Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker (Magnetic)
Written by Tom DeLonge and Ben Kull
Illustrated by Djet
Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is the first monthly comic from Magnetic Press and it’s a great addition to their already impressive lineup. This book, from former Blink 182 front man Tom DeLonge, is part of a multimedia story spanning comics, film, and music in an attempt to give audiences the most immersive experience possible. So far, I am on board and excited to see exactly where this series is going.
The son of two hard working Seattle residents, Jonas Anderson finds himself spending another evening at home with his older brother Alan. After arriving home, Jonas finds Alan sitting on the floor with a mysterious book and burning an unknown substance. Suddenly the two fall asleep and find themselves in Genesis, the origin of all mankind’s collective dreams. Through a series of events, Jonas, his brother, and a dream named Ayo are rescued from captivity by a Dream Walker. It quickly becomes clear that Jonas is also a Dream Walker, but he doesn’t know it yet.
Right off the bat I have to say that I love the concept of this book. Dreams can be incredibly powerful and the idea that there are persons within our dreams looking out for our interests is pretty cool. This book is premised on the idea that even in dreams, there are higher levels of achievement that are worth aspiring towards. Growing up in the 90’s, I’m pretty familiar with Blink 182 and Angels and Airwaves (DeLonge’s other band) and I can’t say that I ever felt they had this level of outside the box creativity. Sure their songs were fun, but I always felt that with one or two exceptions, there wasn’t much beneath the surface. It’s always nice to find out that there is some much more to someone than you had originally anticipated. Right now I’m feeling that way about Tom DeLonge and the character Jonas feels the same way about himself. He has just unlocked something truly amazing within himself and he can’t wait to go out and explore what it means. There were a few times at the very beginning of the book where I felt that a little more explaination would have been beneficial, but the issue seemed to resolve itself after the first couple pages. It may have just been a result of rushing a little to get to further in, so that the audience could really dive into the heart of the material. Now that the introductory stuff is passed, I’m curious to see if this problem repeats itself at the beginning of the second issue.
Visually this book feels like a mix of anime and a book like Low from Image, both in tone and color palette. The characters in both shape and feel are remind me a lot of anime and manga. They have the slightly over exaggerated facial features that are common in Japanese comics, and have mannerism that remind me of some anime that I have watched. As Jonas, Alan and Ayo change locations, the color palette shifts to better illustrate the feel of the location. Not only does the artist, Djet, change the look of the scenery, but he also changes the lighting which bathes the characters. The green hoodie that Jonas is wearing shifts hue depending on the light, as things would in real life. The reader knows that nothing has actually changed, but at the same time they have changed in just the expected manner.
As far as firsts go, this is a pretty solid first monthly comic from Magnetic Press. While it took a step or two to really reach its full stride, Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker has a spectacular amount of potential that I’m excited to see how it’s explored and fleshed out. 4/5 Death Stars