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Dog Eaters #1

Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2008
By: Dave Baxter

Malcolm Wong
Guillermo A. Angel, Ruben de Vela (c), Michael Bartolo (c)
Dabel Brothers Publishing
The Skinny: Post-apocalyptic future. Many people have died in an event called, unimaginatively and ungrammatically, “The Die Off." Civilization has collapsed. Now everyone roves around in tribal gangs: The White Angels, The Black Dogs, et cetera. They look like British punks. Memo: Doomsday would like its extras back, please contact. The Black Dogs are the book’s protagonists. They find a White Angel guy and save him, then there’s some random romantic tension between the leader of the tribe, his wife, a younger Black Dog girl, and a younger boy. That’s about it.

The Fat: This is Thundercats with more blood, more death, more sex, but an absolutely equivalent quality of plot and dialogue. Now, I’m not sure how long it’s been since you’ve re-watched a T-Cats episode or two, but go on YouTube or NetFlix a disc and take a gander.

Back? Okay, so…Dog Eaters is like reliving the '80s and the empty pointless dialogue of '90s Image books. This series has gotten a lot of pre-release buzz, and it certainly looked promising in the previews put out -- potentially cliché, but promising. There was even a #0 preview released online for free. Dabel Brothers were excited about the property. But wow, this book is pure and complete pastiche. A wonderful cross-media analogy is Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, which, like Dog Eaters offered a trite and overly-tread post-apocalypse populated by run-of-the-mill punk-flavored villains, because, when all of culture collapses, brit pop glam and eyeliner and kick-ass tats will be the bar to which everything descends. Never mind that glam and eyeliner and tats are constructs of civilization.

Malcolm Wong’s story is paper-thin and uninteresting. The Black Dogs suffer an ambush, have a shoot-out, collect a survivor, and then the story veers into forced melodrama. It’s all very abrupt dramatics, very little substance, and then the issue ends on perhaps the most arbitrary and unsatisfying final panel I’ve ever encountered. I definitely will not be back for issue #2.

Guillermo A. Angel’s art is dynamic, and often finds itself in the issue’s action sequences, though it suffers a stiffness and out-of-place energy when the scenes shift to talking heads. Colorists Ruben de Vela and Michael Bartolo are the best things about the issue: some nicely nuanced color work from those two, even if they often produced pages overly used digital highlights.

Final Word: A pretty, pretty but vapid book, worn out and dog-eared ideas (pun intended). And its prettiness is nothing unfound in a myriad other pretty books. I have to recommend everyone skip this one.

This is better reading, cuz it’s mine: The Gillian’s Heart Blog



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