Nathan Edmondson is digging deep into the world of dreams with his new creator-owned series The Dream Merchant. The new series marks Edmondson’s debut collaboration with Konstantin Novosadov and Edmondson was kind enough to sit down with Comicosity to discuss the new series.
Maxwell Majernik: Where did the concept for The Dream Merchant come from? What are some influences for the story?
Nathan Edmondson: A while back I started reading about, asking about, thinking about dreams a great deal for an idea that never went anywhere. That research has been sitting in my mind for a while now, and it assimilated slowly to feed into THE DREAM MERCHANT.
In part I was influenced by the landscape from California to Texas, after driving much of it pre-dawn and thinking about being lost and isolated in the desert, desert towns and rocky hills. I am enamored of the southwest, and it so happened I was out there while working out some of the story ideas. So the southwest became woven into the story.
MM: The Dream Merchant focuses on Winslow and how his dreams become more intense each night. Could you tell us a little bit more about Winslow?
NE: One of the interesting things about dreams is they can be supremely nuanced; in a dream you can have an overwhelming sense of something–a sense of danger, a sense of desire, a sense of love. Those dreams where you meet someone and wake up wishing they were real are proof of that emotion-producing chemicals are at work in your mind while you sleep. Winslow’s life is dominated by those out-of-dream feelings. A sense of “something” from his recurring dreams dominates his waking thoughts so much that he can’t concentrate. He fails out of school, has no circle of friends. Then on hypnotherapy lesson shows him that not everything he’s been dreaming is fantasy…
MM: Could The Dream Merchant be taken in a literal sense? Is there someone who sells and buys dreams throughout the story?
NE: Yes, the title can be taken literally.
NE: The collaboration has been perfect, really. He’s imaginative, diligent, and needs no micromanagement. It’s rare to find a new illustrator who understands pacing, panel direction and just nails it on basic page layouts, but that’s what’s happened!
MM: Your other work (Where is Jake Ellis, The Activity) contains mystery/supernatural elements, but stays relatively grounded. How has the transition into writing more of a limitless dreamscape been?
NE: Refreshing, though not necessarily easy. The great difficulty in fantasy is establishing the boundaries, and working within them. The endgame of this book is quite expansive, and the trick was reigning in the more grand ideas.
The Dream Merchant issue 1 is set to come out on May 15th from Image Comics. You can also follow Nathan on twitter @Nhedmondson.