Since launching Dream Crasher in 2015, I have tabled at 16 different conventions. I’ve repeated my pitch for the series more times than I can count. My favorite part of delivering the pitch has been watching how people respond to one particular phrase. I can tell almost immediately whether or not someone is interested—or decidedly not interested—based on their reaction to “interdimensional parasites that feed on children’s dreams.” That’s either very much your thing, or it definitely isn’t. There isn’t a lot of middle ground. It’s safe to say that this story I have concocted, that Reed has beautifully woven into this surreal nightmarish hellscape, is not for everyone. Three years of tabling has taught me to not only be OK with that, but to lean into it. I write creepy shit, and some people really like that.
There are a lot of reasons I’m excited about Chapter 5. We finally get to tell some of Simon’s story, we get to introduce everyone to Ordya (one of the aforementioned interdimensional parasites), and it officially launches the second arc of Dream Crasher. I’m going to let the story itself do the talking on what happens, but I wanted to take this time to talk about what inspired it. Dream Crasher has gone through countless transformations and rewrites since it’s initial concept as a short film back in 2006. In that time it has absorbed old poems, combined different story ideas, and completely renamed the entire cast save one character; Simon.
I named Simon after my favorite character in Lord of the Flies. I did this way back before I had any idea how fitting that would be. He was originally supposed to be an adult, and he was going to be killed by Creature (who was initially named the Barbarian) at the end of the film. Obviously, a lot has changed, but Simon’s nature and namesake have remained. His name became fitting in more ways than I ever intended; a few of which I didn’t realize until I started writing posts. In Lord of the Flies, Simon represents a detachment from the rest of the kids. He doesn’t fall on either side of Ralph and Jack’s war, and yet he ends up becoming its first casualty. The Simon of our story finds himself similarly trapped between two opposing forces, but unlike his namesake, he decides to do something about it. I’ll let you read the comic to find out what.
That brings us to Ordya. I wrote the first script for “The Dreamer’s Parasite” back in 2014. I took its title from a poetry project I had abandoned some five years earlier that was about an abusive relationship I had survived in college. I was falling out of love with poetry as a means of expression, and I had a lot to get off my chest. The medium just couldn’t say the things I needed to say. It couldn’t describe the otherworldly experience of a toxic relationship to my liking. Thankfully I discovered the beauty of shrouding my truth in fiction. I have found that it allows for more honesty. In time, after a few early chapters of Dream Crasher were rewritten, Ordya was born.
Ordya was not always named Ordya. She was initially somewhat based on the Greek entity Hecate (hence the snakes) and given the name Helena. The name Ordya is derived from the Iroquois concept of Orenda, which is defined as a spiritual energy inherent in people and their environment. It’s a deliberately corrupted spelling of the word. Orenda is also the name of the street that ran behind the house I grew up in, so it seemed fitting to add yet another upstate New York reference. The seeds of Ordya are laced throughout Volume One. Her hand has been at play from the beginning, and with the second arc of the story, we finally get to see it. I could go into her nature and philosophy, and I’m honestly tempted to, but I fear I’ve already said too much.
Chapter 5 is out now. It will only be available as a single issue digitally. We’ll be publishing Chapter 6 in July and following that with Chapter 7 in early 2020. That means we should be wrapping up Volume Two when Chapter 8 comes out in the Summer of 2021. There will be a Kickstarter for a printed volume of the next 4 chapters sometime after that. Comics take a long time to make, especially when you’re self-publishing and both the writer and artist have other projects and deadlines to juggle. I can’t promise there won’t be future delays, but I can assure you that the draft scripts have already been written. Reed and I are committed to seeing this story through no matter how long it takes. We are also a lot more efficient with our time than we were in the beginning. It helps to know what you’re doing; a luxury we did not have for most of Volume One and are only marginally better at. But we are aiming to get back on our schedule of two issues a year until we finish this thing with Chapter 12. Thank you for sticking with us this far in.