Webcomic: After The Dream
After the Dream
is a webcomic about an underworld conspiracy and the lives that it touches. It is something of a cross-genre story. Parts of it could be considered science fiction (cyberpunk or biopunk), drama, or noir mystery. Although fictional, it touches upon a real history of human trafficking and illegal human experimentation in America (projects like MK-ULTRA and NAOMI). It is written by Jeremy Begin and features artwork by Damon Bowie, Joon Song, and Dave Mims.
The story is initially divided into two main story arcs, one of which takes place in the year 2012, and the other which takes place in 2031. It is unclear yet if there will be crossover between the two story arcs, but the protagonists in each fight a common enemy.
The 2012 story arc centers around the character Rhyda Izguerra, who is having a rough time lately. She's stuck working at a strip club, her girlfriend Molly just broke up with her, and she's nursing a cocaine addiction. To top things off, she's being haunted by disturbing otherworldly visions. A mysterious stranger named Gregory Kincaid seems to know something of Rhyda's past. He claims that her hallucinations are the result of an illicit pharmaceutical test which Rhyda's morther participated in while pregnant. Unbeknownst to Rhyda's mother, she was dosed with a powerful dissociative compound called Adonai by Advanced Intelligence Services, a shady private corporation. Rhyda soon meets other survivors of AIS's experiments and becomes enmeshed in a struggle to shine a light on the corporation's sinister plans.
The 2031 story arc first centers around Khenbish, an elite AIS mercenary deployed in California. A severe energy crisis and ruined economy have sparked widespread civil unrest. As riots threaten to erupt into guerrilla warfare, Khenbish is drawn to a series of dark, psychedelic pieces of artwork he finds around Oakland. Their creator turns out to be a beautiful but possibly mad young woman named Arin with whom Khenbish has a brief but torrid encounter before being whisked off to a dangerous assignment on the Mexican border. A mysterious gray-eyed man named Balum seems to be monitoring Arin and he warns her that Khenbish himself is dangerous and more than he seems.