There’s an absolutely masterful sequence in the third issue of Dead Dog’s Bite in which shadows are used so effectively that you feel a real sense of dread and danger simply from their existence, long before that danger is confirmed, and even then, it’s kept abstract, like a nightmare.
I know this series is published by Dark Horse, but this might truly be the dark horse for me this year. Dead Dog’s Bite is exceptional. Tyler Boss has such a strong control over the pacing of this series: what’s contained in an image, when he uses dialogue, how he uses dialogue, and how long a conversation lasts. It lulls you into a sense of complacency, so much so that when something throws that rhythm off, your Spidey sense tingles right along with that of our hero, Josephine.
Joe is inclined to be curious. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing else going on where she lives. Maybe it’s because she wants to do the right thing. Maybe it’s a bit of both. She’s too busy trying to figure out why her friend disappeared and why no one is doing anything about it to ask herself questions about herself.
Each issue pulls Joe a little further into the “what” of what’s happening, but Boss is more concerned with representing the story in the most wonderfully peculiar way he can and in doing so finds a strange sort of authenticity that seems to be reserved for filmmakers like The Coen Brothers or David Lynch. And, yes, you can see their influences in this story, but it never feels like you’re watching one of their stories unfold. This is all Tyler Boss, drawing from what is I’m sure many inspirations in order to give us this marvel of noir storytelling.
Creative Team: Tyler Boss (writer, artist, colors, letter), Brett Israel (editor), Kathleen Barnett & Tyler Boss (design), Josie Christensen (digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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