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by James Proimos III ; illustrated by James Proimos Jr.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61963-442-8
Publisher: Bloomsbury

It would be wrong to say that this book is Waiting for Godot with dogs, despite superficial similarities.

This graphic novel isn’t much like Samuel Beckett’s play, although it is arranged in scenes. The main problem in Godot is existential angst. The main problem in this comic is doorknobs. Dogs can’t open doors, so they have to wait for their owners to bring them food, and the wait is endless, because every human in the world seems to have disappeared after an unnamed disaster. There are lengthy, circular conversations about food: “I’m hungry.” “Aren’t you always hungry?” The comic book has more fight scenes than Godot, which means there are multiple appearances by the book’s funniest character, a flea who’s read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. He’s always ready to give the dogs cryptic advice: “The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” Unfortunately, whenever he leaves the story, the dialogue turns mundane. Here’s Scene 3 in its entirety: “How come you get to lie on the couch?” Some readers will find the banality hilarious. No other post-apocalyptic novel has this many conversations about furniture. And the black-and-white artwork is endearingly primitive. The dogs are shaped like little sausages or maybe heretofore-undiscovered continents.

Like Godot, this book is both comic and perplexing. Readers with an absurdist sensibility will appreciate the slow pacing. Other children may get tired of waiting.

(Graphic fantasy. 8-12)