The Dreamer Cover
Title: The Dreamer
Creators: Format: Webcomic Print
Color: Color
Romanceiness: Definitely a Romance
Heat: PG13
Tags: straight historical time-slip
Where to Buy or Read:

Read it as a webcomic here.

Buy print from IDW

Buy print at Amazon: (Vol 1) (Vol 2) (Vol 3)

Synopsis from the Creator:

Beatrice “Bea” Whaley seems to have it all; the seventeen year old high school senior is beautiful, wealthy and the star performer of the drama club. And with her uncle’s connections to Broadway theater, the future looks bright ahead of her. Little does she know that her future might actually be brighter behind her. Bea begins having vivid dreams about a brave and handsome soldier named Alan Warren–a member of an elite group known as Knowlton’s Rangers that served during the Revolutionary War. Prone to keeping her head in the clouds, Bea welcomes her nightly adventures in 1776; filled with danger and romance they give her much to muse about the next day. But it is not long before Beatrice questions whether her dreams are simply dreams or something more. Each night they pick up exactly where the last one ended. And the senses–the smell of musket shots and cannons, the screams of soldiers in agony, and that kiss–are all far more real than any dream she can remember.

Love In Panels' Review:

THE DREAMER turned 10 years old this Independence Day. That's 10 years of Revolutionary War nerdery and romance! Like pretty much anything having to do with American history, I have complicated feelings, but I think this comic has figured out what it is and does that pretty darn well. It's worth noting that this comic came before Hamilton, but has all the names you'd expect to see dropped, like Hercules Mulligan and Alexander Hamilton.

What It Is:

A time-slip story with a teenage protagonist who quite literally dreams herself into the early days of the Revolutionary War. There's a strong parallel between the literal dreaming that she's doing and the metaphorical dreaming of the rebels as they envision a future for their new country.

Peppered with references to battles, historical people of note, and uniforms/attire that much have been dreadful to illustrate, the story feels well-researched and educational as well as fantastical.

The romance is confusing at times, as Beatrice doesn't remember the life she had in the past, or her relationship with Alan, just that some part of her loves him. She tries to stay interested in present-day Ben, but it's hard for her to do so when she's visiting another man every night in her dreams. Any confusion felt by the reader is likely that of Bea, trying to sort out what she should feel and what she does feel.

What It Isn't:

A treatise on race or on the roles of free and enslaved African-Americans in the war. The heroine's best friend in the modern day story, Yvette, is dark-skinned, as is her present-day love interest, Ben. In 1776, however, we see people of color only in serving roles, and a couple as soldiers. If you're looking for a story that will emphasize the parts played by PoC in the war, this isn't the place to go.

It's also not a story in which the main character is perfect. She kind of sucks a lot of the time, to be frank. She's selfish, treats Ben, her friends, and her family poorly, and generally acts like a self-centered teenager. BUT she also appears to be growing as a person. She's realized how her actions are not only unhelpful, but pretty destructive. If you start the comic and hate her, know that she does, in fact, get better.

What made me keep reading is that this is also not a HELL YEAH AMERICA story. The characters, particularly Alan, are conflicted about the toll the war is taking on the populace. Are stamps really worth this many lives? There's very little emphasis on American exceptionalism, with more focus on liberty and self-governance.

Miscellany:

The art is clean and beautifully colored, though some of the numerous white men in uniform eventually blur together (this may be entirely on me). I bought the first volume digitally, which was I believe 5 issues. As of 7/6/17, I couldn't buy the next volumes digital, but all three are available in print or you can do as I did and read the rest as a webcomic.

As for the research, creator Lora Innes has a "Library" tab on her site, where you can find a bunch of the research and supplemental materials she's used while creating this comic.

THE DREAMER is still running, updating 3x a week. If you're curious, A couple of issues worth of reading will give you a good idea of whether you'll like the comic as a whole.

Review: Embodied: An Intersectional Feminist Comics Poetry Anthology

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 22, 2021 10:05:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I posted a bit about Embodied over on the Love in Panels Instagram account, but I loved this book so much I wanted to make sure it got to as many sets of eyes as possible.
I received a digital review copy of the book but never got around to reading it, so when I saw it's shiny glory on display at my local indie bookstore, I picked it up. The cover is truly gorgeous, a computer image doesn't do it justice. (It's shiny in that silver-blue-purple way that only the best drag gowns are.)

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: The Girl From the Sea, by Molly Ostertag and Maarta Laiho

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 8, 2021 11:38:05 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

The Girl From the Sea is a sapphic young adult graphic novel with a summer romance between a human teen and a selkie. Ostertag's recognizable art style is rendered here more clearly than in The Witch Boy series and Maarta Laiho's colors are beautiful. But yet again, I'm annoyed at a publisher for putting only one name on the front of the book when it's a collaboration. Colorists are so important and deserve credit, dammit. Worse, Laiho isn't listed anywhere on the book page on Amazon. Here's why it's especially important in this case: I think Laiho did a better job than Ostertag usually does and therefore this is a better product. It feels almost abusive. *shakes fist at Scholastic*

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

I Am Hexed - Final Kickstarter Launch

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 15, 2021 9:44:53 AM / by Suzanne posted in kickstarter, new comics

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

For those of us who like to wait for the last issue of an indie comic to get in on the crowdfunding action, that time is here! (I already backed this once before, but still.) I Am Hexed, a queer comic with so many witches, launches its fourth and final Kickstarter on February 16th!

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 29, 2021 9:48:34 AM / by Press Release posted in new comics

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

I don't do this often, but this comic looks so cute that I figured I'd share the announcement from Oni-Lion Forge!

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Cheater Code, by S.A. Foxe and Daz

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 28, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

This book is only for adult audiences. If you are not 18+, please close this window.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Smut Peddler Presents: Silver

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 21, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

This book is for adult audiences only. (18+)

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: The Daughters of Ys, by M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 15, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

This is the book for you if you like:
1) messy sister relationships
2) magic, used for both good and evil
3) a distinctive art style with emphasis on watery tones and pops of red
4) folktales

The Daughters of Ys is a retelling of an old Breton folktale, set in a magically protected and constructed seaside city called Ys. (Similar to Atlantis, it's a magical city that's now sunken and never seen again.) The Queen, possessed of faerie magic, has just passed away and her two daughters are left with an irresponsible, grieving mess of a father. The elder sister takes to the countryside, bonding with animals and local people, even finding love with a commoner. The younger sister takes her anger and magic and uses them to keep the city going with her father. She does all the things no one else is willing to do and it's unclear whether she's actually "bad" or just does evil things. If she didn't do them, the city would fall into the sea and the sea monsters that guard it would attack all the inhabitants, so is all the murdering she does to feed the monsters and magic really that bad? Hmm.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Come Together: A European Anthology of Erotic Comics

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 8, 2020 11:51:21 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Come Together is a collection of erotic comics from a stellar group of comics creators. Many will be familiar to comics readers, including Niki Smith and Hari Conner, but several were new to me and I'm happy to have read them. One of my favorite things about anthologies is the opportunity to be exposed to new creators and Come Together didn't disappoint.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: You Brought Me the Ocean, by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 18, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

You Brought Me the Ocean is an origin story for Aqualad, this time as a gay Black teen living in the US Southwest. So many secrets. His mother's been keeping him away for water his entire life, but why? What are the "birthmarks" on his arms and why do they glow when exposed to water? Is he gay? Why does everyone think he's dating his best friend Maria? And is it time to talk to the only out gay guy at school? Or do more than talk?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Review: Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel

[fa icon="calendar'] May 15, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

DC continues to impress with their YA origin stories. We've reviewed several, with more to come soon, but this one was billed as a fantasy romance, so we decided to give it priority.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]