Written by Daniel Stalter
Illustrations by Reed Olsen
Lettered by Frank Cvetkovic
Logo by Greg Sorkin
Cover and Interior Page Design by Jenn Stalter
Script Editing by Ben Couch
Final Copy Editing by Tom Charles Bair III
Dream Crasher is a truly unique piece of art, both writing and illustrations are different from anything I’ve seen before. The story begins with a Amalie, a little girl that is just trying to survive with her dog like beast thing she named Creature. Creature is probably the most descriptive name she could have given the thing because it is just a strange looking beast creature. What I enjoy most about the book is how it focuses on Amalie and lets the story unfold through her captions and the storyline that is centered on her. Sometimes the story is better served with a quick synopsis of the premise but in cases like Dream Crasher the mystery of what is going on in the storyline is actually part of what drives the plot. The Creature is more than likely Amalie’s “papa” and they mystery of what he is or what made him like the Creature is a key plot point that needs to unfold through the story and would likely be ruined if there were a synopsis that told us the reason right from the get go. Part of the mystery surrounding the circumstance and the plight of Amalie is what kept me on the edge of my seat and helps to hook me in for issue two. This was originally developed as a short movie by Stalter but per his own admission has evolved and eventually turned into this comic. I can see the essence of film and I feel Stalter did a dynamite job at converting from a film idea into a comic book idea and I feel that Dream Crasher could still be made into a short film if that was his desire.
Olsen has an art style that I just can’t put a finger on. I’ve not seen too much stuff like it before. I feel like it’s done with pencil and maybe some sort of pen but it could also be water colors. It’s original to say the least and his interpretation of Stalter’s script is simple proof that these two have known each other for a long time and trust each other’s visions. The visual ques he uses for Amalie in regards to her facial expression and body language define her as a character and give us a glimpse into the world of a strong but scared girl that is just doing her best to survive. Stalter can write this harsh world and make it known that Amalie is tough and scared but without Olsen bringing that to life visually I don’t think it would be the same.
The lettering of any book is sometimes easy to overlook but in some cases that isn’t a bad thing, Cvetkovic’s lettering is solid as a rock and doesn’t try to get too fancy in the face of a light color palette. There are pretty much only captions and dialog balloons but where I feel Cvetkovic really shines is in his font choices. The font of the caption that represents Amalie’s thoughts are done a nice and neat cursive looking font, while the dialog balloon font is a slightly different look from normal comic book font. I’ve seen the font before but I enjoy the fact he chose it over the more traditional font’s. The font choices prove to me that Cvetkovic is a thoughtful letterer and this book wouldn’t be as good without his help.