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‘Stray Dogs #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Drawn like a Don Bluth cartoon, Stray Dogs has an insidious central plot that I wish I hadn’t known about going in, but I also may not have said yes to reviewing it if I hadn’t. If you wish not to know what the angle is, stop reading.

If you’ve decided to keep reading, essentially, it’s stray dogs caught up in a serial killer story.

Even knowing that, how the story plays out is worth the discovery. Our hero is a very small dog named Sophie. She’s one of those dogs that always seems rattled, shaking and shivering, but she’s a pretty, little pup, and like all pretty, little pups, she hates the needle which is what she’s having to face as her owner has taken her to the vet. We feel the horror on Sophie’s face. Something tells the reader that this won’t be the final horror that Sophie faces.

We meet a number of other dogs, including a German Shepherd named Rusty.( It was hard for me not to hear Burt Reynolds’ voice.) Otherwise, the cast of dog characters is delightful and how they fit into the story is captivating and unnerving. This is one of those comics that immediately draws you in.

One really interesting thing about this comic is that the pacing is steady. Not a lot happens in this first issue. Things slowly sink in that something isn’t right; the very innocent interactions written by Tony Fleecs that would normally be fun and humorous in a kids’ cartoon take on a particularly ominous tone. Much of this is due to Trish Forstnern’s artwork which captures all of the moments of overwhelming fear with Sophie. Also, the color palettes picked by Brad Simpson slowly bring us into a stranger and darker world along with the artwork. This team is working in sync to bring to life this really fun vision. I haven’t read an animal-based series this good since Beasts of Burden, and that’s saying a lot!

Creative Team: Tony Fleecs (writer), Trish Forstner (artist), Brad Simpson (colorist), Tone Rodriguez (layouts)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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