Comic Review: The Dream Merchant #1

The Dream Merchant #1
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Illustrated by Konstantin Novosadov
Colored by Konstantin Novosadov
Cover by Konstantin Novosadov
Image Comics
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

What if recurring dreams are simply the subconscious actually trying to relay some sort of important message? Could the dreams be offering the dreamer a look into a world seemingly so far removed from reality that perhaps it could be a glimpse into a world long forgotten? Writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Konstantin Novosadov delve into this notion through the mind-bending, surreal thriller The Dream Merchant #1.

Winslow has had the same recurring dream since childhood. As time went on, the dream became more real, pulling him into a deeper, more intense world. Now, Winslow dreams all of the time, unsure of where his true existence lies. Forced to seek recovery in a mental hospital, Winslow spends his days in and out of his dream world or reading books about dreams given to him by the lunch lady, Anne. When Winslow discovers three peculiar, shadow-like cloaked figures in his dream for the first time, he realizes that something is amiss. As the same beings begin chasing him and Anne through the halls of the mental hospital, a fourth mysterious figure appears to aide Winslow and Anne. Winslow must decide whether or not to trust this stranger as a guide, knowing that he may be the only one who can offer them clues about the phenomenon that is Winslow’s dream.

Edmondson has crafted an alluring story in The Dream Merchant #1. Winslow’s beginning narration was wrought with depth and personal character moments that quickly drew me in. I did not feel rushed reading this story; everything was paced seamlessly from the progression of his condition to the introduction of other characters, to the introduction of the dream world itself.

Novosadov’s drawings, while somewhat cartoony in nature, never feel out of place. Long faces and grim features deliver a sense of the depressed, mundane life of mental hospital. The colors of the real world are drab with a mix of various shades of blue and grey, while the dream world flows with dark pinks and purples, giving the feeling of an oddly sinister place.

This was a sensational first issue with all of the makings of a brilliantly fashioned story. I am highly anticipating the next issue of The Dream Merchant. I can’t wait to further explore the confines of Winslow’s mind and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you give his psyche a try as well.

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