Review – Stray Dogs #3
Writer: Tony Fleecs
Artist: Trish Forstner
Colourist: Brad Simpson
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: April 2021
Movie Poster Variant Covers: Trish Forstner, Tony Fleecs
Trade Paper Back due out September 2021
Classic Movie Homage Variant Covers: Trish Forstner, Tony Fleecs
Under the farmhouse, something rots. And no matter how well they’re trained, dogs will be dogs. Now they’ve uncovered something that can’t just be buried again.
Before you read on you may want to read our reviews of the past issues
Writer: Tony Fleecs
Fleecs is a bad boy in this issue and I’ll have the tap him on the nose with a newspaper after the shocking final panel in this issue, but we’ll get back to that after a recap.
The issue starts with Sophie, Rusty and Roxanne debating what they can do with the red scarf and photo to stop themselves from forgetting their previous mistresses. Sophie wants to get back into the forbidden room, but Rusty says he’s already taken the punishment for her.
Just then the master returns and the pack run to the house to be fed, holding back the three dogs plus poor three-legged Victor think about how that can get more evidence when Roxanne smells something in the airspace under the house. Pushing a shovel out the way they manage to get in and find both an open grave and a mound of dirt.
The master spots the open door to the crawlspace and shines a torch in to check but the dogs have taken refuge in the grave. Locked in by the master they dig their way to freedom but find another scrap of clothing along the way. Victor sniffs and remembers his old life, saved from a burning building he was adopted by a firehouse and looks after until the master dispatched his owner. Out of sight earl, the gruff old hunting dog sneaks upstairs and calls the master as Victor tries the 911 panic button on the phone.
Taken out to the woodshed for punishment the issue finishes with a horrific gunshot and it’s with that that Tony Fleecs turns this mystery thriller into a horror story.
The unwritten rule of writing is “never kill a dog” there are even websites that allow checking movies ahead for those squeamish to watch an animal die.
Artwork: Trish Forstner
The bright style of Forstner graphics take a darker tone this issue from the sneaky Earl somehow warning the master about Victor, to the grave digging under the house this has lost any semblance of a shiny 80s dog cartoon and deeper and darker now that the majority of dogs are siding with Sophie and Rusty.
But take heart, if you look behind Earl, Sophie followed him and knows that he’s the culprit that taught Victor to Doggie Heaven.
I can speed this comic in about 10 minutes for the narration but the deeper artwork takes two or three deeper reeds to absorb and see all the small details she has put into each dog and panel.
The homage covers classic movies like Midsommer, The Craft and Annabel add a nice horror nudge.
I can only hope that no other dogs were harmed in the making of this storyline, but I have a feeling that this title will end up on Does the Dog Die website for a few incidents. I’m away to pick up the fourth issue and get it digested and reviewed ASAP. If you’ve missed this at your local shop put an order in for the TPB in a few weeks.
I hope you enjoyed this review of Stray Dogs #3, keep an eye out for the rest of the series on our webpage.
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