Illustrated by Trish Forstner
Sophie is a nervous dog who classically can’t remember much after it happens to her. She’s introduced to a group of dogs in a new house, and they terrify her. The nicest of the bunch, Rusty, recognizes her fears and protects Sophie. He gives her a tour of the home, including the room they’re not allowed to go into. Snippets of traumatic memories start coming back to Sophie, prompting other dogs to also remember some of their pasts, with owners who were not their current master, who all happen to be female and usually alone. Through this, the dogs discover their happy home with plenty of food and treats is not a safe place to be, for animals or humans.
The blurb on the cover ("What do you get when you mix Silence of the Lambs with All Dogs Go to Heaven? Well, you get Stray Dogs.") and the terrified, cute Sophie in the art really drew me to this title. Mixing these two disparate stories left me perplexed, but that is such an apt description of the story of Stray Dog. This will definitely be a horrifying and heart-pounding volume for anyone who has any fondness for dogs or other furry friends. The pacing is pretty fast, especially since the issues are collected together, where they might have been written with the intentional breaks of publishing in between each "chapter". This is best read if you take a bit of a break in between “chapters” so you can let some of this horror and shock-value sink in. The dogs are adorable, and the illustrations are very reminiscent of vintage Disney films like All Dogs or Lady and the Tramp, so there's an interesting juxtaposition between their cuteness, the bright surroundings of the house, and the darkness of their situation.
Image rates this for Older Teen, most likely due to the horror elements, plus the serial killer plot-points.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN: 9781534319837 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Horror, Mystery, Animals, Suspense
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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