A Riddle Wrapped In An Enigma: Reviewing ‘Dead Dog’s Bite’ #1
by Brendan M. Allen
‘Cormac Guffin has gone missing. It’s been three days and no one has seen hide nor hair of her. The police have nothing, and the townsfolk are acting more like a funeral procession than a search party. If Cormac has any hope of being found, it rests on the slouching shoulders of her best friend Joe. Joe will need her wits about her though, because, like any story worth hearing, nothing is what it seems.
From award-winning cartoonist Tyler Boss comes the story of a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a candy wrapper.’
Tyler Boss’ Dead Dog’s Bite #1 is an odd one. Boss flirts with a lot of familiar imagery and tropes to draw the reader in and set the tone for the rest of the series. In the very first sequence, a nameless Rod Serling-esque narrator attempts to orient the reader, but really just muddies things up a little more than they need to be.
There’s a missing girl named Cormac. Her girlfriend, Joe sets out to find her and deals with a bunch of weird stuff along the way. By the end of the book, there isn’t a whole lot that actually happened, but somehow, it feels really important, like you missed something, or a lot of things, in the telling.
The humor is a little heavy handed at times. Cormac “Mac” Guffin? MacGuffin? So the missing girl, she drives the story, but isn’t important to the outcome in any way. The Maltese Falcon. Rosebud. The spinning top. Death Star plans. Corky Guffin.
If you’re familiar with Tyler Boss’ previous work, you’re fully aware the dude can draw. The artwork here is reminiscent of Boss’ work on 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, which is one of my favorite stories of all time. The imagery in DDB is enough on it’s own to make this an interesting book. You really should go back for a second and third pass to catch all the little clues and callbacks that are hidden throughout.
This first chapter is a dead slow burn, thick with ambiance. I’m not really sure what the hell just happened, but there is definitely enough here to bring me back for a second round to try to figure it out. That’s the point, isn’t it? Hopefully the next installment carries the same vague compulsive draw.
Dead Dog’s Bite #1, Dark Horse Comics, 03 March 2021. Created by Tyler Boss, with a variant cover available by Ian Bertram.
This first chapter is a dead slow burn, thick with ambiance. I’m not really sure what the hell just happened, but there is definitely enough here to bring me back for a second round to try to figure it out