Page 1 – (9 Panels)
Layout is a traditional 9-Panel grid, which the reader will read like a backwards “S”, as follows: Top Row – Panel 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3; Middle Row – Panel 1.6, 1.5 and 1.4; Bottom Row – Panel 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9. Each panel will also have its corresponding reading order (1, 2, 3 etc.) written in one of the corners, old-school style.
1.1: Interior, Nemo’s bedroom, night. Nemo is asleep, dreaming away. A night sky filled with stars is visible out his window.
1.2: Same as Panel 1.1, only now Nemo’s “dream-self” is floating out of his corporeal frame and gliding across the gutter into Panel 1.3.
1.3: Exterior, night, the Castle of the Dream King, Morpheus from the classic Neil Gaiman series The Sandman. The remainder of the story takes place in the Dreaming. This panel contains the top half of the castle, the bottom half in Panel 1.4. The top half of Nemo is in this panel, floating over from Panel 1.2. He’s also falling through the gutter that separates Panel 1.3 and Panel 1.4, drawing the reader’s eye down.
1.4: The bottom half the Castle of the Dream King from Panel 1.3, Nemo’s bottom half about to land, coming over from Panel 1.3.
Morpheus (caption): I have called you many times, Little One.
1.5: Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, standing at the beginning of a path, a swirling geometry of bricks like the start of the “Yellow Brick Road” in The Wizard of Oz. He is regal, wearing a dark tattered cloak, his hands resting at his sides. Nemo is approaching him from the right, the path trailing off to the left.
Morpheus: And I know you heard my summons. Your gifts are too powerful for you to not have been alerted.
Nemo: But why do you need me, Sir?
1.6: The continuation of the path from Panel 1.6, Nemo and Morpheus walking across the gutter to the remainder and end of the path Panel 1.7.
Morpheus: You live in a world of miracles, and thus dreams have become too commonplace. Every moment of your life has become a waking dream.
Morpheus: When you walk into my world, into my kingdom, you are no longer impressed.
Nemo: What does that mean? “Impressed”?
1.7: The end of the path from Panel 1.6. Unlike the start in Panel 1.5, the path ends abruptly, the bricks overgrown and taken over by the grass. The bottom halves of Nemo and Morpheus are walking the path, approaching the end, coming over from Panel 1.6.
Morpheus: You no longer believe in magic, Nemo. Would you like to remember?
Nemo: I sure would!
1.8: What waits at the end of the path - the Corinthian! The Corinthian stands, dapper in a beige linen suit, hair slicked back. He is holding his sunglasses in his hand, revealing his tooth lined eye sockets. All three mouths are smiling. Morpheus stands in the foreground, beckoning Nemo to go toward the Corinthian.
Morpheus: Then you must become a nightmare.
1.9: Nemo, tiny, floating into the open mouth-eye of the Corinthian. He will be consumed and become the new Corinthian, a being made out of nightmare-stuff.
Morpheus (caption): I believe you know the Corinthian.