- Writer/Co-Creator: Tony Fleecs
- Artist/Co-Creator: Trish Forstner
- Colorist: Brad Simpson
- Layout Artist: Tone Rodriguez
- Flatter: Lauren Perry
- Logo/Design: Lauren Perda
- Pre-Press: Gabriela Downie
Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!
STRAY DOGS is a fascinating combination of classic Disney animation inspired art with a dark premise. Told from the point of view of a group of dogs who live together in a man’s house, the central mystery in the series is whether their master killed the newest dog’s owner. Complicating things is the fact that the dog, Sophie, has memory problems, casting some doubt on her reliability.
While we see the Master (well, except for his face, which is obscured at all times – like a cross between Wilson on Home Improvement and the adults in Peanuts), the focus is squarely on the dogs. There’s a fun variety of dogs, each with a distinct character design and personality. In the first issue Sophie was established as a main character, with the other dogs being a little less defined. In this issue, Rusty takes on a major role, being the the nicest and most willing to help Sophie get to the bottom of things.
STRAY DOGS is one of the strangest books I’ve read in a long time, in a good way. The art is evocative of classic animated films. The bright colors, clear lines, and cute design of the dogs (right down to their expressive eyes) would fit right in with a children’s movie. The subject matter is much darker, involving a potential murder. The concept is original, and Sophie’s memory problems add enough doubt to provide another layer of interest in the plot. This issue has a fair amount of suspense as well.
While this is the second issue of the series, STRAY DOGS has an excellent recap page, which lays out what happened and each of the canine characters. As a result you can start at issue 2 if you aren’t able to find the first.
STRAY DOGS #2 is now available.
Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts on the 3rd issue of the 5 part series.
Are you reading the series? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.