“The Children’s Crusade” is the over-arching title of a seven-issue comic book crossover and limited series , and specifically the two bookends thereof. It was published in 1993and 1994 by DC Comics as a part of the Vertigo imprint . 
The two bookends, qui open and close the crossover Were written by Neil Gaiman and Alisa Kwitney , with the middle being white five from the newly created or resurrected Annuals from the then-we-going Vertigo titles (bar the Arcana Annual , qui re- launched a new Books of Magic series). These were written by those titles’ then-authors: Dick Foreman , Jamie Delano , Nancy Collins , Rachel Pollack and John Ney Rieber , respectively.
This storyline marked the first – and only – attempt by the then-brand-new Vertigo comic line to a crossover within its titles. Its relative lack of success, and the subsequent retooling of the Vertigo imprint to feature comics that do not tend to share a universe, make it unlikely to be repeated in such a manner. Subsequently, therefore, while individual characters (in particular John Constantine ) occasionally guest-star in other titles, such a wide-ranging crossover has not been attempted.
In addition to the two Children’s Crusade issues, the crossover ran through five newly created / resurrected Annual s. In reading order the event runs as follows: Children’s Crusade# 1 Black Orchid Annual # 1, Animal Man Annual # 1, Swamp Thing Annual # 7, Doom Patrol Annual # 2, Arcana Annual # 1, and Children’s Crusade # 2.
In 2013, it was announced that Vertigo would, for the first time ever, publish the entire title in one collected edition.  Following delays, the collection would eventually be released in 2015 as Free Country: A Tale of the Children’s Crusade including the two-issue mini-series, a more “brand-new middle chapter” written by DEAD BOY DETECTIVES writer Toby Litt Peter Gross “in place of the annuals of the original crossover. 
Alongside Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, the ” Dead Boy Detectives “, he focused on the children who played major roles in these books: Suzy, Maxine Baker, Tefé , Dorothy Spinner and Timothy Hunter respectively.
The crossover was advertised in the trade press, the hero Illustrated . Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine read the Vertigo Press release advertising the “big crossover in October and November  in some of the Vertigo Annuals.” 
The crossover’s tagline was ” The Children’s Crusade , it’s no Fairy Tale ,” and the author of the comic-streak-advert (likely Neil Gaiman , which it says “whoever he is”  ) writes archly, through the character of Charles Rowland:
- “It says here that the Vertigo Universe will never be the same again.
- Of course, it was never the same before. ” 
The story begins with the ghosts of two boys, Edwin and Charles (previously published in the last issue of The Sandman and later in the Dead Boy Detectives ), who has set up shop as detectives for hire, with nothing but the knowledge of the great mystery novels and movies. The two boys are approaching by a young girl, who they find their way to their homes, called Flaxdown.
It turns out that the children of the village (see ” The Children’s Crusade ” & ” The Pied Piper of Hamelin “) were taken to a place called “Free Country”. Free Country is a place Where Children never grow old and are free from the tyranny and abuse of adults ( child abuse is a recurring theme). Free Country is run by a council of various children. The council is attempting to bring in the world, but unfortunately To help bolster Free Country’s power they bring over five innately powerful children. As long as the children stay in the country they provide the place with power. 
The comics include many references to the works of Robert Browning .
Arcana: The Books of Magic
Written by John Ney Rieber and with art by Peter Gross , the Arcana Annual reintroduced by Timothy Hunter from Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic mini-series. Marya, who leaves behind Free Country and an overly attentive admire named Daniel to recruit Timothy Hunter to their cause. Tim is the most magician of his age, and his support will be greatly enhanced by the fact that he is “respected” by a falconer named Tamlin.
Tamlin is apparently working on an unnamed Queen is implied to be Titania, but when he takes a look at Faerie he admits that he has his own diary: Faerie is dying, and the falconer thinks that Tim may be able to save it. He gives Tim a gift of a magical stone, and leaves him to find his way back to the real world. When he does, Tim meets with Marya and agrees to go to Free Country to see if he can help there. Marya does not return with him, deciding to stay in the real world and fulfill her dream of becoming a dancer.
The Arcana Annual is also a prelude to a monthly The Books of Magic comic,  which continued the stories of Tim and Tamlin, and Marya and Daniel.
The Children’s Crusade is due to be reprinted in July 2014 as a collected edition. The Arcana: The Books of Magic Annual # 1 was included in the collection of The Books of Faerie . 
- ^ Jump up to:a b Irvine, Alex (2008), “Children’s Crusade”, in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia , New York: Dorling Kindersley , pp. 46-47, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5 , OCLC 213309015
- Jump up^ “Neil Gaiman’s Children’s Crusade collected edition announced!)” . Archived from the original on 2013-03-31.
- Jump up^ https://www.amazon.com/Free-Country-Tale-Childrens-Crusade/dp/1401242413/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1472422516&sr=8-6&keywords=the+children%27s+crusade) . Missing or empty( help )
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Hero Illustrated Vol. 1, Number 5, November 1993, p. 2
- Jump up^ Rieber, John Ney (1993), The Children’s Crusade – Arcana: The Books of Magic annual # 1 , DC Comics
- Jump up^ Rieber, John Ney; Carlton, Bronwyn (1998), The Books of Faerie , Titan Books, ISBN 1-85286-916-X