Ever hear the phrase, born too late to explore the earth, and born too early to explore the galaxy? I have, and every so often I think of that sad fact. Personally, I wonder what it would be like to set foot on a new world; fresh from any human contact. Or even move between the stars to see the universe for myself. In Red Dog #1 you’re introduced to a world where the sky is always full of sunshine, and the people are learning to cultivate an unforgiving climate. As you watch this colony far from earth, you’re introduced to the people who work hard to provide for their daily lives, and discover the profound motivations behind why they are there.
Writer and creator Rob Cohen mixes narration from the main protagonist, Kyle, with ongoing dialogue that guides you through the story which includes the origins of the colony as well as Kyle’s family dynamics. Kyle, is a unique character in this story being the only child living among the adults. His difficulties are unlike the rest of the colonists; it allows for a unique perspective that no other person in this world can give.
Through Cohen’s narration you are able to witness the struggles of a child as he tries to pull his weight. In his eyes Cohen explores colonization and creates parallels between the future found in Red Dog and our own history. You are able to see that history tends to repeat itself in many ways. But Cohen doesn’t hit you over the head with a hammer. He allows you to piece it together and leaves you questioning who’s right and who’s wrong.
The story so far is rich in information, but doesn’t overload you.It is similar to Star Wars or Star Trek in that it creates a rich world with plenty to explore. This allows you to question what is going on and yearn to discover more about the world. Cohen is able to balance world building without giving everything away. The one con in the writing I saw was how pacing could use work. Since it doesn’t match throughout the entire issue it reads a little off.
The illustration for Red Dog #1 is done by Rob Atkins. The first thing that caught my eye was how much his illustration reminds me of of Dune and the original Total Recall. As with those movies, Red Dog #1 introduces us to the world through mining operations. I’m not sure if that was done on purpose, but regardless, I really enjoyed seeing that since I’m a huge fan of both films.
The play antics seen between Kyle and his dog, Q, in the very first few pages are very well done, and expertly capture how you would imagine a boy and a dog playing. Atkins also does a great job at creating non-human creatures that look both savage and intelligent. As for the human characters and their machines, they have that classic sci-fi look. The panels were very easy to follow, and flowed well with the story. You’re eyes are guided with enough visual cues to keep you going.
John Rauch provides the coloring for Red Dog #1. The world is extremely bright as it should be, given the type of world this is based on. But, you also see a contrast of darker colors as the story takes a more action oriented approach. For example, towards the end of the issue you also see this occur doing flash back memories which helps to separate the location of the past and present. . Another thing that I noticed was the attention to detail seen on page nine. Here if you look where one of the suns is resting in the sky, the area is extremely bright and reflective on the building. This attention to detail allows you to fully immerse yourself in the story. Both John Rauch and Rob Atkins create an environment that assists in conveying a rich sci-fi story, without going overboard on the visual details.
Red Dog #1 brings you to a world full of wonder and action. Rob Cohen gives us a story through the eyes of a growing child as he is trying to find his place on an unforgiving world. With ongoing narration blended with character dialog you’re given everything you need to know about what’s going on without feeling overwhelmed. Rob Atkins creates a world that is both unknown, but familiar for those who love sci-fi. His ability to create detail and add it where needed allows the story to grab your eyes and take you for a ride. John Rauch’s coloring shines throughout this whole issue as you’re on a world where night never comes.
- Excellent use of dialog and narration in a sci-fi story
- The Illustration nods to some classic films, while maintaining it’s own identity
- Parallels used from our own history connects the reader to this future
- Pacing isn’t even throughout the issue, but gets better past the midsection