Review by Tyler Sewell
Some of you may recognize this title because it won Best Animated Film at last year’s Toronto Short Film Festival. This concept was originally created for animation, but has since been made into both a book and now a comic series. The series gained some attention from the public eye due to its alignment with the band Angel and Airwaves, whose lead guitarist and singer, Tom Delonge (former Blink-182 member), is responsible for the story.
Now with credits like that, why not take a chance on this series? I’m jumping on late, but I got my hands on the first issue as well. So is it good?
Dream Walker follows the story of Jonas, a young boy who stumbles upon a book that discusses the existence of a dreamworld that one can visit and actually participate in with the mastery of the technique lucid dreaming. Accompanied by his brother, what started off as a simple exploration of the realm turned into a frightening real situation as they discover the forces of good and evil within the dreamworld. Between Night Terrors, Night Stalkers working under the nightmarish God Rem, and the realm protecting knights dubbed Night Walkers, Jonas and his brother realize this adventure was more than they bargained for.
However, Jonas discovers that there’s more to this place for him than simply lucid dreaming. Jonas possessing the rare and powerful ability to enter and leave this parallel universe and wake himself up at will, making him a powerful ally to the Night Walkers, but a deadly force if he falls into the wrong hands.
In this issue, the brothers venture into the realm once again to satisfy Jonas’ curiosity. Once there, they meet up with Ayo and a band of dreamwalkers in attempt to save the dreamwalker that had saved them from Rem’s prison the night before. This issue comes with a fairly surprising plot twist, but the biggest surprise is how malevolent Rem is. Not only are we introduced to the Nightmare King, but we’re able to see why he is so feared not only within the dreamworld, but also our own. While I never considered this to be “children’s” comic, I did think it was aimed at a wider audience, but after this issue and how dark the subject matter got I can see that it’s for more mature readers.
Djet’s artwork is beautiful to look at and his style looks to be an easy transition from screen to comic book page. Even if I hadn’t have known the origin of the series was based off an animated short film, it’s evident based off the artwork which looks like it was directly ripped from a film (the way that was worded makes it sound like it’s a bad thing, but it’s not). The colors are amazing, but what I found even more impressive was the lighting. I don’t normally analyze the art as much, but Djet’s work with shadow vs light will stand out to even amateur readers. I can’t give it enough praise.
The writing for this series has probably one of the most unlikely duos I’ve ever seen from a creative team. Between musician Tom Delonge and Ben Kull (Story Editor of Father of the Pride. Do you remember that animated series from ten years ago? It was hilarious!), I wouldn’t have pegged this series as a likely success, but right now it’s reading that way. I love the story line and it’s obvious Delonge has done his research on dream theory and analysis with all the psychology references (Anyone who has taken a dream class or basic Psych 250 class would enjoy this series).
Is It Good?
For those who have seen the film and newcomers to the story, this series is very accessible and contains a surprisingly good storyline. This second issue’s plot gives the comic a much more dark and morbid tone and shows us exactly how far Delonge and Kull are willing to go. I highly encourage picking this up.