“Dream Life is one of those weird comics … It’s more like an orchestral piece, only you allow the artwork, rather than the music, to buffet you through the emotional highs and lows of each movement.”
[link] - Larry Cruz - One Punch Reviews – 4 out of 5
Nomination Outstanding Web Comics Creator
for the 2011 Joe Shuster Awards,
Charlie’s childhood friend is about to die.
Hitch hiking in BC PJ’s luck runs out.
Lionel is in existential crisis.
Leslie is a therapist and part time drug dealer.
It’s just occurring to her she hates her job.
Dan’s daughter thinks he needs to grow up.
The story of five friends.
Dreams, drugs, & denial
all failing to weather
the arc of life unscathed.
Each coming to terms with lives peter panned,
and in danger of going off the rails.
Dream Life began life as a conversation between friends. We had just had a good laugh reading an underground plunder comix called ”You’re short, bald, and ugly Charlie Brown“. Three anonymous artists sporting pseudonym masks [Dr. Casey "Sparky" Finnegan] took classic Peanuts strips and re-scripted them with their own deeply black and surreal humor.
After enjoying the zine, one of the friends revealed to the other an old deep-seated romantic attachment to, and identification with the bald lead of Schultz’s cartoons. The other friend remarked that this explained a lot.
Cracking wise about what kind of adults the peanuts characters might make we were inspired to play with the idea of using the cast as a constraint for a contemporary black Tarantino’esque comic narrative about our peers, and ourselves; Each character beginning as a peanuts archetype that we would then age and play with, borrowing from our own lives and our friend’s to flush them out.
Around the late 90s/early 00s, I choped up the script and started a radical rewrite, made this a test case for some formalist ideas about interesting ways to tell a story that entertains by a challenging readers.
Hence things like starting with a near wordless long dream sequence to establish one of the main characters inner world, and an attitude towards reality.
For those of you trying to place it in a genre, I’ve chosen to play the story out structurally as an Ensemble Intrigue. There are some jumps in time line, and about 8 characters you’re following through parallel story lines that climax in kind of the opposite of a Mexican stand-off.
Trust me, it’s going to be insane. Least I hope so, in a good way.
Early on, i wanted to do it all in B&W. But as i started drawing it i realized the scenes could benefit a great deal from colour. But it was not something I’m sure I want to do for a full 300 pages. There is the technical challenge of doing all that colouring – it doubles the time a page takes and I’ll freely admit to being less confident with colour work. And there’s the fact that I still just like the idea of doing simple graphic B&W art! My first love.
And there’s all that time it takes, again. With the kind of detailed drawing i do – it’s also probably a good idea to leave something open for the readers mind to fill in. One of my favourite books is Cages by Dave Mckean. In it he made great selective use of colour, in a mostly B&W book. But by the same stroke I was wary of using something that might come off as a gimmick.
I’m still undecided about this. So you’ll find portions of the web comic in B&W, and when i have time in colour. There is a chance that outside of prints the colour pages may not end up printed in colour, least not in the book.
For this early first incarnations, in many ways what is posted will be a draft. I’m going to experiment with things.
A great thing about web comics, no final edit ’till you say there is.
Dream Life | a sound track [play]
Sébastien Tellier – Look
Charlie Winston – I OWN YOU
Moe Kellogg – all good things
The Flaming Lips – I Can Be A Frog
Stan Ridgway – Drive, She Said
Graham O’Brien – CFCs Feat. Alicia Wiley & Eric Blair
Charlie Winston – Like a Hobo
Tom Waits – Hold On
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man
Regina Spektor – Machine
Broncho – Try Me Out Sometime
Mil Memorias – Neon Walrus
Miracles of modern science – Luminol
Netherlands – Something or Nothing
the 4onthefloor – Workin’ Man Zombie
BATS – These Ones Lay Eggs
tycho – dive
Charles Spearin – Mr. Gowrie
PJ Harvey – Bitter Branches
Dream On – The Chemical Brothers
Christoper Noyes – Grapheme
The Shins – New Slang
Intergalactic Lovers – Fade Away
Schedule: Right now any time i can get one up!
All characters are fictional, and while some resemblance may seem apparent, that’s only because really, they are all me.
File under: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Drama, Surreal, Black Comedy, Caper, Art Comix, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Coming-of-age.
© 2010 Salgood Sam