Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13
Writer: Tony Fleecs
Artist: Trish Forstner
Colors: Brad Simpson
Layouts: Tone Rodriguez
Flatter: Lauren Perry
Logo/Design: Lauren Herda
Pre-Press: Gabriela Downie
Cover: Trish Forstner and Tony Fleecs
Publisher: Image Comics
The terrific thing about books is they only need to capture you for a minute to make a permanent fan. If a creative team can hook somebody on the first issue and manage to maintain the status quo (keeping the reader happy) then they will have a hit on their hands. Enter “Stray Dogs”.
I first saw it in my local comic book store At a glance the cover of the book looked like a mashup of “Care Bears” and “Silence of the Lambs”. I asked “What the Hell is that?!” The owner told me it was a new title that had just come out. It piqued my curiosity enough that the book came home with me and found itself near the top of the reading stack. Reading that first issue left me wanting more.
The first issue is about a dog named Sophie. She has found herself living with a rather large group of dogs. To a degree Sophie remembers life before living here. Sophie had her lady. At least she did until her new master came over and strangled her old one with a scarf. Now Sophie is trying to convince the other dogs that this owner is bad news.
Issue #2 finds Sophie doing detective work around the house trying to find clues that will help her convince the other dogs that something is off. They are having trouble believing her because they don’t remember life before this house. In all fairness I have seen my dogs demonstrate very short attention spans themselves.
While all this has been transpiring, their new owner has taken Aldo for a car ride. When Aldo gets back he talks about how he got to go to a park and meet a lady and her dog. Then afterwards they left and they drove to the lady’s house where the owner took pictures of her from his car.
Artwork: .75 Stars
As with the first issue, the artwork in “Stray Dogs” #2 is cartoonish in the way it is done. It is so powerful though. Keeping the dogs looking animated and anamorphic goes a long ways toward making the characters more personable. I think it also helps to lighten the mood when very dark topics come up in the story.
Story: .75 Stars
A canine playing the lead role as a lovable, furry detective is continuing to work quite well through two issues. As a dog person I can see a lot of my dogs in the personalities of some of the dogs in the house.
Dialogue: 1 Stars
There is an incredible amount of information in the dialogue of this story. As I mentioned before, Tony Fleecs has done a great job of giving personalities to all of the different dogs. The dialogue helps us see that personality. We also get to see a lot of different facets of the new owner’s personality. It helps move the story along and build suspense.
Editing: 1 Star
The lettering continues to be on point. At no point in the story did I find myself trying to figure out which panel was next or what has taken place. It may sound silly; but that isn’t as easy to accomplish as one might think. I love that we have a program of sorts to tell us who all of the characters in this story are.
Mechanics: .75 Stars
The book was easy to fall into and goes at a very fast pace. The reader can feel the intensity as when Sophie finds herself trapped in the closet! While the interior pages may look light and cartoonish in nature this one is not meant for children. For the more mature readers out there, this one is well on its way to becoming a hit!