Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker #1 Review

Written by: Tom DeLong and Ben Kull

Art by: Djet

Published by: Magnetic Press

Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is a comic with a ton of imagination, creativity and is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Part of a cross-media push by Blink-182 Singer and Lead Guitarist Tom DeLong, this comic serves as a prequel to an upcoming short film of the same name. The film looks spectacular, so I leapt at the chance to check out the comic and was very pleased by my experience with it.

The story and themes of Poet Anderson and very cool and very much in line with the surreal and strange interests of both myself and creator Tom DeLong; DeLong and co-writer Kull introduce us to a dream world where all dreams take place, a world in which lucid dreamers are able to navigate this strange and beautiful landscape. There are a lot of references to things like lucid dreaming an REM sleep, and for someone interested in that sort of stuff DeLong’s ideas and uses of them are very cool and make for a great comic. Our main hero is Jonas Anderson, a disillusioned young boy who is introduced to this dream world by his brother Alan, which is where our adventure begins. Most of the issue revolves around a tour of the dream world and introducing alien concepts to the reader such as dreams and night terrors, the book is therefore a little light on plot but a lot of elements for an awesome story are put in place, plus there is so much creativity on display in the world building that it’s best not to overload the story with too much plot right away. Some good ground rules are laid down in this opening to give this world a consistent feel and to ensure there aren’t any cheap plot elements later on, therefore the issue acts as a perfect transition into a world bursting with potential.

The real star of the show here however is the painted artwork of Djet, whose depiction of the dream world leads to one of the most unique and beautiful comics I’ve read in a long time. The comic looks just like an animated film, a bit like Disney but for kids who are too cool for Disney, it’s almost like a music video but as a comic. Everything looks incredibly stylish and slick, there’s initially a very sci-fi and technological feel to the world, but the landscapes shift like dreams to visualise a whole bunch of different settings and worlds that veer more towards fantasy. What’s most impressive is his colour work, they’re absolutely beautiful, with a dreamlike quality. The bold bright colours that co-exist alongside the darker hues give off a very unique look and make the world look so inviting and contrasts perfectly with the mundaneness of the real world in the opening.

My only real complaint with this opening issue is just how much exposition there is. Like I said, this is a very creative and interesting place, so I don’t mind reading more about it because I want to learn and explore this world, however, given just how beautiful the world is portrayed through the art I would’ve perhaps liked them to tell more of the story through that or taken a more organic approach to world building. It’s mostly personal preference, but I feel the art is this books major strength and using it to channel DeLong’s imagination would’ve made the world even more immersive than just reading it in text.

Overall, this is a comic simply bursting with potential. This first issue covers a lot of groundwork and introduces readers to a world they won’t quickly forget. There are a lot of questions left to be answered by the end of it, but that just left me wanting more from this series, in a good way. I’m very excited to see what’s next for this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes their comics to veer towards the surreal and the strange.