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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.

Cover of DREAMTALES: Wayan, dream artist, dreams of being a sphinx drawing her dreams.
Introduction: My Other Lives

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.

--Chris Wayan--

Table of contents
Titles below now link to the comics (mermaid enlarged)
Table of contents for 'Dreamtales'. The artist (Wayan) as a mermaid surrounded by huge bubbles with the names of dreams and page numbers
Footnote: The Gif Series

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.

LISTS AND LINKS: dream-comics - dreamwork - other worlds - epic dreams - psychic dreams - I'm Just Not Myself Today! - sphinxes - mer-people - sexy creatures - artists and the arts - portraits and self-portraits - pencil - My earliest memory, of being a horse: I am Three

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Titles: A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - IJ - KL - M - NO - PQ - R - Sa-Sh - Si-Sz - T - UV - WXYZ
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