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Hollowspine

I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Dreams & Nightmares

Dream Merchant #1 - Nathan Edmondson The October Faction #1 - Steve Niles, Damien Worm

The Dream Merchant by Nathan Edmondson et al. is about a young man who suffers so terribly from his dreams that he ends up in the psychiatric ward.  He befriends a fellow teen who ended up working in the cafeteria as an escape from juvie.  

 

When strange nightmare creatures come through the dreams and into reality the two find themselves running for their lives, accompanied by another strange fellow, called the Dream Merchant.  

 

Ann and Winslow must work together, him from the dream world of the invader and Ann from the chaotic reality that dream world is trying to invade, to save humanity.

 

The artwork is well done, great in evoking the chaotic space and colors of the dream-realm and the dulled edges of the waking world, as well as the danger that spills into them both.  I liked both Winslow and Ann, but felt that Ann needed a lot more background work for her later role in the story to make complete sense.  

 

I really enjoyed that although there was some romantic tension between the two main characters, it was never acted upon by Ann, who felt there were more important things going on, such as, you know, the destruction of reality, to worry about.

 

Overall, pretty good storytelling and artwork, but the characters could use some work to really get readers invested.  The story is also a good standalone comic, so no cliff-hangers, which could be both a good and a bad thing.  Good, that I felt satisfied with the conclusion, bad, that I'm not really too bothered about not having more to read.

 

The October Faction is perfect reading material for this time of year.  I love the Fall and October is hands down my favorite month.  Halloween is my favorite holiday.  Not because I love the macabre (though I do) or gothic literature (though I do).  Not because I love candy (though I really really do).  But, because, unlike most (ok, all) other holidays Halloween really hasn't lost what makes it so great.  It's a holiday where kids (and adults) get to dress up as whatever they fancy and go out for tricks and treats.  It's pretty much the only holiday left where people give without expectation of receiving anything in return.

 

Candy is freely given to children who come knocking at the door.  No entrance fee is required, no gift of equal or greater value is necessary to be exchanged, no faces are even revealed, no one is made to feel guilty for what they have or have not.  As an adult I love giving out candy almost as much as I enjoyed getting it as a kid.  Unlike Krismas no expectations or pressures are exhorted upon the giver or the gifted, it is truly one of the only remaining holidays which extols the pure joy of freely giving to others.

 

Er...that was a digression, but really I love this time of year and I was happy to read the October Faction, because I felt that it celebrated October in the perfect fashion.

 

A combination of creepy dark imagery and family values the October Fashion is what that updated Edward Scissorhands comic I read a while back should have been.  The characters were fleshed out enough to give readers clear favorites moving forward, but with enough mystery left over to keep us interested and wondering.

 

The story follows the Allan family, which seems on the brink of collapse.  Fredrick and his wife Deloris are having troubles and their two kids want to follow in the dangerous family business their parents are leaving behind (or trying to anyway).

 

When monsters from the past rear their ugly heads the family has to pull together or be pulled into their graves.  It's classic creepy horror, but with a couple twists.  The story is actually kind of heart warming in an Adam's Family kind of way (though definitely not as corny.)  The artwork is fantastic and works well with the story giving it the perfect atmosphere for a creepy October night.

 

I will look forward to reading the next installation of this one again some dark evening.