Guide Dog Detective mini comics #1 and 2

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Guide Dog Detective mini comics #1 and 2 Creator(s): Jess Bradley
Publishers: Panda Sushi Comics
From: 1QB
Price: ?

I am reviewing these two mini comics together partly because they are mini comics and therefore quite brief but mainly because they are complimentary in many ways and actually make more sense when read together.

The first comic is titled “All in a Days Work” and that is exactly what it is about. It follows the repetitive routine of the working day for our hero, the Guide Dog Detective. Symbols are substituted for words as dialogue here and this is particularly effective especially when coupled with the simple but effective portrayal of a wide variety of facial expressions.

The repetitive nature of the working day is emphasized by having the time noted in the top corner of every frame, although I am not sure why when using a 24 hour clock we are also given AM and PM and why for the last two frames we change from a 24 hour clock to a 12 hour time scale.

Back to the Guide Dog Detective’s day though, it seems to consist of an endless amount of desk bound paper work punctuated by verbal attacks from his boss and the occasional violent interrogation of a suspect. It is hardly surprising then that our crime fighting canine seeks solace in an after work beer only to have to put up with a stereotypical bar room bore, although in this case the drunk in question is a rooster.

As I mentioned above the simple but varied facial expressions are a visual highpoint in this straightforward mini comic none more so than in the bar room scene. Overall it visually attractive and a nice little comic, simple but effective.

The companion mini comic is titled “The Bitter Side of Justice.” If comic #1 was a highly visual treat then #2 is equally appealing on a verbal front. In fact it virtually tells the same story [how mind numbingly tedious and frustrating the life of a guide dog detective is] but with an emphasis on the words rather than the visuals.

So the 14 frames are very similar in appearance and all quite wordy. Just as well then that it is well written. Mostly angry but with a brief moment of optimistic enlightenment to offset the gloom.

It is fascinating to see how a creator can present the same story in two different ways by placing an emphasis first on symbol and picture and then on words.

The high point of both comics is the final frame of #2 when the perspective shifts and we realize that what we previously thought was a monologue addressed by the doggie detective directly to us is in reality not that at all instead there is a very real audience. This is a genuine laugh out loud moment.

These are not deep tales but it is well created and it is fun.

In a Word: Waggish.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me