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‘A Redtail’s Dream’ is a modern myth told with stunning visuals

‘A Redtail’s Dream’ is a modern myth told with stunning visuals

A Redtail’s Dreama redtails dream

Written and Illustrated by: Minna Sundberg
Finished, 2011-2013
556 pages, Finnish and English versions

A Redtail’s Dream began as a brief 150 page practice comic (yes, a practice comic), something for author and illustrator Minna Sundberg to fiddle with before working on her passion project, Stand Still, Stay Silent. As the story unfolded, it was clear A Redtail’s Dream would not be bound to the 150 page limit. Sundberg’s practice piece weighs in at 556 pages, and has even completed a successful print drive.

Influenced by Finnish mythology, A Redtail’s Dream is a story about a young man named Hannu and his dog, Ville, they reluctantly set off to save their fellow villagers from the other side of the Bird’s Path in the realm of dreams. Puppy-fox, the spirit responsible for causing the villagers to vanish in the first place (though he will say that it was an accident till the end of time), “aids” Hannu and Ville so that he will not be grounded by the elder foxes. The fickle nature of puppy-fox puts everyone at risk because he could shut down the entire dream at any moment, erasing an entire community from the map. Fortunately, there are plenty of other spirits who are more than happy to provide Hannu and Ville with assistance.

a redtails dream 2The dynamic between Hannu and Ville is incredibly enjoyable to read. Hannu loves two things: being left alone, and Ville (Hannu only agrees to puppy-foxes plan because Ville is hungry). Ville loves Hannu, and every other human around, but mostly Hannu. Once Ville gains a voice in the dream world, he has a lot to say and refuses to let Hannu sneak through the worlds without speaking to people.

 Each chapter sends Hannu and Ville deeper into the dream and closer to Tuonela, the land of eternal sleep. Realms, which range from a school house to marshlands, are ruled by a village leader with unfinished business.

It’s up to Hannu and Ville to complete each task and bring peace to the leader of the realm. a red tails dream 3Although Hannu’s journey essentially has no effect on his character, aside from the fact that he now hates foxes, A Redtail’s Dream is a solid story worth reading. In this way, Hannu encompasses the role of a mythological hero who must complete a series of tasks. These heroes may show small changes in personality, but overall they remain the same person.

Even if you can’t get into the story, Sundberg’s illustrations and page layouts will certainly win you over. Exquisitely hand drawn, panels follow the shape of the action rather than the shape of the page. This creates a living breathing story for readers to enjoy. Personally, I’ve re-read A Redtail’s Dream three times already, and each time I get lost in the artwork. There are so many details lovingly placed in every single page, I can’t help but appreciate all the time and energy that went into each drawing.

You can read A Redtail’s Dream online at any time or, for those of you who prefer a physical copy like myself, you can order a copy from Sundberg herself during a print run. Keep an eye out for prints and be quick, copies are limited and sell out fast.

a red tails dream hard copy