This week, Comics You Should Be Reading profiles the Revolutionary War webcomic The Dreamer!
Comics You Should Be Reading is a new feature here on the Outhouse, featuring a rotating panel of Outhouse writers highlighting some of the best, underheralded books out today
The Dreamer is written and illustrated by Lora Innes.
What's it about?: The Dreamer is a very un-average webcomic about Bea Whaley, a seventeen year old high schooler and theatre enthusiast who begins to have incredibly vivid dreams about the Revolutionary War. Bea finds herself juggling two lives, one in the modern day dealing with high school, dances and a budding romance with jock/closet theare nerd Ben Cato and the other escaping Redcoats with Alan Warren, the cousin of the famous Dr. Warren of Bunker Hill fame. As the story progresses, Bea has more and more difficulties keeping her two lives separate and begins to wonder if there's more to the dreams than she originally thought.
Why is it awesome?: As an amateur historian of the Revolutionary War, I can't help but to be impressed how well Lora Innes keeps the book so enmeshed in history while moving her story briskly along. The Dreamer also features a deep supporting cast in both time periods. Nathan Hale, the famed spy who had but one life to give for his country, plays a supporting role in the book and is one of the most fleshed out characters in the cast. The Dreamer's cast largely avoids the typical unreal teenage tropes, in part due to the historical time period that a bulk of the story takes place in.
Innes also does an excellent job keeping readers invested into the main love triangle of Bea,Ben Cato and Alan Warren, even if they're typically not fans of the gushy stuff. While the whole "man of your dreams" thing has been visited before in various mediums, The Dreamer's love triangle seems deeper and less certain. Thirteen chapters into the plot, I'm still not 100% sure which way Innes will take the plot especially as wrinkles are constantly added as the story progresses.
If you like_______, you'll like this book: When the series was first recommended to me, it was described as a "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane" set in the Revolutionary War. It's a pretty accurate description and both share a similar light-hearted tone that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. Fans of Runaways or Young Avengers or any other book that focuses mainly on teenage interactions will certainly enjoy the series as well.
Where do I start?: The entire series is available online at www.thedreamercomic.com and updates on Fridays. IDW also released a trade collection of the first six chapters which is available through Amazon. The second trade will be released later this year.
For fans of history and teenage themed books, The Dreamer is a great (and free!) read! With The Dreamer already picked up by IDW, it appears as if it's only a matter of time before Lora Innes gets tapped for bigger projects. It wouldn't surprise me if she becomes a rising star in the industry before too long.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer