Thursday, 31 July 2014

Journey Into Mysterious Comics #5: Bad Dreams #1 Review (Gary Winnick)

Each week we read comics we know and love – that’s why we read them! But what about the scores of other comics that get published that we don’t read? In Journey Into Mysterious Comics, I’ll pick up a random comic I know nothing about each week and review it. Maybe I’ll strike gold and find a great new title to follow, maybe I won’t – but I live in hope!

Join me each week as we… Journey Into Mysterious Comics! 

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A little girl called Mary appears in a dream world. There are lots of fantasy creatures around, like a shadow thing called Nimrod, a talking mouse called Sir Spanks, and a spider imaginatively called Spide. Together, they must go on a quest for Mother Night to bring back the darkness to a land of eternal day as the endless light is driving everyone mad from lack of sleep!

Bad Dreams #1 is an all-ages comic from Gary Winnick, perhaps best known for his work as designer of the Lucasfilm Games’ classic Maniac Mansion. The comic’s look is kinda similar to MM with the interesting use of colour and wonderfully elaborate houses – visually it’s appealing.

But, because it’s aiming for a much younger audience, the writing and storytelling is much less sophisticated. Mary, our main character, couldn’t have less character if Winnick tried – she is as blank a slate as possible. Meanwhile, the supporting cast are themselves unremarkable – they’re basically all about the way they look rather than the way they behave.

Bad Dreams is a cute quest story that younger readers will enjoy more because they’re much less critically-minded readers and the adventure is fine and suitable for kids; but for the older crowd like myself, there’s little here to engage with. Little-to-none characterisation, bland plot, and forgettable dialogue all marred my experience of this comic though I liked the quirky art. Definitely one for the under 10 crowd only, methinks.

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