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Jake the Dreaming… Best Indy Effort 2011 FCBD

Review by Marc Mason

May 7, 2011 is this year’s Free Comic Book Day, and as always, almost every publisher in the game will have something to offer. Some of the free books will be pretty good, some of them will be total crap- and don’t let the name of the publisher fool you on that one. DC, in particular, has put out more than their share of awful FCBD books, while some of the indy publishers have struck gold year after year. Here are a couple of the better indy efforts you’ll have the opportunity to grab this year.

JAKE THE DREAMING from Radical Comics is something different for both the publisher and the usual FCBD offerings. JAKE is actually an illustrated prose novel from writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman and artist Andrew Jones. The story is a classic “hero’s journey”- the young boy at the heart of the story discovers that his daydreaming is more than just idle wandering; instead it turns out to be a genuine super-power that allows him to enter the dreams of others and protect them from evil. Jake is a good protagonist and the writers make him easily relatable and likeable. The prose is crisp and clear, and Jones’ illustrations are quite lovely. Having this book as an FCBD is an excellent decision- it will appeal to readers of all ages, and this comic book “holiday” is important is reaching out to the younger demographic that comics needs in order to survive and thrive. Pick it up.

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