Sometimes an idea is so perfect that it can't miss. Dreamtoons, collecting 109 of Jesse Reklaw's Slow Wave comic strips, is subconscious journalism at his best. Reklaw asks readers and friends to send him descriptions of their dreams, which he then renders in classic four-panel, inked comic format. From silly to terrifying to profound, each dream is summed up neatly and illustrated faithfully. The giant-chicken building gracing the cover, the bacon on the communion plate, and the class taught by death are just a few highlights from the sleeping landscapes; the artist captures them all and breaks down our barriers between "normal" reality and our dream creations. Peppered with quotes from luminaries like Marcel Proust, the book also has a few pages of dream information resources appended. Dreamtoons draws its readers into other peoples' minds and keeps them there just long enough. --Rob Lightner
From School Library Journal
YA-Dreams are seen here not as earnest messages, but as marvelously creative, often hilarious, and always nonthreatening adventures. Reklaw understands that dreams are hard to share: "unlike last night's hit show, even the best dreams often leave friends and family bewildered." Happily, he has overcome the difficulty of describing dreaming in the usual way ("with only clumsy words and gestures")-through expressing its visual quality. For several years, he has maintained a Web site (www. slowwave.com) where people can view his work and send him their own dreams, along with pictures and descriptions of themselves. With a clear, uncluttered, pen-and-ink style, he takes this highly subjective and usually surrealistic content and transforms it into zingy, black-and-white, four-panel cartoon strips with titles like "Heavenly Paper Bag," "Super Blueberry Woman," and "Love and Darth." An apartment house turning into a chicken ("It still had windows and stuff, but it was definitely a chicken") would seem to be a difficult thing to explain with any clarity, but, as a glance at the front cover shows, Reklaw has the talent to do just that. Dreamtoons gathers Reklaw's favorite strips, organizes them loosely around a variety of quotations about the topic, and concludes with a list of "Dream Resources," in print and cyberspace, for readers who wish to pursue the subject further.
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Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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