The webcomics blog about webcomics

Perchance To Dream

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this before, but some years ago at a work conference, a colleague mentioned comics in an offhand way. Everybody else in the group sort of tuned out, but he and I started talking about words+pictures, and when I mentioned that I wrote about webcomics, he became animated. He wanted, very badly, to make sure that I knew about Power Nap. I assured him that I had it on RSS, and read pages as they came out, and when it was a while since the last page, I’d go back and read a chapter at a time to catch up.

And now I’m not doing that any more, because Power Nap has fluffed up its pillow, snuggled deep under the blankets, and settled in for its last snooze. That is to say, the story wrapped up.

For those not familiar, Power Nap (by Maritza Campos and Bachan) posited a world where everybody could achieve Rich Stevens’s fondest dream and never have to sleep. A cheap, over the counter drug allowed everybody to essentially stay awake all the time, upending society in numerous ways. Does it matter if your commute is four hours if you can just watch TV and aren’t tired when you get home? Not needing a bed means that your apartment now has an extra room for the same rent. You have more hours in the day to do everything, consume everything, try everything.

Unless, like Drew, you’re allergic to the drug. Those unfortunates that are always run ragged, always sleeping, become outcasts and pariahs (perpetually broke, too, on account of everybody else is working at least twice as many hours as you and the economy has adjusted to match). Which is unfortunate, because the sleepers (and thus, dreamers) are possibly the only ones that can help save the world when the collective effects of nobody sleeping or dreaming start to spill over into the world.

There’s your standard-issue conspiracy of the powerful trying to keep it all under wraps, of course, and your regulation rag-tag group of warriors trying to fight back against the monsters and doom and stuff, with the help of your basic unhelpful (downright jerkish, to be honest) spiritual guides who know more than they’re letting on. But really? It’s about Drew, and the wringers he’s put through, and the fact that he just wants one. damn. night. of restful sleep.

Did I mention the monsters and doom and stuff? Because when weird-ass dreams spill over into your weird-ass work life, the visuals get wonderfully wild and bizarre. I’m a sucker for a reluctant hero story, particularly one that typifies the tagline of the comic:

In man’s struggle against the world, bet on the world.

Then again, when the betting’s a sure thing and the odds are high enough, somebody is going to make a killing betting on the underdog. And so it comes to a end of the story, with two pages left (Campos described them as a post-credits scene), about 220 pages from beginning to end, or the size of a proper graphic novel, told a page at a time over the course of nine years (about a page every other week). Hopefully, it’ll get collected so that it’s easier to read all at once, but whether that happens or not, you can check it out starting from the beginning and be done by bedtime.

I mean, depending on your time zone. If you’re already past dinner, don’t stay up all night. That’s what started all the trouble for Drew, and no promises you’ll turn out better than he did.

Spam of the day:

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This guy (who goes in the space of one email variously as Adam P, Adam Stover, and Sam D) told me this page got 0.45 clicks per month. I wrote back to Mr D declaring that I’d told my staff we needed to be in business with him right away. There’s only one solution for this — I need the services of Mr D. Only D can fix it, gotta have the D, bring me all the D! More D! Curiously, he hasn’t replied, and I’m still over here waiting for somebody to give me the D.

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