Writer: Tres Dean
Artist: Jamie Jones
Here is another indie comic that I happened across at one of the recent Comic Cons. This comic is a collection of Dean and Jones’s short stories following Dodger, a western outlaw with all the wit and crass of a lone warrior. So far, the description is of a typical western, however added to the story is how the westerners fight and settle their differences, which is with giant mech suits. This series of short comics has joined two classic genres from opposite ends of the spectrum (old west and future tech mech suits) into one action packed story.
Tres Dean should be proud of the hard work he has done on the script. Each short story only has a few pages to get across the setup which provides us with who Dodger is in yet another classic “western” situation, and Dean pulls it off well. We get to see Dodger fight his way out of a bar, how he “draws” during a showdown and how he escapes from not wearing his mech pack while he his out in the untamed wilderness. There is the right amount of western accent and bravado inserted into the dialogue to firmly make this setting “The Old West” and not just some mech suit battle ridden landscape.
What drew my attention to this series was the great cover that Jamie Jones has illustrated. I was immediately attracted to finding out more about this comic as the art was so eye catching. Jone’s chosen art style in Dodger: A Western Saga of Mechs and Mayhem is ink with washes to gray-scale and shade-in areas to bring about depth. I got to watch Jamie work on a commission at the Con, and he was using this same style as in Dodger. The line work is strong and bold, and then softened with the washing technique while retaining those strong lines. It really makes the panels more than just drawings and more of a classic art style to tell a story. Dodger was a really fun read and worth every moment I spent with it.
Just meeting Jamie and seeing how excited he is about the work he does and how passionate he is about indie comics in general was a real treat. These short stories are doing a great job of painting a background picture of Dodger without having to use narration to wordily tell about all the brawls and mishaps in his history. Instead of sitting at the bar and listening to a whiskey breathed bard tell us who Dodger is, we get to witness the stories and develop our own sense of the outlaw as he develops. I want more Dodger stories so I can see just how rough edged this outlaw is. Book One that collects their shorts it out now (and available at Cons near you!) Book Two will be out just in time for NYCC. Keep an eye out for more Dodger shorts and info at https://www.facebook.com/dodgercomic?__mref=message_bubble&_rdr=p