By Brendan McCarthy & various (Dark Horse Books)
London-born Brendan McCarthy came to funnybook prominence in 2000AD before finding international comics stardom whilst pursuing a parallel career in film, television, music videos and design.
Forward-looking, iconoclastic yet simultaneously deeply reverential of comics’ great innovators, his most notable graphic works include Strange Days and Paradax, Judge Dredd, Zenith, Sooner or Later, Skin, Rogan Gosh, Spider-Man: Fever and innumerable stunning covers. His moving-media credits are equally singular and impressive, having produced scripts and/or design work for The Storyteller, Highlander, Lost in Space, pioneering CGI animation series Reboot, Mad Max 4: Fury Road and so much more.
Originally seen as scintillating segments of a occluded whole in Dark Horse Presents volume 3 #1-4, #7-10 and #14-17 in 2014-2015, McCarthy’s latest magnum opus has been completely remastered here: a digitally-psychedelic, intoxicatingly intriguing yarn (with lettering from Nate Piekos of Blambot® and additional colouring from Len O’Grady) which begins with a tedious worn-down wage slave enduring his greyly monochrome mind-numbing existence.
Everything changes – but not necessarily for the better – when his head hits the pillow and he is transported to an incredible, overwhelming wonderworld where dreams are made manifest and the id and subconscious roam free and wild…
However the dreamscape is in the midst of a terrifying civil war with a marauding entity dubbed Zeirio ripping apart the fantastical strata and recondite regions of the Dreamscape in his lust to acquire a hidden ultimate weapon and break out into the real world.
Instantly attacked by a passing Hate-Wraith, our reluctant wanderer is only saved by the swift intervention of quirkily charismatic Sheriff Chumhartley who then presses him into service by activating his Dream Avatar…
Now submerged within the masked super-heroic frame of the Dream Voyager, the baffled, bemused and partially amnesiac real-worlder is subjected to a parade of mind-blasting sights as he reluctantly joins the imaginary brotherhood of the Dream Gang in a last-ditch pursuit of Zeirio.
However, with his new allies losing ground – and, too often, their lives – the imported champion is further baulked and distracted by the appearance of a beloved and long-lost friend from his past, who distracts his dream-fuelled attention and might well be their adversary’s greatest and cruellest counter-weapon…
An astounding visual voyage of discovery to a region of tantalisingly phantasmagorical, thought-bending phenomena to endure Horatian struggles against insurmountable odds, this is a moody, moving and creepily compelling psychological escapade to delight all lovers of the life fantastic.
Devotees of McCarthy’s unique artistic visions will be further rewarded by a copious bonus section which includes an informative Afterword and a large gallery of art pieces: sketches, production notes, concept development and character designs from the decades in which this story moved from enchanting idea to finished ethereal epic.
Dream Gang™ © 2014, 2015, 2016 Brendan McCarthy. All rights reserved.