Reality and fiction mingle in dreamy comic ‘Coma’


Comic, Angela Chung, 20 pgs,

Coma is a brief comic about trying to escape from a lucid dream gone wrong. Returning to her dreams, the nameless protagonist is met by a floating dog head that asks if she’s getting addicted. “Hey man,” she replies, “It’s fun here. I can do anything when I lucid dream. Why wouldn’t I want to be here all the time?”

Of course, this question is met with an immediate answer, with her subconscious manifesting a childhood nightmare (specifically the girl from Ringu/The Ring) that blasts her apart, leaving her just as headless as her dog familiar. From there, it’s a quick search for her limbs before announcing her intent to lay off the lucid dreaming for a while and wake up.

Chung’s art effectively conveys a sense of dreaminess, with her wavy and flowing lines suggesting a constant state of motion and change. Portals in the dream move from one scene to the next, and there is a strong feeling of immateriality. Arms reach through mirrors, paper boats sail on rivers in the night sky, and a body of mist solidifies to recreate what was lost. Small panels open up into wider vistas as though they were small doors revealing impossibly large chambers within. Though brief, this brevity helps to capture the feeling of waking from a dream — that moment when reality and fiction mingle. Though the experience of a dream may be fleeting, Coma will stay with you.