Sweet Dreams For Talula

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Sweet Dreams For Talula Creator(s): JB Thomas
Publishers: Self Published
From: USA
Price: $2 (US)

Talula prefers the peaceful world of meadows populated with cats of her dreams than the petty demands of friends and family she has to deal with during the day. In illustrating this conflict JB contrasts them not only by using two different art styles and having the dream sequences as white line work on a black background. The daytime pages have more detail, with characters that look unkempt. Cross-hatching and shadowing is also used where as the dreams sequences are stylised white outlines.

Things are not as clear-cut as a simple dreams=fantasy, waking=reality division. The monologue of Talula is illustrated with lots of metaphorical images even outside of the dream world that she favours. JB's layouts switch between full-page panels for the dream sequence and a three-panel layout that has the panels running don and across the page in a diagonal line for most of the waking sequences. She also experiments with other options, such as one page that shows a medicine bottle, with the dialogue on the label.

The storytelling techniques that JB displays are top notch, getting across the themes of the story in a delightful manner, thought I wasn't that taken by the idea of a person who couldn't be bothered interacting with the real world and retreats into her bed. If she didn't like her family why not leave, do something to change things instead of hiding in bed. I found her behaviour too self-indulgent to identify with the character, and this gave the dream sequences a creepy feel.

In a Word: Unsettling.

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