REVIEW: ‘The Dreaming Waking Hours,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Dreaming Waking Hours #1
The Dreaming Waking Hour
s #1 is published by DC Comics under the Black Label imprint, written by G. Willow Wilson, art by Nick Robles, colors by Mat Lopes and letters by Simon Bowland. Ever since she had her baby, Lindy has been having the same recurring, lucid dream. She’s done it so many times she knows what’ll happen before it does. Unless of course, it does something different. And if that something different made a horrible mistake, why she may never get to see her baby again.

The Sandman. For decades he was one of the jewels in the Vertigo Comics imprint. While I’m sure some of you out there will instantly question my validity as a comic reviewer as I admit this, I’ve never read a story with him. Well, unless you count an issue of Justice League from back in the day.

Due to this lack of foreknowledge you can imagine I was a bit intimidated to step into The Dreaming Waking Hours #1. Would I be bombarded with terms and ideas that I know nothing about but have existed for decades? Happily, no. This is actually a fantastic read for someone who knows little about the Sandman Universe. It introduces concepts about the world at the same pace you would expect of a brand new fantasy setting. It won’t all make perfect sense. But, magic never does.

Lindy has her fair share of real world problems. As a single mother trying to finish the dissertation for her PHD she struggles to get through her days. Her pay barely covers rent, and her little baby girl won’t let her get more than a couple hours sleep at a time. The world is a big enough struggle. What else could go wrong? Well, a lot. Especially as her lucid dreams become a bit more interactive than usual. When she encounters someone she should not, she quickly finds herself somewhere she should not. And worse, she doesn’t realize the danger she’s in. After all, how can a dream harm you.

The Dreaming Waking Hours #1

Wilson’s decision to start off The Dreaming Waking Hours #1 with a solid look into Lindy’s life is an excellent one. While it’s always tempting to get to the interesting magical happenings, establishing your protagonist’s humanity is always worth the trouble as the story moves forward. Lindy’s struggles are all excruciatingly real, and understandable. We’ve all heard stories about people in similar situations, or perhaps even been there ourselves. This helps ground both Lindy, and the story as a whole. Giving the reader a bit of the mundane helps contrast the fantastical they are about to witness.

It is always up to the art to sell the reader on that fantastical world. The magic, the fantasy and the horror it presents must be shown for the reader to believe. Happily The Dreaming Waking Hours #1 does a magnificent job of delivering on these visuals. Artist Robles conjures up some excellent moments that pulled me into the world I was seeing.

And while the art itself is great, the coloring job by Lopes superbly enhances it. Lots of color palettes see use throughout this story, making each scene shift striking and instantly noticeable. I particularly loved the frequent appearance of a magenta/blue/green color scheme that makes recurring appearances here. I’ve notice this color scheme showing up more often lately. It’s always exceptionally striking and I love it.

Lastly, we have some wonderful letter work on the part of Bowland. Not only does the task of presenting a clear easy to follow story get fulfilled with through their efforts, they also do a fantastic job using alternate fonts and dialogue bubble design to give that extra flavor to the text where appropriate.

When all is said and done The Dreaming Waking Hours #1 is an excellent introduction to a fantasy adventure. It has an instantly relatable main character, as well as just the right amount of magical happenings to get the reader interested, but not overwhelmed.

The Dreaming Waking Hours #1 is available August 4th wherever comics are sold.

 


The Dreaming Waking Hours #1
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done The Dreaming Waking Hours #1 is an excellent introduction to a fantasy adventure. It has an instantly relatable main character, as well as just the right amount of magical happenings to get the reader interested, but not overwhelmed.