Author: Bobby Crossby
Illustrator: Sarah Ellerton
Published: 2009 on Keenspot
No. of Pages: 70
Genre: Historical romance; Paranormal romance drama;
Subthemes: World War II; Attack on the Pearl Harbour
Dreamless is a hauntingly beautiful tale of a paranormal romance between an American girl named Eleanor and a Japanese boy named Takashi, born with the ability to experience each other’s life through dreams.
Born on the same day, Eleanor and Takashi are connected through a psychic link which allows them to experience all the sensory perceptions of the other including— sight, touch, smell, and taste, while they are asleep. Given the difference in time-zones between America and Japan, both are rarely awake or asleep at the same time, and therefore while they are asleep, get to experience the life of the other. However, the ability doesn’t allow them to hear each other’s thoughts or doesn’t work when both are awake. When both are asleep at the same time, they see the back of each other’s eyelids and hear all the sounds from each other’s room.
The psychic link allows them to grow up together while knowing each other’s language, culture, and personal life. They have conversations while one is awake and the other is asleep by simply talking to each other and therefore are always “dreamless” while one of them sleeps.
The story is explored through Eleanor and we get to know about her family—A mother who was probably schizophrenic and committed suicide, and— a father, who’s a dipsomaniacal army general bestowed with the same “dreamless” ability. Takashi’s side of the story, however, is never explored.
Over 70 pages, with beautiful artwork complemented by impactful and intelligent writing, the story traces the journey of Eleanor and Takashi from their childhood to their first meeting when they are 18. Throughout this journey, the story convolutes at points metamorphosing either into a thriller— when Takashi is or an intense, empathetic, historical romance.
Much cannot be said without giving away the plot, the story, however, is well-structured for a 70-page graphic novel and holds the reader’s attention right from the crisply-written first act.
If the first act is empathic and suspenseful, the second act is about the turbulence in the relationship of Eleanor and Takashi. Eleanor’s possessiveness and Takashi’s unending longing for her are the highlights of the second act. A similar emphasis to transform the tone into a thriller from time to time can be seen here as well.
The third act is a little incongruent to the first two in terms of pacing but is as well done as the first two and culminates into the first meeting of Eleanor and Takashi, at the backdrop of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour (1941) by Japan.
Overall Dreamless makes for a fantastic one-hour read and is heavily recommended for its hauntingly beautiful art and fast-paced intelligent writing.