“Missing Colors (Small Glass Worlds Part I)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $1.95; cover-dated Apr 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #13

“Transparent Lies (Small Glass Worlds Part II)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated June 1995
The Books of Magic: Summonings

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #5-13 and the Books of Magic story from Vertigo Rave; introduction by John Ney Rieber; cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $19.95; published 1996

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The Books of Magic: Consequences

written by Carla Jablonski; adapts The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #5-13; Books of Magic novel #4; introduction by Neil Gaiman; cover by Christopher Moeller; published by HarperCollins; $5.99; published Jan 2004

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The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #14

“What Fire Leaves Us” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Charles Vess; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated July 1995

Playgrounds

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #15

“Hell And Back (Playgrounds Part I)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Greg Spalenka; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Aug 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #16

“Tag… You’re It (Playgrounds Part II)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Greg Spalenka; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #17

“Deformative Years (Playgrounds Part III)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Greg Spalenka; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #18

“Boys Will Be Boys (Playgrounds Part IV)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by August Hall; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #19

“Really-Pretend (Playgrounds Part V)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by August Hall; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 1995
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #20

“The Knight, The Dragon, & The Maiden (Playgrounds Epilogue)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Ridgway

cover by August Hall; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 1996
The Books of Magic: Reckonings

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #14-20; cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $14.95; published 1997

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The Books of Magic: Lost Places

written by Carla Jablonski; adapts The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #14-20; Books of Magic novel #5; introduction by Neil Gaiman; cover by Christopher Moeller; published by HarperCollins; $5.99; published May 2004

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Shorts

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #21

“Heavy Petting” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #22

“Needlepoint” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #23

“Red Rover, Red Rover” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by August Hall; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #24

“And Sure In Language Strange She Said” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated May 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #25

“Used to Bes” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross
  • Death appears

cover by Chris Bachalo; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated June 1996
The Books of Magic: Transformations

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #21-25; cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $14.95; published 1998

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Rites of Passage

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #26

“Into Thin Air (Rites of Passage Prologue)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by August Hall; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated July 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #27

“Down with That (Rites of Passage Part One)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Aug 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #28

“This is Not About Chocolate (Rites of Passage Part II)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #29

“Singing in the Dry (Rites of Passage Part III)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Peter Gross; inks by Peter Gross (pages 1-9, 14-15, 17-22) and Peter Snejbjerg (pages 10-13, 16, 23-24)

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #30

“Shells (Rites of Passage Part IV)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross (pages 1-8, 17-24) and Peter Snejbjerg (pages 9-16)

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #31

“I’ll Hold Your Breath (Rites of Passage Part V)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 1996
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #32

“Drowning in Place (Rites of Passage VI)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 1997
The Books of Magic: Girl in the Box

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #26-32; cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $14.95; published 1999

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The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #33

“Purgatory Creek Population: 1 (Rites of Passage Part VII)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #34

“Fire & Sugar & Spice (Rites of Passage Part VIII)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #35

“Appearances (Rites of Passage Part IX)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #36

“Reasons to be Stone (Rites of Passage Part X)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated May 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #37

“Locked In (Rites of Passage Part XI)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated June 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #38

“A World of One (Rites of Passage Part XII)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Snejbjerg

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated July 1997

Shorts

The Books of Magic Annual #1

“Dark as Day, My Lady, Bright as Night” -- 38 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; pencils by Mark Buckingham; inks by Mark Buckingham and Dick Giordano

first issue; cover by Hermann Mejia; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $3.95; cover-dated Feb 1997

The Books of Faerie #1

“Foundling’s Tale, The” -- 24 pages

  • written by Bronwyn Carlton; art by Peter Gross
  • recounts how Titania came to be Queen of Faerie

first issue; cover by Hermann Mejia; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 1997

The Books of Faerie #2

“Widow’s Tale, The” -- 24 pages

  • written by Bronwyn Carlton; art by Peter Gross
  • recounts how Titania married Auberon, after he kills King Obrey, and how she met and fell in love with Tamlin

cover by Hermann Mejia; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 1997
The Books of Faerie #3

“Bastard’s Tale, The” -- 24 pages

  • written by Bronwyn Carlton; art by Peter Gross
  • recounts how Titania had Tamlin’s child, who is taken to Earth for safety… and may or may not be Timothy Hunter

final issue; cover by Hermann Mejia; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated May 1997

The Books of Faerie

collects The Books of Faerie #1-3 and Arcana Annual #1; cover by Hermann Mejia; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $14.95; published 1998

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The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #39

“Solitaire” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Aug 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #40

“The Motherless” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #41

“Nothing Up My Sleeve” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 1997
The Books of Magic: The Burning Girl

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #33-41; cover taken from The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #38; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $17.95; published 2000

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The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #42

“The Bridge” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Jill Thompson

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 1997
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #43

“King of This” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 1997
The Books of Magic Annual #2

“Horn” -- 38 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Jamie Tolagson

cover by John Bolton; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $3.95; cover-dated Feb 1998

Slave of Heavens

The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #44

“The End (Slave of Heavens Prologue)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #45

“The Veil (Slave of Heavens Part One)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #46

“The Scale (Slave of Heavens Part Two)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; breakdowns by Peter Gross; finishes by Temujin

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #47

“Near Life Experience (Slave of Heavens Part Three)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; breakdowns by Peter Gross; finishes by Temujin

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #48

“Inconvenience Be Not Proud (Slave of Heavens Part Four)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; breakdowns by Peter Gross; finishes by Temujin and Richard Case

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated May 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #49

“When All Else Fails (Slave of Heavens Conclusion)” -- 24 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; breakdowns by Peter Gross; finishes by Peter Gross and Temujin

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated June 1998
The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #50

“The Box” -- 22 pages

  • written by John Ney Rieber; art by Peter Gross

“A Thousand Worlds of Tim (Preview)” -- 5 pages

  • written by Peter Gross; art by Peter Gross

cover by Michael William Kaluta; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $2.50; cover-dated July 1998
The Books of Magic: Death after Death

collects The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #42-50; cover taken from The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #46; published by DC Comics / Vertigo; $19.95; published 2001

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The Books of Magic: Reckonings novel

written by Carla Jablonski; adapts The Books of Magic Vol. 2 #21-50 and The Books of Faerie #1-3; Books of Magic novel #6 (final installment); introduction by Neil Gaiman; cover by Christopher Moeller; published by HarperCollins; $5.99; published Oct 2004

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