This Saturday, after you sleep in a little bit to recover from all the awesome of seeingThor on Friday, make sure to eat your Wheaties and get your ass out to your Local Comic Shop for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!  Yes friends, the greatest day of the year, the first Saturday in May, is HERE!!!!  (well, second greatest day, really, after Free Funnybook Day, coming next Monday!)

All week on IoM, we’re going to give advance reviews of some of the mostly hotly anticipated comics this Saturday and let you know which ones are worth checking out, or which ones might be better left for other fans.

Today’s focus is Radical Comics’ Jake the Dreaming, another all-ages friendly title for this year’s FCBD.  This one, however, is a little different than a regular comic, in that it’s actually a preview of an illustrated novel.  So, as opposed to a regular comic, you’re getting a prose book, with illustration throughout.  And boy…that illustration is BEAUTIFUL.  Jake the Dreaming is absolutely gorgeous, and will make for a great visual piece when the full book releases.

As for the story?  Well, Jake the Dreaming tells the tale of a young boy living in the town of Slumberton, “population 5,000 and boring. Every day during his mundane tasks of school, homework and chores, Jake falls into daydreams powered by his imagination of untold adventure where he battles fantastic creatures in an epic dreamscape. Life is normal for imaginative Jake until Slumberton’s children start falling into permanent sleep. As Jake expands his imagination and discovers his hidden ability to travel through the dreams of others, it becomes clear that something is keeping the Slumberton children asleep. Whatever it is, Jake must master his newfound ability and harness his imagination to stop it before the whole of Slumberton is trapped in a perpetual nightmare.”

Jake the Dreaming seems like it’s going to be an interesting read…but it’s hard to get that from the FCBD entry.  The focus on the entry seems to be more on the art than the story.  The FCBD preview contains a page of story from each of the first couple of chapters.  It’s a bit frustrating because, once I got into the first chapter, it jumps to a scene from chapter two.  I get that putting the full first chapter may not give you the best indication of the more exciting scenes of the book … but you know what they always say.  “If you can’t grab someone in your first chapter, then you’ve lost the reader.”  I’m sure Jake the Dreaming can survive on the strength of it’s first chapter without having to jump all over the place, but unfortunately, as a preview of the novel, it’s a bit ineffective.