Describing Westerville resident Lora Innes' comic book "The Dreamer" is a daunting task.

Describing Westerville resident Lora Innes' comic book "The Dreamer" is a daunting task.

Launched as a Web comic in 2007, the series is part adventure, romance and historical drama -- an admittedly complex mix of genres.

At its core, "The Dreamer" follows Beatrice "Bea" Whaley, a high school senior who begins having vivid dreams about the Revolutionary War. Soon after, Whaley questions whether her dreams are real or something more.

Recently, the series was a finalist in the 2008 Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards and was picked up for publication by IDW. The second print issue was released last week.

"What I thought was: I haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet," Innes said about being approached by IDW.

Innes, a Pittsburgh native and Columbus College of Art and Design graduate, sat down recently to discuss "The Dreamer" as well as the troubles, and joys, of bringing a Web comic to the print world.

With the overall goal of reaching print, last year Innes launched "The Dreamer" as an online comic that updated each Friday. The print issues are a collection of her online work.

The beginnings of "The Dreamer" started with Innes' childhood love for Spider-Man and the challenge of drawing comics.

Though as an adult, Innes received positive feedback from other comic book artists, she was always close to breaking through, but no quite there.

"I started out drawing Spider-Man or whatever I thought editors wanted to see in my portfolio," she said.

It wasn't until a conversation with a friend that Innes started working on what she enjoyed.

"He said, 'You don't like drawing Spider-Man You can work all day at drawing robots, or whatever, and you'll never be as good as the guy who loves to draw robots because that's what he loves to do,'" Innes said.

"The Dreamer" was the answer to what Innes wanted to draw.

Though parts of the main character are drawn from Innes' own life, she said she focused on teenagers because of the content she wanted to write and draw.

"I think teenagers are fun to write about because they can do more irrational things," she said. "A 17-year-old can do some pretty crazy things and just knock it off to hormones."

She added, "I think also to tell a love story -- a falling-in-love-for-the-first-time story -- there is so much more drama when you are only 17."

Her decision to set part of the story more than 200 years ago is one of the most unique parts of Innes' series and also one of the most challenging.

She said, unlike writers, she cannot fudge details in her drawings.

It's crucial, she said, to be historically accurate, both with the small details and actually people.

"It's been really important to me because part of my cast were real people," Innes. "I try to be fun with it, but be true to who they actually were."

She said she researched period items in Colonial Williamsburg on several occasions.

"I had to learn as much as I could, as fast as I could, before I could get started," she said.

Prior to being picked up by IDW, Innes said she grappled with putting the title in print. She was worried about alienating her online audience, which had made the series viable.

"A Web comic is really a different animal," Innes said. "It's a different kind of community."

"The Dreamer" can be read for free at or purchased at local comic book shops. The first six issues of the series are scheduled to be released as one book July 4.