Writer: J.M. Brandt & Theo Prasidis
Artist: Kewber Baal
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Shawn French
Have you ever seen the zombies that rose in Baton Rouge? Read further if you dare!
From Scout Comics, Swamp Dogs is a series that takes zombies to a whole new level, with the influences of voodoo magic, the culture of Louisiana, and some historical AND modern twists!
I'm personally not the biggest zombie story fan, but I couldn't put Swamp Dogs down upon opening!
Historical Fiction meets Modern Supernatural
In the first issue of Swamp Dogs, we immediately learn that these zombies are scummy Confederate soldiers. Who else is tired of the Confederacy? I know, me too, particularly because of the news on a daily basis. But I have to say, this seemingly small detail adds the perfect twist to this zombie tale, and makes it anything but the average zombie story.
In this second issue, however, we spend less time with the historical fiction aspects of the Confederacy and more time with the band The Grunch and couple Ayana and Violet. I'm grateful for this trade-off in issue two; while I enjoy the historical twist this series adds, I don't want this to all be based on that twist. Eventually, it becomes uninteresting and unrelatable to me.
There's Something For Everyone!
What IS relatable? Well, a ridiculous band and a blinded-by-lust couple! THESE are groups of people I can relate to (for better or worse). This raunchy band that is filled with people you wouldn't want to take home to your parents and the gay couple that can't keep their hands off each other are utterly hilarious and fun!
It was great taking the time to get to know these characters and imagine where you might fit in with these individuals. Are you the woman feeling enamored by someone for the first time? Are you the gross jerk farting in his friend's face to wake him up? Are you the one rolling their eyes while they have to put up with all these idiots? No matter who you are, there is someone you can relate to. There is a character that makes this story feel more real for you individually.
Natural, Quality Representation
It's so nice to see representation written and drawn so naturally. The expectations of how different groups should be represented are changing and growing and Swamp Dogs rises to the occasion to not only meet but exceed these expectations. As a bisexual woman myself, I didn't feel like the relationship between Ayana and Violet was awkward, written poorly, or misrepresented. Rather, it feels real and authentic, in large part because it's written so naturally into the story.
Furthermore, I'm so impressed with the art by Baal. Baal's style is multifaceted; it's effective and draws out the humor in the environment (particularly with the band) as necessary while also accentuating faces and microdetails. In particular, I loved how Baal drew Ayana and Violet throughout the issue. Baal finds the perfect balance between realistic and sexy when we see Ayana and Violet come together in moments of physical passion. As a feminist, I am pleased, and as a bisexual, I couldn't be more thrilled with how Baal draws these women. Trust me, it makes ALL the difference to see women drawn well.
The Horror Is Top Notch
If you think issue two of Swamp Dogs is all fun and games, you're either going to be really disappointed or really pleased, because my goodness is this still a zombie horror story!
Brandt and Prasidis do a magnificent job building our investment as readers. Just as we get invested in these characters and their well-being, BAM! Everything is not as it seems. It's a great trap, snap, and snare and I love every second of it! The zombies haven't gone anywhere, so if you're here for some zombies and gore, Swamp Dogs continues to deliver on that front in ways you wouldn't believe!