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An idea has been agressively working its way into my thoughts lately. Its about a man who has dreams that are really "out there", very atmospheric and vast, and he meets a girl and realizes her dreams are similar.
Eventually they end up meeting in a dream and from that point on are able to communicate to each other through the dream world. To make a long story short; they begin to know too much about each other, more than any one human knows about another. And they use their abilities to control their thoughts in the dream world to manipulate one another. This has nothing to do with super intelligence or any sort of extraordinary powers, just basically pure coincidence involving people that have too much in common. Obviously this will affect their lives in reality.
For those who practice sequential art or simply just enjoy it and understand it, I was just wondering if there is anyone who would have some good formulas for telling a story that is 50% reality and 50% dream world. What I mean is; scenarios and settings in dreams tend to jump around alot and colors or shapes are constantly changing. I want to try to capture the mood of the dreams (seemingly impossible), but also establish a clarity for viewers. Is there a good way to show this (without the use of extensive text) in graphic narrative art without completely losing the reader? Or is it even possible?
I have been fooling around with some ideas but I am very interested to see the problem solving process some of you may use to approach this. Whether or not you come to a sound conclusion, I would love to see what people think of a scenario such as this one.
Last edited by Chromo48; August 7th, 2003 at 03:08 AM.
One thing I notice when I dream is that I cannot examine anything closely.. what I mean is, when I look directly at something while dreaming (I usually know I am dreaming and am able to control my actions while dreaming) I cannot see what it is. The objects edges begin to polymorph and change and perspective goes wacky. I think that is actually how I know I am dreaming. I am not sure if I am making sense or if others dream this way.. but I do. When I try looking at something closely, it begins to change.
That is how I would represent dreaming. Have all of the elements constantly moving around the characters. Objects in the real world would be static, of course.
There are a number of other ways to takle this, of course. Atmosphere and lighting, distortion, use of bizarre colors and shapes.
Anyway, dreaming interests me and I have had a few that I would like to get down..
There are a few artists I'd recommend. One being Dave McKean (who worked on The Sandman and the Dreaming comics ). He gets it right. A lot of the time the artwork in these comics is lacking though. Not always, but too often. McKean did the covers. There is also an artist who comes to these boards a bit called Nivbed who captures a dreaming quality quite well. A few other artists would probably include De Chirico, Magritte, Max Ernst and (yes..) Dali.
Last edited by oglzogl; August 7th, 2003 at 11:10 AM.
Thank you oglzogl for your help. I know what you mean about things morphing. I don't have a problem directly focusing on things in dreams (most of the time), but colors and surroundings can change rapidly.
For example, Say I was walking through a subway station and suddenly, seconds later I'm in the middle of a giant shopping mall with tons of people. It's where you wanted to be, but you don't actually take the time to get there, you're just there when you want to be there. Showing that in graphic narrative is a problem. Maybe some odd panel distortion for changing settings would work. It could be something used over and over for just the setting change, I could somehow explain the first setting change (with the distorted panel) then every one after that would be a cue for the reader to know that the setting has changed because of it being the dream world.
I'm going to check out Dave McKean, his stuff looks pretty good, and if he was working with Neil Gaiman he must know what he's doing. As for Nivbed and Dali, I'm big fans of both of those guys. I'd also like to see work from the others you mentioned, I'll have to look for some. Thanks again, I appreciate any input.