Written by Nathan Edmonson
Drawn by Konstantin Novosadov
Published by Image Comics
Another week of comics and another new #1 from Image Comics. This time it’s the double-sized first issue of Dream Merchant written by Nathan Edmonson and drawn by Konstantin Novosadov. I hadn’t heard a lot about this new series before reading the first issue so I was going into it unaware of a premise.
After reading the issue I can best sum it up as the story of a guy who, from his childhood, has had very vivid dreams of a place he has no previous knowledge of. Every night he dreams of the same place and as he gets older the same dream becomes even more intense and harder to wake up from to the point where he is institutionalized in an asylum to help him.
It’s from here that things really get interesting. He is attacked by spectres best described as looking like dementors from the Harry Potter franchise and is forced to escape and go on the run with an assistant from the asylum. They are saved from their pursuers by an old shaman-type character claiming to be the titular character of the book, the Dream Merchant.
I couldn’t help but feel like this first issue was way too long. While I enjoyed the story as a whole I still felt it was padded and could have been condensed down into a much tighter issue overall. I had no previous exposure to either the writer or artist and while I enjoyed the characterization and dialogue, it was the art of Konstantin Novosadov that really impressed me.
His direction and figure work are top notch with a style reminiscent of Matt Kindt or Jeff Lemire. The colors used for the book are exceptional. A subtle palette reigns throughout and the blending of reality and the dream-world with more vivid and striking colors gives the book a rather unique flavor and saved it from being extremely mediocre.
There’s a lot to like about this book and while I had some nit picking I am still intrigued enough by mysteries introduced to read the rest of the mini-series. I hope Edmonson ascends to the level of his artistic collaborator and make this mini one to be talked about for years to come.
3 out of 5 nerds