Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Dreaming # 55

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Peter Gross, Daniel Torres, Paul Pope, Michael Kaluto, Phil Jimenez, Adam Hughes, Linda Medley, Bill Willingham, Marc Laming, John Stokes, Zander Cannon, Albert Monteys
Publisher: Vertigo
Published: December 2000

D is for dreaming.

The Dreaming is a great story. It follows Danny Nod as he visits various 'tales' to retrieve their books that are due back to the library. Danny is a hard working chap, and armed with his wits and indomitable dedication to the library he strikes forth.

His first stop is to see the troll under the bridge, who is more interested in turning Danny into a meal than returning his book. However, Danny being quick witted, makes a compelling argument that this troll has less than remarkable role models, (ie. the one that got tricked by Jack, and the other bested by a billy-goat), so why doesn't he turn a 180 and do the right thing. The troll, not one to be seen less than his fellow kin, kindly returns the book.

Next stop is to the see the nefarious Snidely Whiplash, who like his villainous troll counterpart is more concerned with obtaining the mill by tying it's owner to the tracks than returning his tale. Not one to shy away from danger Danny enters the scene, gets his book, and offers a few encouraging words to the damsel in distress. Off again.
The tales continues to follow Danny on his quest for the library books. He visits various tales: the sword in the stone, Arabian Nights, the 3 little pigs, Robin Hood's final decree, Wendy and Peter Pan, and finally, Jack and the bean stock.

Beyond the exceptional artwork by the various artists, this self contained story is excellent. Danny's determination to retrieve the books of the various tales is smart, quirky and above all fascinating. (Plus I got it for 33 cents!) I particularly enjoyed the spin on Robin Hood's tale. Robin Hood fired his last arrow, and where it was to fall he would be buried. Instead it hit a stag, which bounds off. Robin's men, although a bit taken aback, are loyal to the core and begin the long search. Similar to Danny's resolve to find the books, they'll find that stag.

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