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DODO COMICS #2 by Grant Thomas



I’ve reviewed a few of Thomas’ comics now, and I can safely say that they’re slowly but surely getting more interesting. Dodo Comics #2 is a mixed bag of pieces, but the quality level is fairly consistent throughout. He opens with an extended silent homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone. While the strip doesn’t do much, Thomas captures the visages of Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach very well. His panel layouts are also interesting, using three widescreen tiers per page, and then punctuating specific beats with close-ups on the faces and the weapons being drawn from their holsters. Considering that this went on for 10 pages, it feels at times like Thomas is using the comics medium to practice, learn, and explore structure out in the open for all of us to see, rather than primarily being concerned with telling a story per se. In all honesty, I think that’s simultaneously interesting/brave as a creator, but boring/self-indulgent from the audience’s perspective, so I remain torn on the dynamic. “Drawing From Life” is the second piece, which has a couple of typos on the first page, but the oddball experiences in an art class are the type of engaging autobio you typically expect from a project like this. “Visiting Johanna’s Concert” was the strongest piece in the issue for me. Visually, there’s a nice use of negative space, though he can’t seem to escape the halo-ing effect around his figures, and again, there are a couple typos to be found in the form of unintentionally repeated words. The hook with this piece is intended to be the “pantoum,” where specific panels are repeated at patterned intervals, but I thought the strongest aspect of it was capturing the interesting balance between nostalgia and voyeurism. For me, that narrative engagement trumped whatever structural experiment was going on. “Why Have You Shut Your Eyes?” is a one-pager that ends the issue. There’s some interesting ornamentation around the border of the panel, but otherwise I found this to be a snoozer. Overall, this comic is in “B” range for me, with “Johanna’s Concert” pulling a “B+” for the mood it’s able to evoke, and the last piece drawing it back down with a “B-“ so we end up with an overall flat Grade B.

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One Response to DODO COMICS #2 by Grant Thomas

  1. Grant says:

    Thank you for the thorough review. The song lyrics in “Visions of Johanna’s Concert” were actually repeated intentionally.