The Children’s Crusade

    (Vertigo, 1993-1994)

In 1212, yet another Crusade was ending in bloody failure. As the story goes: a monk cried out, saying that God was not allowing the Christians to prevail, since their souls were already stained with sin. What was needed, he said, was an army of innocents—a children’s crusade. The call went out, and fifty thousand girls and boys answered. They sailed on one hundred ships toward the Holy Land. But on the way, a storm arose and wrecked all but two of the ships. 49,000 children died in one night. The remaining two ships delivered their passengers into slavery and pain. But for a few of these doomed children, there was salvation, of sorts, as they escaped into another place.

Centuries later, it seems that an entire village of children has also found the doorway into that other world. Just as the Pied Piper stole the children of Hamelin, someone—or something—has caused every child in tiny Flaxdown to disappear…into a mysterious world for lost children.

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