Review: Earth Dream 2014

Earth Dream is an anthology comic that essentially celebrates Earth Day, but also increases awareness for Earth Day at the same time. As you can imagine the theme of all the stories is in some way the earth. Now I know that some of you just tuned out which is your loss because Earth Dream is one of the best themed anthologies I’ve ever read, period. I personally really enjoy anthologies and themed ones… well that’s even better. The problem is that themed anthologies are the most difficult to get right; after all not everything can be Bandthology. Earth Dream gets it right. Each story is interesting and different from the last, but there are some overlapping elements such as a Native American theme that appears in a few. Maybe some editors would have stopped that from happening and that would have been the wrong choice. I think of the anthology Space which was 100% by women creators and while a vast majority of the stories were good there were no two alike and the ones that weren’t good really weren’t good. What could have saved it was some overlapping elements, but there were none.

Okay so what about the stories right? Definitely one of my favorites had to be the first tale of the issue. It not only set the pace, but there was just something familiar yet new about it. It balanced so many different elements that it really stood out. The tale, called “The Seventh Generation”, takes place in the future when the planet is all but destroyed. Humanities last hope is to answer a question asked of them by the elements. This is the story that has the most Native American elements to it, but in a trippy kind of way at times. The dialogue from writer Suzy Dias is really good and artist and plotter Miguel Guerra brings everything to life. Guerra’s artwork is clean and detailed and was honestly not what I was expecting at all. It’s at a level of professionalism that most independent artists strive to reach and again set the tone of rest of the anthology.

earthdream2014_coverThe next story I was really impressed with was “Effect” by Jerome Walford. I might spoil this one because it’s a “silent” story, but basically we quickly see a man’s life from marriage, to fatherhood and to falling behind on the mortgage. He reluctantly takes a job which invokes the Butterfly Effect. The art was very strong and had a photorealistic quality to it. The fact the story was easy to follow and we only have the pictures to go from speaks wonders about the artistic abilities of Walford. It was short and sweet, but a really good story overall.

“Click” might be my favorite of the issue. It’s by Rey Mono Grafico who writes and illustrates it. It shows a bustling society with parents and children and introduces us to a grandfather talking to his granddaughter. He tells her that she is the chosen one and that she will decide the fate of the world by making one of three choices. I’m not going to tell you the choices since that’s pretty much the entire story, but it was phenomenal. Grafico’s style reminded me of Italian illustrators that I’ve seen which gave the story a very realistic look. You really get the sense of the bond between grandfather and granddaughter. The ending is great, but rather than spoil it you can read it for yourself and we can discuss it in the comments because there is something to discuss.

There are plenty of stories left for you to read there being twelve in total. This anthology surprised the hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting it to be bad or anything, but I was expecting it to be so focused on the message of Earth Day and what Earth Day’s message is that the stories would suffer. Sadly I’ve read other anthologies that got lost in their own message.

Earth Dream is out now and guess what? It’s free. I’m actually blown away by that because the quality far surpasses a lot of other titles. I’m hoping a lot of people will check it out as it not only has a message it has a variety of social commentary to make that message come across. If you like anthologies there’s no reason to miss this one. There is plenty of breakout talent contributing to Earth Dream and frankly I’m very glad that I checked it out.

Score: 5/5

Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: 7 Robots Price: FREE Format: One-Shot, Digital Website