Reviews – Image Comics: The Dream Merchant #1

Posted: May 23, 2013 in Reviews - Image Comics
Tags: , , , ,

9399767-the-dream-merchant-1

Written By: Nathan Edmondson
Art By: Konstantin Novosadov
Price: $2.99

This one was a bit of a gamble on my part. Outside of a brief description/synopsis, I really had no idea what I was going to be getting with Dream Merchant #1. But, it sounded interesting, and I do like the other Image titles I’m reading, so I picked it up. And I’m not even going to make you wait here, I’m definitely glad that I did. So let’s jump into things here shall we?

First things first. I do have to say that this title probably isn’t going to be for everyone. It starts off weird, then it gets weirder, and I have little doubt that over the next five issues it’s only going to get weirder. By no means is that a bad thing though, just because its a little on the weird side, doesn’t mean that the story isn’t interesting and compelling. I for one certainly found it to be. The central figure of the story is a young man named Winlslow, whether that’s his first or last Mae isn’t made abundantly clear, but it’s the name he answers to. What little in the way of backstory we are given about the character is that he’s adopted, his parents would fight every night and he felt responsible for it, and he’s been having the same dream nearly every night snce he was a child. When we pick up with Winslow we find him probably in his late teens/early twenties as a patient in a psychiatric hospital. Why is he there? Because the dream has consumed him to the point where, in his words, “…waking up sometimes felt like falling asleep. Waking was like sleeping.” But that’s only the beginning of the story. Over the course of the 44-page issue we see figures apparently from within Winslow’s dream become very real and send him off on the run, along with Anne, a teenage girl who works at Winslow’s hospital and who we learn has her own set of problems. So, that’s basically the story here, or at least as much as I can tell without getting overly detailed and ruining the fun of reading it for you. As for the writing in the book, whether intentional or not, particularly in the narrative boxes,  found it had the odd tendency to come off almost like poetry at times. And even though, I’ve never particularly been into poetry, I actually mean that as a compliment here, because it absolutely works. That actually seemed to be a bit of a theme for this book, taking something I’m not particularly into and getting me to like it, as that was also true of the art. My persona preference usually tends towards the hyper-realistic superhero kind of style, but the art here, while being very far from that preference was beautiful, at times haunting, and perfectly suited to the story.

I don’t usually set out in these reviews to convince anyone who reads them to pick up whatever book. Happen to be talking about, but in this case I honestly hope that I did a good job in getting you to at least consider checking out The Dream Merchant. If you have any interest in fantastical stories in more or less contemporary settings, I truly believe you’ll be happy if you give this one a try.

Score: 9.0

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