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: 4.2 Stars
Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.1 Stars
Dialogue: 3.5 Stars
Mechanics: 3.8 Stars
Editing: 3.6 Stars
About the Book:
It’s 2046. The majority of the 1%, the richest people in the world, died or were financially ruined two years ago. In the wake of their passing we have total anarchy. The United States has dissolved into territories that won’t allow passage between one another.
All of this is the rest of the passing of Rick Canto. Before his untimely death, he had a monopoly on social media and the food supply chain. Now these dynasties have come to Canto’s father, a man that has difficulty understanding how to make a smart home work, let alone run one of the most important businesses in the world.
When I went to Rose City Comic-Con in 2021 I met Mr. Russell. He gave me his elevator pitch about Not All Robots. It sounded interesting enough that I bought a signed copy of #1 from him. My buddy, Lord Trekker, goes much bigger than I do. He can make a creator’s con memorable, all by himself. If he likes the premise to your story(ies), he will buy as much content from that creator as possible. He left Mr. Russell’s table with close to 15 TPBs in his arms and a smile on his face.
The TPB for the original Billionaire Island was amongst the books in Kord Trekker’s stack. A few weeks after we got home from that adventure he read it and told me I had to read it. We all have that friend that likes to recommend stuff that is absolutely God awful. That friend that has never seen a movie or read a book they didn’t like. Lord Trekker is not that friend to me. He’s usually more discerning than I am.
I loved it so much that I bought my own copy. It was hard hitting, and honest. I’d never seen anything like it. I wondered if we’d ever see anything like that title again. When I learned that Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs was coming out I had it added to my pull list.
This series hits even harder as it unabashedly raises a middle finger at everyone that played a part in our country being in the situation it is. From the rich not creating more jobs and helping ensure the prosperity of humanity with the tax cuts of the early 80’s to billionaires launching themselves into space for no better reason than to say that they did it, everyone is fair game.
Mr. Russell gives us an outstanding story that also doubles as the State of the Union that our government doesn’t have to stones to give us. He’s right when he says that the country has been programmed to look down upon the poor. Anyone that says otherwise clearly didn’t pay attention to how the nation reacted to the idea of raising the minimum wage.
I appreciated the artwork on the cover. While it doesn’t necessarily jump off of the page, it’s a great inside joke for those that are familiar with the original series. Those that aren’t may not appreciate it for all it’s worth.
I like Mr. Pugh’s work on the interior pages. It’s rock solid every step of the way as it meshes perfectly with this story. I was especially fond of how it can make the reader realize just how hardwired our country has become to maintain the economy that’s in place for the 1 percent.
The first issue of Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs is not for everyone. There are those that may take exception to how this book says, “There’s a problem in this country”. For this geek on a budget, this book is the wake up call we all need.