Graphic story collection, 2006, by Chris Wayan
Dreamtales is a book-sized collection of psychic, erotic, shamanic and just plain crazy dreams that I cartooned from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s. They weren't easily presentable on the early, dial-up World Wide Web (my shaded pencil graphics were too detailed to be readable small, and my layouts were too flowing to cut up into screen-size panels), so at the time, I posted just the dream-texts with illustrations. But the Web's speed and resolution has steadily improved; from 2015-2017 I've slowly been replacing these with the actual comics; this page has transformed from a regretful mock-up of a book that never was, to a makeshift ebook.
Here's a sketch of the cover, showing me drawing dreams, IN a dream. No, it's not fantasy. It's memory. I have been a sphinx in dreams.
These tales are dreams. Not dream-inspired, or loosely based on dreams. Real dreams. Just... a different kind of dream. Why do people assume we all dream the same way? We don't. In my earliest clear memory, I was a horse, galloping with my herdmates across a red desert toward a wild fluted castle of eroded stone. At Shiprock's foot was a roofless, abandoned hogan. We went inside, spooked, but curious. It was strange, in the sheltered, windless octagon, looking up at the warm blue sky. Suddenly I woke, to find myself in a strange body: I was a young human child!
I stayed human in the daylight, but went back to being a horse every night. Gradually, the dreams branched out, and I grew up in many other bodies, other times, even other worlds.
I quickly learned to hide my out-of-body (and telepathic and clairvoyant and predictive) dreams. America's an oneirophobic culture. Even sleep is suspect here.
Dreams are real. My other lives are just as solid, coherent, and clear as your waking world. The vague choppy experiences you call dreams sound to me like bad TV reception... or the surf-zone between land and sea. If you just keep going out through the roar of static--all the foam and chaos--you reach a vast stable realm dotted with other lands as solid as your own. But most folks turn back, due to alarm clocks (thank capitalism) or fears that dreams are spooky and crazy (thank the witch hunts).
My clear recall and tendency to dream deep may be partly a genetic quirk, like perfect pitch (maybe music and dreaming are even related: both my sisters dream as I do, and we're all musicians, too). But partly it's circumstance--my life's safe and rather quiet, and I have the time to cultivate dreams. When I do get tired and stressed from too much busyness, I lose touch and get surf-zone dreams myself. Dreamwork costs--I can't stay up late, can't work morning shifts. Dreams bear hard messages. Writing and drawing eat time and energy. Dreamwork's an indulgence some can't afford.
But learning to read takes time too--does that make literacy an elitist indulgence? The art of dreaming's worth making time for. Or so I hope to prove!
More than that--I hope this sketchbook of my own dream-travels will inspire you to swim out beyond the shallows where Freud dabbled… into deep dream country.
|THE ARTIFACT: by Wayan; 1983/1/16. Narrative dream painting.
I was a lizard archeologist, a million years from now. What I dug up threatened my marriage...
|ASCENT: by Wayan; spring 1997; a comix-panorama on recurrent mountaineering dreams.
All that spring I dreamed of climbing, cold, fatigue, risk, and fear.
But shamanic training involves toughening; ascent isn't always easy flight...
|BAY WINDOW: by Wayan; 1999/6/15, a healing exhibitionist dream
I'm naked, flirting with two cute women. People can see us in our bay window, but I just don't care....
CAUTION: CARTOON NUDITY
|BERYL BORROWED IT: by Wayan, 1986/3/8, an absurd dream.
My top-heavy friend Beryl borrows my ass and legs to become
a centaur so she won't fall over. But I want them back, so...
CAUTION: CRUDE AND STUPID
|BLEEDING HEART, the SELF-HEALING CORPSE, and IN THE FUTURE DESERT:
by Wayan; 2002/5/29 - 2004/5/11, a diagnostic, predictive dream-series; Bleeding Heart as comix
A tree-girl moves to Hollywood to make film deals, but jealousy stabs her...
CAUTION: BLOODY ASSAULT, GAY DRYADS, MUTANT NUDITY
|BONK VERONICA: by Wayan; 1997/4/1, 9 page dream-comic (1.3Mb)
The world's first all-bulemic band, Veronica and the Vomits, provokes a riot at our local punk club. So I go to
Anorexic Bootcamp where models learn self-defense under fire, as calories and fat jokes whiz by...
CAUTION: BARF, HORNY ANOREXIC, FOOD FIGHT
|BOY BODY: by Wayan; recurring dream 1959-62, a comic on body image. Or illus. text version
A recurring childhood dream on how weird a boy-body is when you've been a girl too many lifetimes.
CAUTION: PUBLIC HUMILIATION, NUDE MONSTERS, SILLY GENITALIA
|CECY'S SUBMISSION: by Wayan; 1996/6/4, a bondage-farce dream drawn as comics.
My writer-friend Cecy will do anything to get published. Anything? Oh, believe me, ANYTHING...
CAUTION: BONDAGE, not to mention POSTAGE
|CITY OF BEES: by Wayan; 1994/8/2, a diagnostic dream-comic.
A bee-doctor in the city of Propolopolis diagnoses me as having a rare syndrome, Ambition Denied...
|CORPSE-BUG: by Wayan; 1994/12/1, an allegorical sex nightmare.
I'm a hippie girl in San Francisco, in hard times. To escape the Four Horsemen, I lie down with Death...
CAUTION: GANGS, CREEPY SEX
|DOME: by Wayan; 1999/1/31, a dream peeling off a lie.
I'm actress Nicole Kidman, clinging to the dome of City Hall like King Kong, ripping it to shreds! Why?
CAUTION: VANDALISM, REVERSE SEXISM, EXHIBITIONISM
|DON'T GET UPSET: by Wayan; 1996/4/10; a warning-nightmare comic (small screen, slow loading? Illus. text)
A mob chases me chanting "Lyin' Wayan!" I get dizzy, fall off a bridge, and wake. Then comes REAL trouble!
CAUTION: FATAL FALL
|FISHERGIRLS: by Wayan; 2.6M, 42 illus.; 1996/7/15; a sexy dream epic.
I had an epic dream lasting subjective weeks--a true other life. It wasn't Earth and we weren't human.
I was a teenage lemur, sailing with two friends into unknown waters--a rite of passage. One night,
my friends curled round me, I saw I didn't WANT to pass the test, be declared a woman, marry, and have pups.
I loved my girl friends. In a world lacking the very word, I was groping toward queerdom.
Sailing into unknown waters! "Here be dragons," the old maps say. And they were right...
2600K loads slowly? Try it in parts: 1: HOME, 650K, 2: VOYAGE, 1200K, 3: BACK 750K.
CAUTION: NUDITY, SEX, QUEER TEEN ANGST, ANTI-FUNDAMENTALISM
|FOR THEM: by Wayan; 1995/12/1, a dream of outcasts.
On the Night Train out of my small-town life, I meet the town rebel. But she's misplaced her tongue...
CAUTION: PETTING; UNNERVING TONGUE
|FRANCHISE!: by Wayan, 1995/10/12, a dream-comic (ill. text ed.) with a serious warning.
I was the first woman made High Commissioner of Baseball. One day a team of mutants begs a franchise...
CAUTION: EXHIBITIONISM, BAD TEAMWORK, HORNY BEES
|A GOLDEN KEY IN A CHEAP LIGHT: by Wayan; 1996/7/9, a subtle dream lesson
I was so lonely the potheads on Haight looked good. I dreamed I had the Golden Key, but under a cheap
sodium streetlamp, ALL my keys looked gold! Then I met true gold: a woman meditating until she shone...
CAUTION: NUDITY, HAIGHT STREET STONERS
|GROUNDHOG DAY: by Wayan; 1994/9/2, a dream-comic (or text with pix)
James Hillman is the first psychologist on the moon! He sees a shadow and
panics like a groundhog--mistakes it for Death. Not his own shadow, but MINE...
|THE HEDGEHOG DISPENSARY: by Wayan; 2004/10/2, furtopian watercolor 12-page dreamcomic (or text + pics)
A rabbit shaman makes his student drape dead hedgehogs round her neck til she bleeds. How to free her?
CAUTION: FURRY NUDITY, ABUSIVE MENTOR
|HICKOPHOBIA: by Wayan; 1996/5/13; 2-page dream-comix (or plain text version)
Whenever I run out of ballet class to Japanese without asking my classmate Wendy out, I change sex...
|HOW THE WAYAN GOT ITS NAME: by Wayan, 1986/5/23, a predictive dream on names (& manes)
A telepathic unicorn-lion says my true name is Wayan. And my true species? I'm like him!
I wake, change my name to fit the dream, move to a new city. Near my new house,
my dream-name is scratched into the concrete sidewalk...
|KIOSK: by Wayan; 1994/5/1, a 4-page dreamcomic on the power of song (or illustrated text version)
I'm a sexy singing beast, the Krelkin, trying to lure the Reading Man out of his Moral Kiosk...
CAUTION: NUDITY, INTERSPECIES FLIRTATION
|LILY OXYGEN: by Wayan; dreamed 1984/1/19, drawn 2000; a strong psychic dream.
I'm Emily Dickinson reborn in 2100 as a breeder of hydroponic lilies, till my dad drafts me as
an Arctic energy-prospector, where I meet a ghost, a fiery Beast, a new me, and the girl of my dreams...
CAUTION: QUEER-POSITIVE, NUDE PROSPECTORS, GNOMIC DICKINSON QUOTES
|THE MAN WITH THE GUITAR: by Wayan; 1992/7/4, a psychic dream-comic (or illus. text))
A volcano erupts in San Francisco! No human could survive the blast, but one researcher does--what IS he?
|MOA: by Wayan; 1995/9/9, a dream on assertion.
I was an avian Mr Niceguy with sore knees, till I got some advice from my supposedly extinct big brother...
|MOONCAT: by Wayan; 1995/11/14; a subtle dream-comic about sonar. text version
Near a mysterious sculpture garden on the moon, lives the blind, bike-riding sage I seek: Moon-Cat...
|MY GATE: by Wayan; 1996/5/29; a bizarre, joyful dream; 4-page comic (or ill. text version)
The full moon rises: I become Weregirl, do the Moondance, and gnaw open the lock on my heart...
|OCTOPIA: by Wayan; 1996/3/21, a spiritual dream-comic on play; ill. text version
I'm a stratospheric bat who finds a flying swastika. Is it creeping fascism?
Or a Hindu blessing? Neither! It's an Octopian frisbee. I return it...
|THE OTTER'S MOM: by Wayan, 1996/5/29; a dream-comic of the future.
A doomed, orphaned ottercub meets the last Tasmanian Wolf, who makes a hard choice I couldn't. Or... did I?
CAUTION: BIRTH SCENE (MARSUPIAL/NON-GORY)
|PERISSA: by Wayan; 1997/9/13, a sexy dream-comic (small screen, slow loading? Illus. text)
When Perissa, an exhibitionistic centaur, bares her body in a crowded Coliseum,
she also bares a human-supremacist plot...
CAUTION: EXHIBITIONISM, SPECISM
|REFLECTIONS IN THE POOL: by Wayan; 184K total, 2 panoramas; a 1994/7/2 dream.
Night. A mirror-maze of contradictory preachings. But in the secret mermaid pool, I find love.
Then... sphinx-angels war in the air! A war of riddles. Can I, a batwinged devil, make peace?
CAUTION: SEX, NUDITY, MEAN ANGELS, AND ONE HAPPY DEVIL
|SLAVES DON'T DANCE: by Wayan; 1999/8/1, a 17-page Shakespearean dream-comic (or ill. text)
Stolen by the Fairy Queen, I'm forced to nurse her great project: creating life! But her synthetic baby is...
|SPACE NEEDLE: by Wayan; 1995/8/24, an erotic dream on architecture.
I'm a kid again, gawking at the Space Needle. But a woman stands before it, who no one else can see:
CAUTION: NUDITY, A SEXUAL PERSPECTIVE
|A SPHINX'S SKETCHBOOK: by Wayan; dreamed 1994/7/2 & 7/19; a 23-page dream-comic
I find the sketch-journal of a beautiful winged sphinx who left her mythic isle
to explore a great city of crazy bipeds, called San Francisco...
CAUTION: SPHINX SEX, SPHINX ATTITUDE
|SPIROGRAPHY: by Wayan; 1997/9/29, a one-page cartooned spiral autobiography
Laying my timeline in a Fibonacci spiral, it's clear great changes come in a pattern--
as soon as I've digested the last couple, a new revelation/revolution appears...
CAUTION: CARTOON NUDITY, HEAVY ISSUES
|SWAN: by Wayan; 1995/4/8, a transformation dream; 3-page dreamcomic (or as ill. text)
I wake amnesic in a cabin in Alaska, in a dress printed with self-putdowns.
I track down the wizard who cursed me. He turns me into a swan! Worse?
No! His first curse was on a human being, and now I'm a bird. My mind is free!...
|THIEF OF DREAMS: by Wayan; 1996/11/29, a sexy soul-swap dream; a 22-page comic (or text w/pics)
I was a mermaid trying to find Count Coyote's stolen dreams, so I could marry my human girlfriend...
CAUTION: NUDITY, SEX, LESBIAN MARRIAGE, ANTI-FUNDAMENTALISM
|TOO MUCH TO BEAR: by Wayan; 1997/4/28, an alt-world 10p. dream comic or text w/pics
I dreamed that huge nouveau-riche polar bears invaded San Francisco, evicting us locals...
CAUTION: CORRUPTION, URSACIDE, MATH!
|TRUSTING FOXES: by Wayan; 1997/8/20, 2-page comic of a psychic dream.
Evicted. Lawsuit. I dream a lawyer sends me a letter full of fox-girls! In East Asia, foxes
mean trouble, but these are friendly--good news is coming! I wake to find we've won a home...
|TWO-HEADED BEAST: by Wayan; 1997/7/31, a 5-page Gothic dream-comic (or as illus. text)
In Castle Frankenstein, will Mary Shelley wed Elmer Fudd? His two-headed monster has marital advice...
|UNDER THE FUR: by Wayan, 1997/10/7; a 5-page dream-comic (or as ill. text)
A strange creature slunk into our yard, carrying a skunk lunch.
But she dropped her fur coat, and I recognized a kindred spirit...
These comics weren't my first. They weren't even the first I called Dreamtales. 1990-1994 I drew a numbered series of Dreamtales in a very different style, drawn onscreen with a mouse (digital comics without any physical art was rare at the time), with limited color and saved as GIFs. At the time I just called them Dreamtales, but now, to distinguish, I call them The Gif Series.
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