Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #32 - February 1998
|Publisher:||Odd Jobs, Ltd.|
|Writer & Artist:||John Peters & Vincent Sneed|
Pandora Spocks is a 10-year-old girl with colorful dreams and
a budding talent for drawing them. But her dreams suddenly turn
deadly when a mysterious dark something with menacing evil
eyes begins to invade her thoughts -- and maybe even her reality?
Convinced the thing is after her, Pandora finds refuge with a
ragtag bunch of kids who volunteer to help her fight the evil in
her dreams, and soon she finds her very own Dream Guide to
help on the other side. But what is really happening? And why is
almost everyone so darn interested in her dreams?
An excellent youthful light adventure, with multiple layers of
meaning which make this as attention-grabbing for adults as it is
fun for teens. The handling of Pandora's dreams in particular,
which appear to be central to the plot of the book, is excellent -
throwing in bits of phrases she's heard during the day and mixing
an almost-disconnected dream-continuity with frightening bits of
what may or may not be reality.
With a host of neat puzzles to figure out (who is Matt Mason
of the "IIDS" and why is he interested in Pandora's dreams and
art? What did happen to Pandora's mother?), and a raft of
interesting characters, including the oh-so-likeable Pandora, her tired
but loving dad, the mysterious and vaguely menacing Matt, and
(the best so far, I think) a sort of teenage Doc Savage crew who
volunteer to assist, Forty Winks is sure to grab the interest of
anyone interested in dreams, reality, and adventure.
All art ©1997 by Oddjobs, Limited
Lots of experimentation and growing during even the two
published issues: panel layout is inventive yet not distracting, and
backgrounds are usually well-done, adding depth and texture to
the scenes. With the addition in issue 2 of gray washes, a
watercolor effect smooths edges and deepens the art, eliminating the
reproduction problems some light lines suffered in the first issue.
Characters look almost manga-esque, with an unusual
dimension to them that is reminiscent of Super-Deformed manga style
(oblong heads and such), but it's easy to grasp and merely adds a
flavor of otherworldliness to the book even as it adds energy to
the action sequences. Overall, a great and interesting job.
Forty Winks will be a sure sale to fans of other light fantasy
books starring youngsters, like the superlative Akiko
and Pakkins' Land, as well as fans of Dark Town
or Magician's Village. Fans of light manga-esque
adventure like Pervert Club or Ninja High School
should give Forty Winks a try, as should readers of
Quicken Forbidden and fans of TV's "VR 5", thanks to the
similar themes and adventure. A fun, light adventure for all ages.
If you like Forty Winks, take a look at:
Cold Cut Distribution
220 N Main St. - Salinas, CA 93901 - (831) 751-7300