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Review: Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2

Stray Dogs has been an emotional read since the very first issue. It’s fitting that it ends on equal terms, with an emphasis on moving beyond trauma to find some kind of closure. The individual dog stories in “Dog Days” (the two-issue follow-up to the main series) achieves this while also combining for a sensible conclusion that lays every emotion imaginable out in the open with an invitation to feel each one.

Dog Days #2, which continues in the same short story format of the first entry, centers on several of the main story’s dogs to get at their origin stories and how they related to their human companions, the ones taken by their serial killer master. Creators Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner change it up with stories about victims that initially get away from the main story’s serial killer thanks to their protective dogs and stories focused on memorial services for those who were unfortunate enough to cross paths with the killer.

This issue plays out like an emotional reckoning that brings in the ugliness of the story to the forefront with the intention of accentuating the ripple effects of evil actions and how they all stem from the egotistical desires of twisted individual. What’s impressive is how each segment in the book wrestles with those ideas.

Fleecs and Forstner allow each dog to represent themes such as confusion, anger, acceptance, and mourning during their stories to make sure the overarching narrative closes with an understanding that violence leads to messy endings and that navigating them is never meant to be an easy or clearly defined process.

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2
Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2, variant cover by Manu Silva

As has been the case with the entire series, the art style continues to be an exercise in contrasts where the dark subject matter collides with Disney-like cartoon visuals to produce a harder-hitting storytelling experience. The same strategy that’s worked before is still intact and continues to work just as well. Forstner has shown complete mastery of the cartoon style and has done a remarkable job adapting it to a type of story that is not usually associated with it.

Fleecs’ script also stays true to form, unafraid to venture into heart-breaking territory without beating you over the head with it. Dog Days #1 already tugged on the heart strings enough, so it was refreshing to see Fleecs take a step back to explore other possibilities, as was the case of one the dog’s successful attempt at scaring the killer away during a kidnapping attempt. It helps to develop the dogs beyond just being victims of the killer’s design and it puts the animal characters under a different light.

Fleecs and Forstner make a formidable creative team and I hope to see more of their work together. Stray Dogs is so good I wish there was a way to extend our stay in its world. There might be a chance of it if they try for an American Horror Story kind of anthology format in which a different horror scenario plays out with different animals and settings. It might open the door for a Stray Cats series in the future, hopefully. For now, though, we have Stray Dogs, and I’ll be rereading it several times more before I’m done with it. You should too.

Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Colors: Brad Simpson
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy, read, reread, and then adopt a dog. They can scare away serial killers.

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Batman/Catwoman Special #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Batman/Catwoman Special #1 (DC Comics) – John Paul Leon left us far too soon and this issue is a great opportunity to see why he’s such an admired artist.

Black Panther #3 (Marvel) – John Ridley has grounded the character and put him on a quest to figure out who’s assassinating his undercover agents. Action and paranoia!

Cocaine Coast (Ablaze) – The true story about the European drug trade, and it’s been turned into a Netflix series!?

DC vs. Vampires #4 (DC Comics) – The series has kept us guessing as to who is a vampire and who’s not and who’s getting killed next!

Devil’s Reign #3/Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel) – The event has been fantastic so far and we’re here for every release… including the spin-offs!

The Harbinger #4 (Valiant) – The series has been awesome so far and we’re expecting some major implications for the Valiant Universe to spin out of it.

Saga #55 (Image Comics)Saga‘s return is a big deal after what feels like a decade since we last saw it on the shelf. How will it feel picking the series up after such a long break? We’ll find out soon enough!

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2 (Image Comics) – We’re sad this is just two issues diving deeper into this amazing horror series from the perspective of dogs. We want more!

Superman & Robin Special #1 (DC Comics) – We loved Super Sons, so to see a grown-up Jon and Damian team up should be entertaining.

Task Force Z #4 (DC Comics) – The concept of a “zombie” Suicide Squad might seem silly but it really works.

Saga’s Return Leads this Week’s Highlights

There are a lot of comics that come out every week and we’re kicking off a new regular feature where we highlight some of the interesting comics and debuts coming each week!

We want to hear what you want with this so let us know your thoughts in the comments.

This week’s highlights:

  • Batman/Catwoman Special #1 (DC Comics)
  • Black Panther #3 (Marvel)
  • Cocaine Coast (Ablaze)
  • Cowboy Bebop #1 (Titan Comics)
  • The Harbinger #4 (Valiant)
  • House of Slaughter #4 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Peacemaker: Disturbing the Peace #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label)
  • Saga #55 (Image Comics)
  • Stray Dogs: Dog Days #2 (Image Comics)
  • X Deaths of Wolverine #1 (Marvel)

Around the Tubes

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – Schomburg’s Black Comic Book Festival 2022 goes all virtual in face of latest covid surge – And repeat.

The Beat – Covid strikes again: Angoulême 2022 delayed to Spring – And repeat.

Reviews

AIPT – Atlantis Attacks
Talking Comics – Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer #1
Laughing Place – Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #19
Comic Book – Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1
Comic Book – Swamp Thing: Green Hell #1
Comic Book – Timeless #1
The Beat – Yasmeen

Review: Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1

Stray Dogs: Dog Days

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner’s Stray Dogs not only stands as one of the best horror comics of the year, but also one of its most emotional. Forstner’s Disney-inspired illustrations and Fleecs’ clever scripting choices helped craft a story about a pack of dogs living with a serial killer who brings back the pets of those he kills with a very delicate sensibility that values character development over gratuitous suffering.

The trend continues with the newest chapter of the series titled Stray Dogs: Dog Days, which looks at each individual dog’s story to explore their connection with their owners and what was lost when the serial killer took them away. There’s not a single page that won’t make you want to burst in tears, but there’s also not a page that isn’t treated with the care it deserves to get the most out of it.

Dog Days is presented in a kind of anthology format, which each segment getting a few pages of story before moving on to the next one. The chapter breaks are particularly clever. They show the “Missing Dog” poster with a picture of the dog accompanied by a few bits of info on their temperament and how best to approach them if you see them.

The concept isn’t just clever, though. It’s a part of the storytelling and speaks volumes about the dogs’ current status, especially when you remember they’re actually living with the man that killed their human companions.

Stray Dogs: Dog Days

While the stories all share a deep sadness between them, there also some truly frightening details that magnify the serial killer’s presence. One in particular finds its horror in a dog trying to barter with another dog for a ball he wants to play with. What he offers in return is chilling and downright unsettling. And yet, the dogs don’t fully grasp the gravity of what’s being exchanged, playing into their unique perspective on life and how naturally innocent they are in their view of it.

The Disney-inspired style retains its power here and is still effective in subverting genre conventions. The contrast between it and the subject matter itself is a thing to behold and may even help the story hit harder. Where the visuals to change entirely, Stray Dogs would become a completely different book and reading experience.

Dog Days #1 signals a return to darkness for the pups of the main story. The segments included in this story aren’t there to be crowd pleasers or alleviate the sadness. That said, the bond the dogs create within the pack is still given its time to shine and points to the light these animals bring to life even when it’s at its most terrifying. I can’t wait for issue #2, even though I dread knowing what each dog went through once the killer steps into their lives. Despite that, Stray Dogs is still a world I want to spend more time in.

Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Colors: Brad Simpson
Art: 10 Story: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy, read, and hug your dog…and also maybe invest in home security (just in case).

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

MEGA #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Apache Delivery Service #1 (Dark Horse) – Two haunted men are on a hunt in the jungles of Vietnam, searching for clues to a missing treasure trove of gold. A new comic from Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Hilary Jenkins? Yeah, we’re in.

Cross to Bear #3 (AfterShock) – The series has turned out to be so much more than a secret org chasing Jack the Ripper across America.

DC vs. Vampires #3 (DC Comics) – The first two issues have been fantastic at the setup of vampires infiltrating the DCU and we’re hoping this one delivers a lot more action as they strike.

Death of Doctor Strange #4 (Marvel) – Who will be the new Sorcerer Supreme? We already know the answer but we want the details!

Deathstroke Inc. #4 (DC Comics) – The comic has been silly fun so far with over-the-top action.

Devil’s Reign #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic as the Kingpin’s plans for Marvel’s heroes comes together.

The Human Target #3 (DC Comics) – The series has Christopher Chance attempting to figure out who poisoned him and his been so good hitting the noir vibe.

Mazebook #5 (Dark Horse) – A father attempts to bring home his lost daughter. It’s been a haunting series by Jeff Lemire and we want to see how it wraps up.

Mega #1 (Red 5 Comics) – A gigantic creature has been awaken from its eternal sleep in Antarctica and only another sleeping giant can stop it.

Night of Cadillacs #2 (Scout Comics) – Our heroes Stiv and Hope flee supernatural gangs commanded by the sinister godfather Papa Duke.

Power Rangers Universe #1 (BOOM! Studios) – What is the true origin of the Phantom Ranger? And what is his connection to the Morphin Grid?

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 (Image Comics) – The first volume of Stray Dogs was amazing so to get any more makes us happy. It being so good? Yeah, we’re beyond excited to get as much as we can.

Swamp Thing: Green Hell #1 (DC Comics) – The Parliaments of the Green, the Red, and the Rot all agree: it’s time to wipe the slate clean and start the cycle of life over again. Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Doug Mahnke? Yeah, this is one to check out.

Task Force Z #3 (DC Comics) – Red Hood leads his own Suicide Squad of zombified villains. The concept is crazy and works so well.

Timeless #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s 2022 begins here!

Early Review: Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1

Stray Dogs: Dog Days

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner’s Stray Dogs not only stands as one of the best horror comics of the year, but also one of its most emotional. Forstner’s Disney-inspired illustrations and Fleecs’ clever scripting choices helped craft a story about a pack of dogs living with a serial killer who brings back the pets of those he kills with a very delicate sensibility that values character development over gratuitous suffering.

The trend continues with the newest chapter of the series titled Stray Dogs: Dog Days, which looks at each individual dog’s story to explore their connection with their owners and what was lost when the serial killer took them away. There’s not a single page that won’t make you want to burst in tears, but there’s also not a page that isn’t treated with the care it deserves to get the most out of it.

Dog Days is presented in a kind of anthology format, which each segment getting a few pages of story before moving on to the next one. The chapter breaks are particularly clever. They show the “Missing Dog” poster with a picture of the dog accompanied by a few bits of info on their temperament and how best to approach them if you see them.

The concept isn’t just clever, though. It’s a part of the storytelling and speaks volumes about the dogs’ current status, especially when you remember they’re actually living with the man that killed their human companions.

Stray Dogs: Dog Days

While the stories all share a deep sadness between them, there also some truly frightening details that magnify the serial killer’s presence. One in particular finds its horror in a dog trying to barter with another dog for a ball he wants to play with. What he offers in return is chilling and downright unsettling. And yet, the dogs don’t fully grasp the gravity of what’s being exchanged, playing into their unique perspective on life and how naturally innocent they are in their view of it.

The Disney-inspired style retains its power here and is still effective in subverting genre conventions. The contrast between it and the subject matter itself is a thing to behold and may even help the story hit harder. Where the visuals to change entirely, Stray Dogs would become a completely different book and reading experience.

Dog Days #1 signals a return to darkness for the pups of the main story. The segments included in this story aren’t there to be crowd pleasers or alleviate the sadness. That said, the bond the dogs create within the pack is still given its time to shine and points to the light these animals bring to life even when it’s at its most terrifying. I can’t wait for issue #2, even though I dread knowing what each dog went through once the killer steps into their lives. Despite that, Stray Dogs is still a world I want to spend more time in.

Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner Colors: Brad Simpson
Art: 10 Story: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy, read, and hug your dog…and also maybe invest in home security (just in case).

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

It’s Dog Days for Stray Dogs in December

Breakout hit series Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner is back with a new spinoff, Dog Days. This upcoming two issue miniseries will launch in December from Image Comics

A series of vicious short stories howling straight out of the pages of Stray Dogs, 2021’s surprise cartoon/horror smash hit! In Dog Days, each stray will get their moment to shine—questions will be answered, mysteries will be solved, and old wounds will be torn open. Starting this December… every dog has its day.

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 Cover A (Diamond Code OCT210051) and Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 Cover B Horror movie homage variant (Diamond Code OCT210052) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, December 29.

Zeismic