Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is the Comic Book Prequel to the animated short film of the same name and part of a larger multimedia initiative from rock supergroup/art project Angels & Airwaves. The comic is published by Magnetic Press, written by Tom DeLonge and Ben Kull, who also wrote the short film, and illustrated by French comics artist Djet Stéphane, who has previously had titles published by Ankama, the cross-media studio behind Wakfu and Dofus.
After finding out his parents are staying late at work again, Jonas Anderson comes home to find his brother, Alan, lighting strange incense and sifting through the contents of a box he found in the closet...only to find himself falling asleep and awakening in a whole new world. Alan has actually been a lucid dreamer consciously exploring the dream city of Genesis and the surrounding areas for a while and he's taken his little brother along for the ride. With the help of Dream World native Ayo, they set out to see the sights and explain more of how the Dream World works, only to run into the monstrous Night Terrors...and the Night Stalkers they're running from.
The mysterious REM and his army of Night Stalkers are setting out to find souls for him to hijack a human body and take on the Waking World. Jonas, Alan, and Ayo find themselves in the conflict between the heroic Dream Walkers and REM as Jonas discovers powers beyond expectation. He's not just a mere lucid dreamer, he's a Poet.
If you're jonesing for similar band related comics: compare to Fall Out Toy Worksnote and contrast to The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoysnote . As for similar dream related comics: compare to Dreamkeepersnote and Turbo Defiantnote .
- Ambiguously Brown: Ayo.
- Animesque: More obvious than in the short film, but tempered by European influence.
- Big Bad: REM, who wants to take his bad self into the Waking World.
- Catapult Nightmare: Jonas catapults awake after he escapes from the Night Stalker prison.
- Cool Bike: Ayo and the Anderson brothers use them to travel outside Genesis.
- One-Wheeled Wonder: The bikes they take are of these variety, much like what appear in the short film. The cover for issue 2 indicates that, much like in the short film, one wheel is for the good guys and two are for the bad guys.
- Darker and Edgier: Issue 1 starts in a similar vein to the short film that the comics are a prequel to, but the ending brings the series into this territory, not to mention what happens in issues 2 and 3.
- Dream Land: The Dream World. The comics explore more of the Dream World than the short film, which sticks to the hub city of Genesis.
- Dreams of Flying: Subverted, Jonas brings up how flying would be more convenient in a dream, but Alan claims there's no way to fly in the Dream World besides spaceships. Especially weird since in real life, actual lucid dreamers can fly in dreams if they set their minds to it.
- Dream People: Many in Genesis, including Ayo who serves as a guide for the Anderson brothers.
- Dream Walker: The Dream World and its hub city of Genesis is explained as the result of the collective dreaming subconscious of humanity. Lucid dreamers are able to experience the collective dreams of everyone else given form as a specific place. The in-universe explanation of a Dream Walker being a Guardian type Lucid Dreamer still stands.
- Foreshadowing: How does the Dream Walker that comes to rescue Jonas, Alan, and Ayo know that Jonas and Alan are brothers along with their last name if they only just met? She's their mom!
- Glowing Eyes: Whenever Poet's powers activate, by his own will or otherwise.
- Hand Wave: Alan explains away the absurdity of not being able to fly but being able to walk on water in the Dream World by explaining that some rules of nature in the Dream World are similar as in the Waking World, but some aren't.
- Happy Rain: Ayo wants to experience this for herself in the Waking World.
- How We Got Here: Issue 1's first scene starts with Alan in the grasp of a Night Terror and Jonas in full Poet mode, with Alan begging for Jonas to wake up. We then jump to the week before and go from there.
- Idiot Ball: REM's plot in issue 2 might have gone a LOT more different if Jonas and Alan's father had noticed that O.O.C. Is Serious Business and tried to confront his REM possessed wife. With how powerful REM was, it still wouldn't have ended well, but it wasn't like REM was even trying to maintain the persona of the person he possessed.
- Lampshade Hanging: Jonas does a fair amount in the first issue, asking why they're taking bikes instead of more conveniently flying themselves. When they travel to the mouth of a waterfall, Jonas adjusts the lampshade further, saying "So, we can't fly, but we can walk on water?"
- Mental World: Jonas assumes this of Genesis, but it's actually formed by the subconscious thoughts of humanity as a whole.
- Mr. Exposition: Alan Anderson, at your service.
- Naïve Newcomer: Jonas Anderson, who thankfully has his brother to fill him in on what he's been missing.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: A potential reading of what happened to Jonas and Alan's mother as well as Ayo.
- Prequel: To the Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker short film, also written by DeLonge and Kull.
- Teleporters and Transporters: As a Poet, Jonas has the ability to "tunnel" between the Waking and Dream Worlds. This means he's a top priority for REM, who wants to manipulate him through nightmares to make him bring REM and his army into the Waking World.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The preview issue summaries for the first two issues don't spoil much and it's expected that Jonas will have to face off against REM in the final third issue. The preview text for the third issue does spoil, months before its July release, the death of Jonas and Alan's parents. What it doesn't spoil is that the incident actually happens at the end of issue 2.
- Unreliable Expositor: Alan admits to being a beginner lucid dreamer, but not everything he claims about the Dream World's internal logic is true. He claims that nobody is able to voluntarily wake themselves up from a dream, but later, Jonas ends up doing it himself. In issue 2, he, along with Ayo, explain about the Poet powers but he admits to not remembering his dreams when he wakes up, needing Jonas to explain what happened to him when they went back in.
- Wham Episode: Issue 2.
- The Dream Walker that came to save the kids was Jonas and Alan's mom. Part of REM's plan to enter the Waking World was to cause as much nightmare related despair in Jonas' life as possible so that he could be easily mentally manipulated into using his teleportation powers to "tunnel" REM and his army into the Waking World. Ideally for REM, this part of the plant would also cause despair to many normal humans so he can gain more power from their nightmares. How does REM intend to do this? Why, by taking control of Jonas and Alan's mom thanks to her Dream Walker powers making him able to stay in the Waking World for longer and using her to cause a massive plane crash in a suburban area, of course!
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Both of the Anderson brothers' parents are constantly gone due to work.
- The Reveal: That Dream Keeper that came to rescue Jonas, Alan, and Ayo from the depths of the Night Stalker tank in issue 1? In issue 2, their identity is revealed: Jonas and Alan's ''mom''
- Your Soul Is Mine: REM hopes to take over the waking world by eating dreamer's souls to hijack their bodies. Dream Walker souls would be his ideal, but he has yet to gain any.