Review: Lucy Dreaming #1

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
March 21st, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Lucy Dreaming #1
Comics
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Review of: Lucy Dreaming #1
Price:
Teenage Dreaming

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On March 21, 2018
Last modified:March 21, 2018

Summary:

A teenage coming of age drama meets an out of this world fantasy adventure. Boom! Studios new comic raises above the cliches with an engaging script and expressive art.

Review of: Lucy Dreaming #1
Price:
Teenage Dreaming

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On March 21, 2018
Last modified:March 21, 2018

Summary:

A teenage coming of age drama meets an out of this world fantasy adventure. Boom! Studios new comic raises above the cliches with an engaging script and expressive art.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

As well as sporting dramas and franchise comics, Boom! Studios continue to put out some of the best creator owned comics. New this week is Lucy Dreaming, a coming of age fantasy story which our contributor, Darryll Robson, has taken a look at.

Mixing teenage clichés and fantastical dreamscapes can be a difficult task to pull off successfully; many a comic and movie have tried and failed. However, writer Max Bemis and artist Michael Dialynas have fashioned a successful modern take on the 1980’s movie fixation of taking a teenager outcast and flinging them into a crazy world beyond their imagining. In Lucy Dreaming the players may seem familiar, even clichéd, but the interpretation is new and exciting.

Credit: Boom! Studios

Synopsis

Lucy enjoys reading exciting fiction, violent fantasy and adventurous sci-fi; she doesn’t want any of that lovey dovey vampire rubbish. She’s not the pretty one at school, or the sporty one, or even the science nerd; Lucy just doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

She would like to be able to succumb to social clichés and fit into a typical high school mould but as self-aware cynical teenager it’s difficult to accept the stereotype so she loses herself in her books.

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That is until something strange happens to her eyes and she enters a dream that fells more real than her normal life.

In a futuristic, war torn world, Lucy is about to discover who she really is and her life will never be the same again.

Analysis

Lucy Dreaming is an adventurous coming of age drama and a girl of today, unable to fit into the world around her, finding out who she is and what she can do. The fantasy trappings are a way for the creators to explore Lucy’s journey into young adulthood, using metaphor and imagery to explore her deeper feelings.

This is not a particularly new concept and there are many famous examples of this throughout the history of comics and literature. But Max Bemis rises above the hum drum examples, such as Twilight which is referenced in this issue, by creating a character who is already bursting with life and personality. Lucy is a modern day child, one tainted by Generation X’s ideals and she understands only too well the clichés inherent in the world around her. Despite not wanting to play a part in a modern day revival of The Breakfast Club, which appears to be happening with her class mates, she doesn’t actively hate those who do play the game.

Credit: Boom! Studios

Bemis has created a very thoughtful character who deeply philosophies her life choices and revels in the fiction she reads; mocking her parents who seemingly want to enforce a normal life on her. This instantly makes Lucy a relatable and liable character. She is her own person, one of a kind and not judgmental. The reader becomes Lucy’s close friend very quickly and is emotionally engaged with the comic long before the crazier elements of the story begin to happen.

Michael Dialynas carefully isolates Lucy from the world around her in the first few pages of the comic, distancing her from the people she knows and places she goes. A panel with Lucy in the centre being stared at from the corner of the eyes of her class mates instantly creates a bubble around her. And if there isn’t a physical distance between her and the other characters there is always a physical block separating Lucy from everyone else; whether this is a kitchen table or simply the backs of the other children. Dialynas hammers home the fact that Lucy is an outcast, detached from the world.

This build up in narrative and art is important for the second act of the comic because the entire tone changes. Lucy goes from being isolated to being the centre of attention. All eyes are on her again but the feeling is completely different. In the Dream World she is respected and has a place in the world. She is wanted and needed by those around her. Despite no knowing what is going on, Lucy immediately feels at home in this new environment. All of this is expertly conveyed to the reader through the change in emphasis in the panel compositions. There is a physical shift portrayed on one page which leads to a tonal shift one the pages that follow.

Credit: Boom! Studios

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The narrative also undergoes a slight alteration. The cynical captions of Lucy’s voiceover disappear and are replaced with witty expositional speech and snarky humour. Lucy relishes the Dream World and Bemis reflects this in his upbeat scripting.

Lucy Dreaming is a comic of two halves which contain a beautiful tonal shift that emphasises the central character’s personality perfectly. It contains the sarcastic humour of an outcast teenager and the pop cultural referencing of a geek at play. The narrative is fun and the artwork exciting, packed as it is with quirky designed characters.

The common central premise is dealt with in a refreshing way that doesn’t patronise or demonise; the sporty types and the princesses are not villains or bullies in this comic, they are just people who have accepted a different role in life to the central character. Bemis takes time to show that none of the characters are ‘wrong’ they are merely different, which is a pleasant change. Often the outcast is judged harshly and unfairly by their peers forcing them down a path where they must prove they are better. But here, in Lucy Dreaming, Bemis is saying that’s not the case, you only have to prove yourself to yourself.

Lucy Dreaming is an entertaining and refreshing read and contains all of the elements you would expect from a first issue. You have a relatable character; an engaging script; a wild adventure; and a cliff-hanger guaranteeing the readers return next issue.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.com

Lucy Dreaming #1

  • 4

Teenage Dreaming

A teenage coming of age drama meets an out of this world fantasy adventure. Boom! Studios new comic raises above the cliches with an engaging script and expressive art.

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