Book Title: Diary of the Stray Dogs: The Wounded

Book Description: This comic follows the story of Shani Belcourt, a high-security transporter of an unnamed company. In a futuristic city, we are brought into the very day Shani's life took a drastic turn. What started as a night of fun and looking toward the future became a bleak and extremely grounding moment that sets her on a path of blood, violence, and getting even with those who took so much from her. By the end, we're not sure what comes next for Shani, but what do know is that whatever lies ahead will cost her what little humanity she has left.

Book Author: Alan Lynch

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Beyond Publishing Caribbean

Publisher Logo:

Illustrator: Juan Carlos Francisco

  • Story
    (4.5)
  • Interior Art
    (5)
  • Cover Art
    (5)
  • Dialogue
    (4)
  • Mechanics
    (4.5)
  • Editing
    (4.5)
4.6

Summary

Reviewing the Art:

The art for Stray Dogs is clean and straightforward. I found that I loved the structure and layout of many of the panels of the comic. In some instances, the art has this dream-like look with a pastel color palette and has this almost Akira-like futurism aesthetic. Then, there are moments, especially in the latter half of the issue, that look as if they were pulled straight out of an action movie. I equally enjoyed the comic’s use of dynamic posing and perspective. The writer does a great job of giving some unique shots of spaces and not always taking the head-on approach that many comics do.

While reading, I also was digging how the artist took the adult themes in the comic but didn’t overdo anything. Typically in comics that highlight mature topics, you can expect the elements of gore or sexual themes, but it can easily be overdone anddistract from the plot. However, I can say I found it exceptional that this comic didn’t use it as a plot device. The adult elements didn’t compete with the plot; they complimented it, which is refreshing to a gore enthusiast like myself.

As for the characters themselves, *artist’s name* made a good call taking a simple and natural approach to them. I enjoy characters that look like real people, especially when gore is involved. I liked that the characters were diverse with different hair textures and styles, facial structures, and body types. The art in the comic does an extraordinary job of not only accompanying the dialogue but expounding on the story, making the entire reading experience very pleasant and entertaining.

Reviewing the Story:

Stray Dogs was very entertaining all the way around. I took an exceptional liking to the pacing. It gets right to the important information quickly to make room for the narrative it’s setting up. I enjoyed the time spent with the characters. Even though it was one issue, you get a very good feel for the relationships and character dynamics. Each character is allowed a moment to show themselves so that what comes next in the narrative feels meaningful.

One of the things I want to highlight for sure is the use of dialect in the dialogue. Shani is from Barbados, so she speaks in patois which helps to connect her to origin making it an important character piece rather than a footnote in the character’s bio. I equally enjoyed the natural feel of the uedialogue. I also felt it was a creative writing move to have these moments in the narrative where Shani will say something in the narration as a response to what’s happening in the panel, as well as these fun dialogue moments where a character will say something that is fully ironic to the plot.

Another thing I quite loved about Stray Dogs was its action movie-like feel. I said this previously, but there are some scenes at the climax of the issue that had me sitting at the edge of my chair as if I was watching Die Hard. That can be directly attributed to the story’s excellent pacing and scene construction. I would’ve loved to see one more intimate scene with the protagonist and another character though, just to lean more into their romance.

Final thoughts:

I adored this issue of Stray Dogs and anyone looking for a mature action comic will love this issue as well. From its well-crafted art to its steller story, it’s a comic many will enjoy and definitely one to add to your reading list. If you would like to get a copy of The Diary of the Stray Dogs: Wounded, it’s available at Black Rock Books. However that is St. Michael, Barbados, so if you are not able to get down to Barbados, stop by the IndieGogo page linked here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-diary-of-the-stray-dogs-the-wounded–2#/

 

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