Sunday, February 20, 2011

Retro-Review: The Strange World of Your Dreams #1, Part 2

Next, it's “You Sent Us This Dream,” art by Mort Meskin. In this short piece, a woman has been dreaming where she's in a movie house as the feature's ending, and she's leaving, but suddenly finds herself in an elevator that is shooting upward to a remendous height! Suddenly, she finds herself sliding down an enormous slide! Then, she's back in her movie seat again. What does this all mean? Well, let's let Richard Temple, Dream Detective analyze it:

All this is to lead up to a promotion promising readers that if they send their dreams to “Richard Temple” and they are chosen for use in the comic, they'll get $25, which wasn't bad money back then!

The next story is “Don't Wake the Sleeper or You'll Vanish Forever,” art by Bill Draut.

The story opens as a bum by the name of Sam Winslow is stealing a ride on the back of a truck leaving Sioux City, hoping to make his way to California. Suddenly, a bump in the road causes the truck to lurch crazily, dumping Sam off of it. The next Sam is aware, he's knocking at the door of a home... and then he blacks out again, coming to in a comfortable bed in a nice room. Getting up, he wanders through the house, looking for its owner and occupant(s).

He approaches one door of the home, and is gripped by a strange fear as he reaches for the knob! Inside the room, he finds a man sleeping, and he's just about to approach the sleeping man when a blonde woman stops him, warning him not to wake the sleeping man. She introduces herself as Nancy, an odd coincidence considering Sam knew a girl named Nancy long ago, and this Nancy is almost a dead ringer for her... to which she responds, “Oh! But I'm bound to be...” Not paying attention to her reply, Sam lets Nancy show him around, until she drops a major bomb on him:

A world created by a sleeper who shouldn't be awoken? Seems I recall reading about an original Captain Marvel story with a similar premise. Anyway, Sam doesn't seem to disturbed by this news, and he kisses Nancy. He tries to convince her that they can't be existing in the sleeper's dream, and that this is reality, but she insists that what she's saying is true!

Sam is abound and determined to prove her wrong, and heads back into the house to wake the sleeper! Nancy tries to stop him unsuccessfully, but when Sam enters the bedroom, he notices that the sleeper looks just like him! Suddenly, there's someone at the door, and Sam jokes that it must be a new character created by the sleeper. When they get to the door, they find a pair of men in suits who appear to be criminals on the run! They weren't expecting to find someone as lovely as Nancy there, and when one of them grabs her, Sam reacts rather violently!

Thinking quickly, Nancy hurls a lamp at the gunman threatening Sam, and knocks him out. They head upstairs, looking for another way out, but at the top of the steps, Sam is shot by the gunman in the leg! Sam decides his only hope is to enter the sleeper's room, and awaken him!

All of a sudden, Sam awakens! A man is shining a flashlight on his face, telling him to leave the house. Sam's leg hurts, and examining it, he sees a wound... caused by a bullet? The man hasn't seen anyone else around, and is the only person in a five mile radius. He rushes Sam out of the door, and as Sam stands outside, wondering what exactly had happened, he finds a crushed violet in his pocket... a violet given to him by a girl who only existed in a dream... or did she?

Now, THAT'S more like it! A much better story than the first one, and one that kept me guessing as it progressed. I found myself wondering at what point the dream began, and if Sam would ever escape the dream. In fact, considering the panel where Sam was waking the sleeper was the last panel on that page, I half-expected the next page to be entirely blank!

Next: A few fillers, and “The Dreaming Tower”!

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