It’s not often that I finish a new graphic novel and say that, especially one by newer writers and artists, but that’s exactly how I felt upon finishing Dream Thief .
The basic premise is that unreliable stoner John Lincoln is still trying to find a way to impress his sister, successful best friend and his paranoid girlfriend. At the end of yet another binge he wakes up wearing the Aboriginal mask he’d stolen from a gallery the night before as well as a high-jacker in the form of a murder victim’s angry spirit which has possessed Lincoln’s body. Naturally this freaks Lincoln out, but the more it keeps happening (a new possession happens when he sleeps, gaining their abilities each time to boot) the sooner he realises that they are not only connected, but the trail goes right to his deceased father.
Lincoln is a rare character in graphic novels as he’s totally believable and even though the set-up is supernatural, you’re never left thinking it’s fantasy. A lot of that is also to do with the highly impressive art, and I was amazed when I got to the end notes to discover that this is artist Greg Smallwood’s first published job. He will be a guy to watch! At no point is anything messy or hard to decipher (which can be the case especially when viewing digitally) and each panel flows seamlessly into the next.
Must also mention that there are some gorgeous variant covers and pin ups at the end of the book with art full of both atmosphere and humour.
Volume 1 contains editions 1-5 of the comic and despite searching, I can’t find any sign of further issues. Hopefully these will come to the fore soon enough as by the end of this edition I was eager to see where Lincoln’s story would go next.
This book was supplied as an advance review copy ebook via NetGalley in return for an honest review and is in no way indicative of the final print copy.