Red Dog #1
Published by: 451 Media Group
Available: November 16, 2016
A boy is playing with his dog in a wheat field. Idyllic childhood, right? Only the dog, is a robotic dog, and the wheat field is growing in a bio-dome on the mining planet Kirawan, with two suns who keep the planet in constant day. The other unique thing? Our boy Kyle is the ONLY boy in the colony.
Kirawan has the distinguishing feature of having a large lode of an important element, so the roughly 200 people living here are dedicated to mining and to staying alive. It’s ingrained in Kyle from the start that he has to be able to pull his weight at this station and not just be the child they all spoil.
Cohen and Ewington jump right into the plot – points are revealed quickly and cinematically so that the reader is engaged right away. There’s really no wasted time as they hook you and make you want to be there to watch the story unfold. By the time I’m on page 6, I’m already invested in this kid’s future. Kyle is super-likable, and his dog Q has many of the same characteristics of a live dog. The adults are serious about life, but not so much that they can’t enjoy things. One event seems to follow another in a really organic way. There are some familiar sci-fi tropes, but it still manages to feel fresh.
Atkins’ art just focuses on building this world and revealing people who aren’t necessarily perfect, but perfectly natural. The environments, from the farms to the houses to the workplaces, are real in their weight and solidity. Forbes strikes the perfect tone with a sunny, arid palette.
The book said “cinematic” to me from the start, and noting the involvement of screen writer (also movie producer and director) Rob Cohen, I’m not at all surprised that it jumps in to hook you right away. This could be an epic in the making, but right now it’s just a yummy sci-fi pie that I want to eat until there’s no more.