Dreams are kind of like children in that they’re mysterious and difficult to understand. Yes, they are vital to our mental health, they say, but what happens if they are found to be more than just our imagination at work?

This Indie comic explores that realm quite effectively, giving us a dark region to discover.

Creator and Writer: Dave Cook
Rafael Desquitado, Jr.
Colorist: Dennis Lehman
Letterist: Garrett Gunn
Published by: Card Shark Comics
Cover price: $9.41 USD

Previously in VESSELSThe realm of Cairnthala is dying and all that was once green has turned to ash. A demonic entity known as the Eye-God is reducing entire kingdoms to rubble as the laws of reality break down, creating chaos and strange phenomenons to occur. Amid the chaos a legendary warrior named Wake embarks on a pilgrimage to slay the Eye with a band of skilled heroes. But the Vessels have awoken, and will stop at nothing to protect their ancient lord. Only the mysterious realm of dreams – the Veil – holds the key to salvation.


There’s a message from the book’s creator on the inside cover that I think is important to share here:

What does it mean to dream? Whether asleep or daydreaming, we’ve all whisked our mind away to some faraway place and escaped reality for a fleeting moment.

In the world of Vessels, dreams take on a farm more sinister meaning; they are a gateway to something unexplained, something dangerous, something … potentially world-ending. I can’t wait to share our hero Wake’s journey to understand what lies beyond the Veil of dreams.

Whatever dreams mean to you, I hope you enjoy our first issue. Thanks for the support and for helping this dream come to life!

Wake is a very strong female lead, something I always adore in a comic. I have no problem with white males at all, but it’s such a nice change of pace to focus on a woman, which I’m happy to say is happening more and more in the industry!

And she’s an interesting person as well! There’s one page in particular where she’s being attacked and she responds rather loudly as she’s leaping through the air, “All I desire is PEACE!” Nice touch! Then there’s her reaction to a teddy bear, which showed how profound her character is. I liked the range this one comic shows her to have.

Wake is being pursued by a destructive entity from another world. Wherever she goes, it follows, leaving decay and death in its path. She has wandered for across the realm of Cairnthala for years as a vagrant, for fear of bringing misery to innocent people. She avoids cities, keeps herself hidden away and lives with her terrible burden. That is, until this first issue.

She has a good supporting cast as well, and there are black and white character description pages in the back of the book. I liked Marillon, a huntress, and G’Dala, who’s a Mindkeeper, meaning he can enter the dream realm.

The big baddie is called the Eye-God, and it floats in the air. How one defeats something like that is what I’m hoping to see in the months ahead.

Things happen at a rapid pace in this debut issue, and it requires you to pay attention, something I truly adore in a good story.


It’s SO difficult to create art that matches a darker fantasy realm such as this one. If it’s too far out, we don’t buy into it; if it’s too “real,” we don’t understand it’s a dream.

Both the artist and colorist do a great job of plunging us headfirst into the worlds of Vessels. Right away, I was drawn into the story and enjoyed each page. I loved the hunter who had only half a head, and only the lower half. That’s fantasy to me!

My only quibble with this art is that I’d have like some more detail, particularly in their faces. I find this a common problem in Indie comics, but I’m sure it will progress just as the story will.

I do also want to mention the great lettering in this comic. It was interesting to see quote marks used around people’s spoken words, much of it in white type against a black background in the early part of the book. Also a different typeface… different, and I really liked it!

BOTTOM LINE: A Dream Come True

Just like magic, fantasy can be a slippery slope when it comes to effective storytelling. Vessels manages that perfectly, and left me wanting more!

The characters are clearly defined, and important things happen on just about every page. Where is this book going? I have no idea, and that makes me long for the second issue!

To get your copy of Vessels, go to the Card Shark Comics website, then to their online store which is ready to accept most types of currency! Good book!

Vessels #1



Just like magic, fantasy can be a slippery slope when it comes to effective storytelling. Vessels manages that perfectly, and left me wanting more!

User Rating: 4.55 ( 1 votes)

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About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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