Counting Sheep by Rhael (@Raysdrawlings on socials) starts with an interesting premise – an alternate world where everyone can visit their soulmate through dreams until they turn 25. However, the person must sleep well to see their soulmate. This short webcomic tells a compelling story about finding love in unexpected places.
Kim suffers from chronic insomnia, and there’s not much time left before her 25th birthday. When she does have dreams, she wakes up unable to clearly recall meeting her soulmate. She decides to try finding her soulmate while she’s awake before it’s too late. With the help of her friend Addie, who Kim lives with, she embarks on her mission days before she turns 25.
Counting Sheep manages to pack in worldbuilding and characterization in a short amount of time. In 10 episodes, we get a sense of this alternate world and how it affects the main character. During the first pages, a radio broadcast briefly explains the soulmate dreams then questions what happens when you don’t sleep well. If not for that part, the worldbuilding might have confused readers. The panel after subtly shows what’s at stake: Addie only has several days left to find her soulmate, according to her calendar.
The subtleness of the story also shines during Kim and Addie’s character dynamics. It’s about what isn’t being said. It’s the weight of those quiet moments. Even Kim implying that she’s trans is natural. The creator effortlessly conjures emotional moments with economical dialogue and body language. Plus, the concept, while taking itself seriously, doesn’t go the complicated route (i.e., conspiracy.) The story relies on simple but effective moments, and I highly recommend it for that and for the gorgeous ending as well.
Learn more about the creator here.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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