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THE BARK IN SPACE by Trina Robbins


From the Chicagoland Detective Agency series, volume 5

by Trina Robbins ; illustrated by Tyler Page

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0725-1
Publisher: Graphic Universe

There are hundreds of stories about talking dogs, but if this graphic novel is any indication, every book would be better with a dog in it.

The math is simple: A Google search for “dog” brings up 1,430,000,000 results. So Raf’s newest invention ought to be an instant success. It’s a dog-to-human translator. The only problem is, dogs don’t have much to say. Even Raf’s (mad-scientist–engineered) canine friend Bradley, who happens to speak English, says: “…much as I love my Earth doggie buddies, I gotta admit that, unlike me…they’re kinda dim bulbs….” The storyline is busy, even for a Chicagoland Detective Agency comic. There’s a missing princess, a dog show, a mad scientist and a saucer full of dogs from the planet Fnarf III. The alien dogs get the best lines, by way of Raf’s iDog2 translator, including: “Human person, can you throw the flying saucer of playing fetch?” The art looks a bit more rushed than in previous volumes, but this is still one of the most inventive stories in a consistently innovative series. And even human beings will sympathize when the Fnarfian Princess Zu-La says, “Earth people are nice enough, but not very smart…none of them understands me.”

“Relax and enjoy,” counsels Bradley. “It’s like a carnival ride.” (Graphic mystery. 8-12)