By V_Scarlotte_Rose 11 Comments
Been a while since I've done one of these. Sometimes it's hard to get a copy of the lowest seller, or sometimes it's an Archie comic, so I end up not doing that month. I'll maybe tweak my rules to try and make this more regular, if you want. :)
As usual, I'm not familiar with the series, and didn't do any research into it before reading this issue, just to see if it's new reader friendly. There may be small spoilers, but I'llblockthem just in case. Let's start with the cover.
Well it seems like it fits the title. Southern? Check. Dog? Check. I'm not American, so I don't know the exact implications of the Confederate flag, but it's considered a Southern thing right? Apologies if I'm wrong.
The cover, by Riley Rossmo is a good representation of the contents of the issue, whilst not strictly portraying scenes from it. A chaotic nature is displayed in it's wild sketchy lines suggesting we've got some violence and darkness to come in this series, which is somewhat true of this first issue. It certainly tells children to keep away from it, with two "Mature Readers" warnings, and an ominous suggestion to "Stay Alert!"
Brought to us by Alex Diotto, Southern Dog presents a generally realistically designed world, and displays a good variety of environments and a decent eye for detail. The drawing itself is pretty good, with thin, sketchy lines here and there, which I can't quite appreciate throughout, though for the most part I think it works well enough with the story. I think the panels with animals are the best in this issue.
The colouring by Adam Metcalfe is good in terms of choice of palette, particularly in the first scene which takes place at night. Some of the colouring looks a little blocky in some places when colours aren't seperated by a line. I'm not a big fan of the way that camoflage is used, as it kind of looks like it doesn't change when it comes to a crease in the clothing. The lettering by Ed Brisson is good, with some nice sound effects.
The issue starts out with what I think is a werewolf being abused, and transported to a gathering of what I believe is either the Ku Klux Klan, or some kind of equivalent. The werewolf is hanged, which I'm guessing establishes an important aspect of this series. Flashback to six weeks ago and a father and sons are out hunting and subsequently eating dinner, and we're introduced to our main character, youngest Jasper, who's going through adolescence, and learning about the Civil War at school, where he attends, along with a girl he likes called Zoe.
On a later hunt, he's bitten by a wolf and the next day in school he starts to feel some peculiar symptoms, causing him to flee class to a bathroom. He's interrupted by some fellow students who attack him for expressing interest in Zoe, as they don't think Jasper, who is white, should be around Zoe, who is black, as she's one of "their women". Upon returning home, Jaspers dad has a way to get back at the bullies. He takes him Jasper to his study for the first time in his life, revealing a gun, and a KKK hood.
I'd say that the issue, written by Jeremy Holt, has appropriate pacing, and the dialogue seems quite natural. There is some swearing and racist language used, but I wouldn't call it excessive. Racial tension is a big part of this, and it is for mature readers, so I'd say it fits. The scene at the beginning taking place in the near future, and the reveal at the end creates some intrigue, which I imagine could tempt people back for #2.
22 Pages of comic content for $3.99. Pretty normal.
All the advertising is left to the end, so no interruptions.
There's a pin-up page at then end.
There's also a page of notes and thank yous from the write.
Overall, I think it's pretty good. The art and story fit together well, and it does give me a feeling of "I wonder where they're going with this". Personally it hasn't quite wowed me enough to continue buying, but I get the feeling this could be an interesting series for other people. I'd maybe get a TPB if I had some spare money. I'll give it a ().
So has anyone on here read this issue? What did you think of it? This review is just my own opinion, so it could be good to hear some others.
Any feedback is appreciated, and please let me know if you'd like to see more reviews in future. I haven't bought any runner-up issues for August, but I may if there's interest for it. :)
For all my previous reviews, see here.