We know Sophie’s story – but did you ever wonder about Roxanne, Imogene, and the other dogs? Wonder no more – find out in Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 from Image Comics!
STRAY DOGS: DOG DAYS #1
Writer: Tony Fleecs
Artist: Trish Forstner
Colorist: Brad Simpson
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 29, 2021
Previously in Stray Dogs: Every dog has a story. When Sophie joined the dogs who had all been rescued by the same man, she had fleeting memories that everything was not all right with him – or her former owner. She and the other dogs found out that their new owner was a serial killer who had killed their previous owners and taken them for his own. Now we get to see the former lives of the other dogs.
THE OTHER DOGS’ LIVES
Stray Dogs #1, specifically the Dog Days storyline, is not a retelling of the story of the serial killer. It is a collection of vignettes about the other dogs, a slice of time from their previous lives where we get to see them in entirely different circumstances. They’re still totally dogs, and these scenes are charming. But for those of us who have read the original series, there is also some heartbreak as we get a peek into the lives that they were torn from.
The first story is of Killer, the pug, noted to be timid. He is at home when he hears a car door slam and runs downstairs, worried about “The Monster!” He barks and barks, like a concerned dog does, but when the door opens, it is his Girl who walks in. His moment of happiness changes when her boyfriend walks in, her boyfriend who greets Killer and calls himself the “Cuddle Monster.” Far from fearing this young man, Killer gets as excited as he does, and they have a crazy cuddle fest.
There is plenty of humor throughout the book. Anyone who has ever had a dog will identify with much of this. Happy dogs naturally do goofy things, and that gives the book some amount of fun. But as the stories progress, we start to see more scenes with the Man in them, and we get suggestions of the murders and the kidnapping of the dogs.
Imogene’s story is one of the more heartbreaking ones. She is a Tibetan Mastiff, and she was taken when she was only a puppy. In the main book, she was an older dog who slept most of the time. To see her as a puppy is to see her as an entirely different dog. She leaps on her owner early in the morning to get her up. She clumsily crashes through her food bowl, spilling kibble all over the floor. She jumps up on other people. She runs around like a maniac at the dog park and then tangles her owner in her leash. She is so enthusiastically a dog right up until the time she is taken from her home. At the Man’s house, she is changed. None of that exuberance remains.
BURSTING WITH CHARM
The art of Stray Dogs #1 is cartoony and wonderful. The dogs are expressive and act in totally authentic doggy ways. (As a dog owner, I can vouch for a lot of their behaviors.) The facial expressions are larger than life and humanized just enough that we can clearly understand their feelings, but the body language is pure dog.
Roxanne’s story is a good example of this. Roxanne is an Alaskan Malamute and much loved by her owner. Roxanne is also very high energy and gets into a lot of mischief. Her owner is clearly frustrated at times by the swath of destruction she leaves behind her, but when we see Roxanne, we can see there is no malice in her. She just has so much energy she cannot help but get into everything. And despite this frustration, her owner understands this.
BOTTOM LINE: WONDERFUL MOMENTS
Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 is not a single story. It may not make the most sense for a reader who has not read the main story, but it does explain that story at the start, and the vignettes are charming and as different as the dogs they reflect. If you read and loved Stray Dogs, getting to know all the dogs better is a must read.
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Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1
Spend time with the Stray Dogs again and get to know them better.