The Webcomics Weekly is back in your life. This week we’re traveling down our lucid memories of yesteryear, or are we? What are the limits of lucid dreaming and lucidity in general? It’s all very liminal. It’s time to prepare that one song from Cats
Updates Every Other Friday
Created by Meganebii/Oliver Fernandes
Reviewed by Mel Lake
What if you were in an accident and lost all your memories? We’ve all seen this movie, right? The protagonist has to race to recover their memories like Jim Carey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Christian Bale in Memento. Or maybe you need a supernatural guide to help you figure out what happened to you, like Patrick Swayze in the movie, Ghost. This week’s webcomic, “Lucid Memories,” puts a fresh spin on these tropes by entering its amnesiac protagonist in a game show to recover his memories!
After a traumatic car accident, Mason Lockwood is injured physically and mentally. He can’t remember anything that happened to him, and he keeps dreaming about a tall, mysterious stranger in a tophat. A glowing butterfly leads Mason to the man, who calls himself “August Moon” and looks like a cross between John Constantine and Tuxedo Mask. (This is a compliment!) He flirts with an orderly and awkwardly interacts with a lady who calls herself his mom, but overall, Mason isn’t having a great time. Until he dreams about August again! The weirdly flamboyant guy is a game show host. For each round Mason plays and wins, he learns something more about himself. His first challenge is to cook something using eggs, tomatoes, and love. In the process, he recovers the memory of cooking for his sister, Lily. The next challenge involves choosing paintings that visually represent his memories.
The hook of the memory recovering game show was what interested me about this comic. Because although the family and slice-of-life stuff is cute, I’m in it for the mystery. What happened to Mason, why, and how long can the author draw out the story while still giving us enough clues to keep us reading? That’s the good stuff. The first 19 episodes do a good job of balancing the slapstick humor of the game show with hints of trauma in Mason’s backstory. August Moon (and Star and Sun, etc.) is silly but compelling, with hints of darkness of his own.
I’ll admit that I was initially not sold on the artwork in this comic. It looks a bit like a cross between “Nimona” and the shading of a typical Webtoon. But as I read on, the style grew on me. It’s extremely basic, yes, but the story is solid and so are the character designs. They’re distinct and fun, especially August. Meganebii effectively uses color, sound effects, and perspective to convey meaning and emotion. This is true both during the slapstick humor moments and the more serious or surreal ones. There are some truly beautiful panels here, for example, anytime the butterfly appears to guide Mason to August. And the basic style does one other thing—it gets the reader accustomed to the world such that when something changes, it really stands out. As of episode 19, a shadowy, scribbled out figure has only appeared a few times. But each time he does, the color palette and sketchy style make him much scarier than any other character. It’s clear that this dude is bad news.
“Lucid Memories” is a comic with an incredibly strong hook—a young man has to enter a dream game show to recover his memories. What follows is a tender story with a silly, charismatic love interest (or is he?), and a solid emotional core to build on. I’ve only read through two rounds of the fictional game show in Mason’s mind, but I already feel like I know him and his family well enough to care about them. And I’m ever curious about what the heck the host August’s deal is! These elements combine to make episodes of “Lucid Memories” like fun, quick puzzles to try and solve.