[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Nalo Hopkinson
Artist: Dominike “DOMO” Stanton
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Deron Bennett
There is party going on in the dreaming. It is the kind of party you would expect. The book is rated mature. You get the idea. The Deity Shakpana’s diary is in the land of the living. When he comes to earth, nothing good follows. Still, who wants a dream book in the hands of teenagers? He makes a grab for it. It does not go as planned. Coming into the world is hard for him but not impossible. What happens is pretty shocking for him and the reader.
Look, I have been a vegetarian for 26 years. I am the last person to tell you that the graphic death of a prawn is a good thing. However, I can not tell a lie, there is a graphic death of a prawn in this book and you can not take your eyes off of it. Every single detail is an assault on your eyes. You can almost hear the sounds. You can feel the prawn goo get all over you as it is flipped and cracked. It is so disgusting and it is glorious. This is what good comic art is about. Well done DOMO.
The story is clearly a baseline. We are meeting the characters. There is a lot to see and a lot to do. We have to give Hopkinson some time for this to grow. She is a novelist and short fiction writer, so she is used to taking the time needed to tell a good story. I feel good about where it is headed. We have a cast of characters we are not used to seeing in comic books. Bravo! It is about time.
As seems to be the case lately, these books are too short. 24 pages? Remember when the first show in a new series was 2 hours long so you could get to know everyone? Wouldn’t that be better? I feel rushed here. I want to like the girls. I want to care that they are put in peril, but I did not get to spend enough time with them. I suspect, as we move forward, we will find out more about them and we will be sucked right in. For now, it is just too short.
This is clearly a comic for grown ups. Do NOT hand this to any kid unless you want to have a lot of conversations about anatomy. Issue one shows promise. Cain and Able show up. I am ready to spend time in the dreaming in the House of Whispers.