Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colors: Chris Chuckry
Letters: Rob Steen
Cover: Steve Pugh
Editor: Sarah Litt
Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Story: 4.0 Stars
Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.9 Stars
Dialogue: 3.6 Stars
Mechanics: 3.8 Stars
Editing: 3.6 Stars
About the Book:
With the death of all of the world’s billionaires the United States as we know it has dissolved. Social media runs the country. The population is kept under control through propaganda and misinformation that would make a political campaign advertisement look like the gospel truth. With no job market to speak of, people are making what little money they can by sharing “news” articles on social media.
A reporter named Shelly Bly knows the truth. If her story gets out social media could lose its stranglehold on the people. The CEO of Bel Canto, a social media giant, has put out a bounty on Shelly to keep that from happening. Will she survive long enough to tell the world her story?
Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #3 was published almost three months ago. It’s a title I deliberately put off writing about because it’s become one of my favorites. Allow me to explain my logic. This series will only run for about six issues. Rather than rush through each book as it hits comic book stores across the land I would rather savor each one and (hopefully) give the creative team time to put together a third volume.
When reading Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs I find myself thinking of the old theme song from America’s Funniest Videos. “America, this is you.” It’s so fitting. People use social media as a news source. People that actually watch the news tend to select the media outlets that mirror their personal views.
The news is supposed to be an anchor telling people the facts. The people are supposed to be able to decide for themselves what to think about the information they have been given. Somewhere along the way it transitioned to an anchor telling their media outlet’s version of the facts which is followed by a pundit spending five minutes telling you what you should think about this version of facts.
It’s even worse with political campaigns. Fun fact: Did you know that there is no legal requirement for anything in a political campaign advertisement to be factual? The truth and issues get buried in a mountain of lies that leaves anything resembling facts unrecognizable. Those in power keep it by spreading lies and telling people what they want to hear.
While it’s barbaric, I am fond of the version of court we see in Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #3. I’m all for taking liars out of the game. Dishonesty and corruption that goes back for decades is part of what has put us in the position that we are in. A game of high stakes truth telling would help change the nation’s direction. I’m equally fond of the notion that if the defendant has been wrongfully accused the plaintiff receives the punishment.
We get to see a very good rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk that is dispersed throughout Shelly’s adventures. It’s a magnificent metaphor for what’s happening in America. We don’t make anything here anymore. The majority of jobs in our country are either in the service industry, medical, or retail. We still have some construction workers and automotive repairmen. Those specialties are going away though. With high schools pushing students to go to college, trade schools get overlooked. We are seeing fewer people under the age of 35 in skilled trades.
This cover is a brilliant satire of our country. The only way it could be more “America” is to throw a sports jersey on the man. As it stands it’s a great depiction of the state of the union. We’re blissfully floating along thinking everything is terrific when in actuality there’s a tidal wave heading our way.
I enjoyed Mr. Pugh’s artwork on the interior pages. We don’t get any phallic references involving billionaires and their rockets. We do get some splendid artwork that pulls the reader into the story. I liked the drunken giant.
It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on. This country needs changes. Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs continues to be the ghost of America’s future. Mr. Russell isn’t pulling punches or backing down as he continues to hold a mirror to our faces and ask if this is how we want to end up. This is why this geek on a budget loves this title and highly recommends that you dive into it as well!