THE DREAMING #1
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Bilquis Evely, Mat Lopes & Simon Bowland
Edited by Molly Mahan, Amedeo Turturro, Maggie Howell, Mark Doyle
Published by Vertigo Comics
Release Date: September 5, 2018
Many a tale is born in loss.
The land of The Dreaming is broken. Its denizens continue their lives, but are also left wanting by the loss of their leader. Lucien endeavors to find a way to fix things, while Dora, an unusual citizen who is able to move between worlds, is stuck. Eventually, someone makes a move to bring things to order, all the while understanding that this action is more a bandage than a solution.
I try to reserve this word for very specific and special instances, but The Dreaming is beautiful. There’s so much outlandish and fantastic stuff within this comic, and it all comes together in a wonderfully executed fashion. I love how the story, both narratively and visually, plays with the idea of structure, brokenness, and flux. There are a lot of really great elements that weave an intricate fabric.
Simon Spurrier is lowkey a master of the odd. Spurrier’s style lends well to worldbuilding, particularly of the offbeat sort. Though there is still much to be uncovered in this story, the characters feel both full and intriguing. Dora, Lucien, Matthew, everyone seems interesting, even though through this story we really don’t find out much about them. I’m curious to see how Spurrier continues to bring this world together considering how he has set the stage.
Bilquis Evely has an aesthetic that is able to work in flux, capturing not just ordinarily rendered characters and environments, but also those that are chaotic. The grittiness, the sharp angles throughout the story are transfixing, and this dramatic bent works well with the confusion and mystery we see throughout the story. One of my favorite aspects of The Dreaming is how panels are constructed. There isn’t a uniform method for drawing them, and that allows each scene to have its own nature and presence. Evely plays with form in a variety of ways and they all help make this comic spectacular.
Mat Lopes’ colors are refreshing. Reading this issue, I found it remarkable how clear every image feels. For a comic so strange, Lopes uses colors that make the world make sense. We are able to see in very distinct detail just how much is built into this world, and I think that helps to better digest what is going on in every page.
The Dreaming is off to a great start. With a strange world full of beautiful art and a creative narrative, we are getting a story that is engaging on multiple levels. To say this issue is well-done is an understatement, as it is a coalescence of skill and talent. I look forward to what comes next.
The Verdict: 10/10