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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Comic Review: The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy

*ARC comic review no spoilers*

Writer: Filipe Melo
Artist: Juan Cavia
Genre: Humor
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: May 23, 2012
Format: FC, 112 pages, TP, 6" x 9"
Age range: 12

What do an overweight Portuguese werewolf, a seven-year-old girl who’s actually a six thousand-year-old demon, and a downtrodden pizza boy have in common? In this smash-hit import, the unlikely team bands together to ward off occult evils, Nazis, and impending global doom!
• Werewolves! Demons! Mad scientists! Pizza!
• Introduction by An American Werewolf in London director John Landis!
• The humor of R.I.P.D. meets the action and excitement of B.P.R.D.!

During World War II, all the supernatural creatures sought refuge in Portugal. Vampires, werewolves, gargoyles and ghosts all live peacefully, in the shadows, alongside humans. However, underground, the worst of all monsters prepares his comeback. A young pizza delivery boy, a middle aged werewolf, a six thousand year old demon and the severed head of a gargoyle will be the only ones capable of facing the forces of evil that threaten mankind.

I loved this graphic novel, the writing is clever, the character interactions are hilarious, and the art work is stunning. Eurico, a pizza delivery boy in Lisbon, Portugal is kind of a nerd. He is picked on by a bully at work and pines secretly for the girl who takes the pizza orders. That all changes when his scooter is stolen by gargoyles and he enlists the help of Occult Detectives Dog Mendonça and his partner, Pazuul. Pazuul looks like a little girl, but is actually a 6000 year old male demon and while he never speaks, his body language tells you all you need to know. Dog’s job is to keep humans safe from the monsters in the world while also protecting the more benign supernatural creatures from violent humans. Dog, Pazuul and Eurico team up with a gargoyle head (Dog kind of ripped it off the body) when they discover a far more sinister plot: someone is kidnapping the children of Lisbon. Along the way we meet Vlad, King of vampires and nightclub owner, a cross-dressing oracle, and an army of zombie Nazis. This is an action-packed snark fest of a read.

The art work is fabulous, especially the backgrounds, which are vividly colored and detailed. There are many panels without dialogue but the action and facial expressions speak volumes. Not only was the dialogue funny, but the text was laid out in a way that enhanced the humorous tone of the story. For example, there is a four page scene where Dog and Eurico are hanging upside down and the text in their dialogue bubbles is upside down too.

At the end of the book there are eleven pages dedicated to how Filipe Melo took his idea from concept to graphic novel including lots of original artwork sketches. The story started out as a screen play, but Portugal doesn’t really have a movie industry so the idea for turning it into a graphic novel was the next best thing. Filipe wanted to pay tribute to all the movies he loved growing up like Big Trouble in Little China, Gremlins, Back to the Future, and John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London. The comic book Dylan Dog also influenced him. John Landis was so impressed with this Portuguese comic that he wrote the forward for it and took it to Dark Horse to see if they would make an American version.

You can order it and see a preview at Dark Horse

5 Sheep!
SharonS (edited by BAK)

Dark Horse
Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Mass Effect, Serenity,and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.

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