Kittens or Mom?
Recurring dream, 1976-7, by Jesse Reklaw
SOURCE: Jesse Reklaw's Couch Tag, 2013, Fantagraphics Press.
When I first read Jesse Reklaw's Dreamtoons, his drawings of fans' dreams rendered as four-panel comic strips, I wondered why he'd chosen such a constricting format. Dreams are often weird and complex, after all, with strange scenery taking time and space on the page to explore. I didn't feel this way only about Reklaw's dream-comics; Rick Veitch's Rabid Eye typically crams a dream into one or at most two comics pages. But Reklaw took it to extremes; the four-panel strip is usually used by cartoonists presenting familiar gags on familiar topics.
However, Reklaw's graphic memoir Couch Tag shows this is just his natural form. Though book-length, it's all told in flashes or vignettes like this one. Sustained story arcs just aren't his thing; Reklaw's forte is that one telling moment.
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