By Will Eisner (Kitchen Sink Press – Published most recently by DC Comics)
This thinly disguised diary of the early days of the American comic book industry might be short on action and page count but the strength of the aspirations shine through. Creative people seem to gravitate towards each other, and depression era tales abound with big dreams fuelled by desperation, against a backdrop of comradeship. The politics of revolution simmer in the minds and unfilled bellies of the poor. Characters we all should recognize make their choices and move on to become the gods of popular or even High Culture we all grew older with. Can you spot ‘em all?
There is an added impetus for the afficionado of the strips. Not only engaging characters, not merely an insider’s perspective on the beginnings of our beloved obsession, not at last a direct link to history that the rest of world thinks worth remembering, but also a real glimpse inside the minds and hearts of the creative wizards that started it all.
Covering a period rife with daily human drama, and exploring an age where dreams were common and creativity unshackled, The Dreamer is a captivating reverie of how comics were, how they work and delivered in the best manner of one of comics’ greatest innovators and practitioners.
© 1986, 2004 Will Eisner.