Poet Anderson-The Dream Walker is nothing more than an exercise in pretentiousness, ego and an over-inflated sense of self-worth. It oozes with images and dialogue which begs the reader: Look at how cool this all is! Aren’t you impressed with my genius at the metaphysical!?
Please. Spare us. We’ve already got two rockers with comic book series–one skulking around with an Umbrella Academy and another throwing Armory Wars at us with accompanying concept albums–we don’t need another one to join in on preventing someone who is more talented from being discovered and published.
Therefore, I ask very politely for Tom DeLonge (Angels & Airwaves; Blink-182) to cease and desist from producing any more of the graphic novel aspect of his bloviated multimedia conceptual event. I originally started this article with a very, very negative point-of-view about this… this… I don’t know what it is but I do know what it wants to be and it sure as hell isn’t. As I’ve said, DeLonge calls it a multimedia event which, to me, means dressing up his product with the accouterments of a concept piece.
I don’t blame Magnetic Press–at least, I don’t want to blame them–for this mess, but they do have a hand in it and I think they should stop. Poet Anderson is not for them–it’s not for any company who aspires to bring European or European-quality comics to the shores of the United States. It’s not even done in the spirit of European comics! It’s nothing more than an amalgam of many stories we’ve already seen–we’ve read the books, comics and we’ve watched the movies. Whether it’s The Matrix, Akira or Tron–take your pick–you’ll find their aspects and plot devices reworked without much thought in this garbage mistaken for a comic book. In many ways, it falls short of plagiarism.
“There’s even echoes of Akira with the main characters racing through futuristic city streets…”
Taking a massive plot point from The Matrix, DeLonge replaces a virtual reality world with a Dreamworld which exists side-by-side with reality–the Waking World–thinking he is being clever. There’s even echoes of Akira with the main characters racing through futuristic city streets on their motorbikes which look like carbon copies of the streets found in Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece or Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner–I shit you not! Akira is further woven throughout the visuals of the comics panels by the futuristic-looking dream megalopolis sprawling out in all directions; exploding with neon colors from the urban streets.
The cliché plot involves two latch key kids–brothers–discovering a mystical book about the parallel dreamworld which exists next to our own. It turns out the brothers are Lucid Dreamers who can exist in both worlds and then, suddenly, we are hit with more plot devices borrowed from Nightmare on Elm Street involving the dangers and the need to know when to dream and when to be awake. And with this within the plot I….
You know? I don’t really care. Why?
Because there’s nothing good about this comic including the rest of the multimedia event it is shackled to; including a concept album by DeLonge’s Neo-Prog-Rock group, Angels&Airwaves, and a short film which shares the comic books title. I don’t fault a person for trying something new. What I do find fault with Poet Anderson is that it is nothing new!
What’s that you say? I’m not being fair by not taking into consideration Mr. DeLonge’s entire multimedia event. Actually, I have. I wasn’t stupid enough to buy the Poet Anderson-The Dream Walker box set by Angels&Airwaves, but I did enough research into it which led me to a YouTube video where a fan did an unveiling of the box sets contents. I watched apathetically as pale, moon-tanned hands of the Angels&Airwaves fan removed from the box a blank CD with the Angels&Airwaves logo on it to be used to download the concept album, The Dream Walker, onto (which is fucking lame!),a DVD of the 15-minute film of Poet Anderson-The Dream Walker, a mini-comic book and a blank Dream Journal with the Angels&Airwaves-The Dream Walker logos embossed all over it. I have no fucking clue what the price tag on it is but I’m sure it’s a safe bet it ain’t cheap! Nothing ever is when it comes to self-proclaimed collectables; especially in the music and comics industry which makes for a double-whammy when it comes to DeLonge’s conceptual crap. Let me be clear: Magnetic Press had nothing to do with the box set; only the comic book series being produced as of this writing. But one must know what they are getting into when picking up this comic book and where it originally grew from.
I have huge respect for Magnetic Press and I must admit I was very surprised to see them dip into the floppy book market after seeing the gorgeous hardcover books they have released in recent months–ones I’ve reviewed for this site; going comic book geekazoid all over them. I want my favorite comic book shop to carry more their books because it was through them I found one of my new favorite authors of Eurocomics, Jean-David Morvan–a true professional. But what I have instead is this mess of a comic marked issue #1; indicating we are going to have to endure more of it.
If we must, let me see if I can find anything positive about this amateurish effort on the part of a spiritually awakened Neo-Prog rocker from a now-defunct pop-punk band. I know that’s a mouthful, but I mean it.
I want to say I really am blown away by the artwork of Djet but I believe his style would best suited elsewhere on another book or project which is truly original and challenges him in character and world building designs. And I mean it when I say he needs to be challenged if he’s going to venture into the arena of Eurocomics because Poet Anderson makes him look like the dime-a-dozen manga-mainlining illustrator you can find, right now, in study halls in high schools across America. There has to be more to him than this comic book soggy with science fiction clichés. He needs to grow and find his own voice through something else in comics. It’s not Djet’s fault the source material for his contribution to this comic series crapfest is uninspired and a carbon copy of everything that came before. It’s not Djet’s fault he has to compete for the comic creator’s attention who can’t seem to focus.
I love what you do Magnetic Press. Unfortunately, I don’t have any love for Poet Anderson-The Dream Walker and neither should you. There are better graphic works and projects out there for you to publish.
Now go find them.