Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #32 - February 1998

Forty Winks

Publisher:Odd Jobs, Ltd.
Writer & Artist:John Peters & Vincent Sneed
Cover Price:$2.95
Issues Available:2


Pandora Spocks is a 10-year-old girl with colorful dreams and a budding talent for drawing them. But her dreams suddenly turn deadly when a mysterious dark something with menacing evil eyes begins to invade her thoughts -- and maybe even her reality?

Convinced the thing is after her, Pandora finds refuge with a ragtag bunch of kids who volunteer to help her fight the evil in her dreams, and soon she finds her very own Dream Guide to help on the other side. But what is really happening? And why is almost everyone so darn interested in her dreams?

Writing Review:

An excellent youthful light adventure, with multiple layers of meaning which make this as attention-grabbing for adults as it is fun for teens. The handling of Pandora's dreams in particular, which appear to be central to the plot of the book, is excellent - throwing in bits of phrases she's heard during the day and mixing an almost-disconnected dream-continuity with frightening bits of what may or may not be reality.

With a host of neat puzzles to figure out (who is Matt Mason of the "IIDS" and why is he interested in Pandora's dreams and art? What did happen to Pandora's mother?), and a raft of interesting characters, including the oh-so-likeable Pandora, her tired but loving dad, the mysterious and vaguely menacing Matt, and (the best so far, I think) a sort of teenage Doc Savage crew who volunteer to assist, Forty Winks is sure to grab the interest of anyone interested in dreams, reality, and adventure.

All art ©1997 by Oddjobs, Limited
[ panel from Forty Winks ]

Art Review:

Lots of experimentation and growing during even the two published issues: panel layout is inventive yet not distracting, and backgrounds are usually well-done, adding depth and texture to the scenes. With the addition in issue 2 of gray washes, a watercolor effect smooths edges and deepens the art, eliminating the reproduction problems some light lines suffered in the first issue.

Characters look almost manga-esque, with an unusual dimension to them that is reminiscent of Super-Deformed manga style (oblong heads and such), but it's easy to grasp and merely adds a flavor of otherworldliness to the book even as it adds energy to the action sequences. Overall, a great and interesting job.


Forty Winks will be a sure sale to fans of other light fantasy books starring youngsters, like the superlative Akiko and Pakkins' Land, as well as fans of Dark Town or Magician's Village. Fans of light manga-esque adventure like Pervert Club or Ninja High School should give Forty Winks a try, as should readers of Quicken Forbidden and fans of TV's "VR 5", thanks to the similar themes and adventure. A fun, light adventure for all ages.

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