Monday, April 2, 2007

Dreamland Chronicles

The Dreamland Chronicles by Scott Christian Sava

If you haven’t seen The Dreamland Chronicles before, prepare for something different. It’s a kid-friendly fantasy comic with wonderful characters and an appealing story, but what sets it apart is the art – it’s completely computer generated. Yup, a CG comic.

Let me be up front about my bias: I admire the heck out of Scott Sava. Not only is he a talented artist and animator, he has put uncountable hours and large sums of money into creating the computer generated world of The Dreamland Chronicles, all for of his love of the story. And I feel for him, because the first three issues, though beautifully produced and printed by Alias, just didn’t sell. With sales not going as well as he would have hoped, Scott decided to reach out to a new audience and take The Dreamland Chronicles online. It worked. Online readership has far exceeded the audience for the printed comic and is growing every day.

It’s easy to see why. The story is engaging and well-told and the characters are charming; elves, fairies, pirates, a village of living teddy bears, and a friendly rock giant – what’s not to like? Scott really knows how to play physical humor well on the page and there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. Of course, it’s not perfect – the “real world” scenes can be dull and the dialogue gets a bit stiff in a few places, but Dreamland and its inhabitants are so wonderful that anyone of any age can’t help but be sucked in. Every kid I’ve ever shown it to has fallen in love with it instantly.

While I’m thrilled to see Dreamland achieve online success, the selfish side of me really wants to see The Dreamland Chronicles back in print, preferably in book form, because I just know that if it were promoted and distributed where kids could get a hold of it, it would be successful. The CG art would call to kids from bookstore shelves like a Siren. (Update: The first Dreamland trade is available! Visit to get yours now!)

Enough of my soapbox. Read the girls’ reviews, check out Dreamland for yourself, and come back next week for our interview with Scott!

Shelby says: Basically Dreamland Chronicles is about this boy named Alex – when he dreams he goes to a place that is real. At the beginning of the story Alex is little and he goes to Dreamland a lot when he’s asleep. After he finds a sword, he stops dreaming for a long time. Then, when he’s in college, he puts on a sword necklace from his childhood and he dreams again. The art is one of my favorite parts. I like the computer generated pictures because they are a little better than regular drawings because there aren’t black lines and that makes the characters look very surreal. I like Paddington Rumblebottom because his name is funny and he’s a very good friend to Alex. When Alex is awake he likes this girl named Nicole who is a scientific lady who works in a lab about dreams. So they test Alex and when he starts dreaming, his brain goes dead – dun, dun, dun! That’s all I’m going to tell you. There are lots more surprises but you have to read it to find out.

Sarah says: Whoa! Dreamland Chronicles is soooo good! I really think anyone could read it. The art is amazing – it’s computer generated pictures. I like it because the computer generated people don’t look as weird as the computer generated people in moving films. This book has amazing scenery and lighting – it feels like you’re actually there. The characters I like are Nastajia because she is a girl elf that fights and kicks butt and Kiwi because she is a fairy and she is cute and kiwi is my favorite fruit. I also like Paddington Rumblebottom who is a giant rock…man…dude…uh, thing. I call him Rock Boy for short. I like him because he looks a little scary but he’s actually very kind and he’s a worry wart (a little). And he is a dance instructor which is funny because I didn’t think that big rocks can dance that well. My favorite part is when Alexander gets an island named after him but I can’t tell you what the island is made of – it’s really funny so you should read it to find out!


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