The Dreaming Volume 1
In this original graphic novel by Queenie Chan, twin girls enter a remote boarding school in the Australian wilderness.
From the beginning, there’s an air of something wrong. The girls are warned that they must pretend they’re not twins, only sisters, because of an odd prejudice on the vice-principal’s part. Their aunt, headmistress of the school, leaves as soon as they arrive. The quieter, more sensitive girl begins acting in a way that worries her more outgoing sister.
Disturbing pictures, haunting feelings, rumors of disappearances, nightmares that might be warnings, and spooky old authority figures are all part of the genre. None of this is unexpected for a Gothic, but it’s told skillfully and in such a way to keep the reader turning pages as the girls begin wondering about their new home. The setting is one the author is familiar with but is also intriguingly exotic for most American readers. Overall, it’s more creepy than scary, but in a way that gets under the skin.
The way the sisters look alike yet subtly different, enough for the reader to tell them apart, is a testament to Chan’s art. Her drawings make the story stand out, and the cliffhanger ending comes all too soon. It’s a tough wait for the next volume, due in November, with the reader’s imagination going full throttle in the meantime.
More information can be found at the artist’s website.