This has got to be the single weirdest title in my pull list right now, and I love it for that. Tyler Boss set the hook good and deep, but instead of reeling the reader straight in, he’s dragging them all over the pond first.
‘Questions begin to arise. Like what exactly is going on here? Joe decides to get into local politics and takes a field trip to a candy factory after hours. All that and a bag of sweets in the second chapter of this thrilling, chilling mystery.’
I said in my review of Dead Dog’s Bite #1 that this is an odd one. I stand by that. In chapter two, Joe is still looking for her bestie Cormac. She’s come up with some leads, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how these things tie together. Joe putters around the mayor’s office, the local diner, and the peppermint factory, grilling increasingly strange characters who may or may not have anything to do with Mac Guffin’s disappearance.
Tyler Boss’ art style is something I fell in love with a few years ago when he was working with Matthew Rosenberg on 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank. He pulls out a lot of the same slick tricks here. Several pages are on a nine square grid, with hardly any movement, very slight changes between panels, and sometimes with barely any dialogue. It’s very effective for building awkward tension, and this story is thick with it.
This is one of those books that you really need to pay attention to every single doggone detail too. It’s all important, probably, though it won’t make any sense until down the road. Boss has everything connecting, but in ways that aren’t readily apparent to the reader just yet. In Joe’s Winnebago, her link diagram forms the shape of that swirly button she wears, which also appears to be the town seal and the logo of the local peppermint factory? What does it mean? Who the hell knows?
Two chapters in, I still don’t know what we’re dealing with. It is the pure offbeat nature of the thing that has me coming back next month. I can tell you it’s visually striking and entertaining to read. What have I learned so far? No clue. I like it, though. It’s an interesting book, but I couldn’t tell you, for the life of me, what in blazes is happening. Cheers.
Dead Dog’s Bite #2, Dark Horse Comics, 07 April 2021. Written, drawn, colored, lettered by Tyler Boss.