Pullbox Reviews Howie the Hellhound #1- A dramedic meet/cute, but with less romance & more brimstone

  • Howie the Hellhound #1
  • Scout Comics
  • Written by Jared Prestwidge (@jprestwidge)
  • Illustrated by Carlos Trigo (carlos_trigo)
  • Colors by Simon Robins (@bastard_cut)
  • Letters by Lucas Gattoni (@lettering.bear)
  • Edited by Nicole D’Andria
  • Shipping early in October, 2023

Satan’s favorite pet, a Hellhound named Howie, escapes the pits of Hell and settles down with a human owner, Louise, in New York City. But when Hell’s forces rise to take back what’s theirs, the pair must find a way to come out the other side and earn the fresh start at life that they both crave. HOWIE THE HELLHOUND is a supernatural dramedy filled to the brim with heart, danger, and laughs, along with a sprinkling of fire and brimstone!

Every now and then, you run across a story about the right person being in the right place at the right time for the perfect meet/cute. It starts with a random series of events that lead into a happy encounter between two… well, it’s usually people, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The happiest of accidents happen when they’re least expected but needed the most.

Such it is on the fateful day that Howie slips his leash and finds himself in the Big Apple. At the same time aspiring actress Louise is experiencing her own identity crisis. Cue the uplifting music… um, maybe Tubular Bells or something… as these unlikeliest of soulmates collide.

Jared Prestwidge dodges the pitfalls of what could have been just another a goofy comedy, ably handling some deeper themes to give his story some heft. Louise’s life isn’t anywhere near where she’d like it to be, either professionally or personally, and her moments of clarity are well played. Then she meets Howie, under the oddest of circumstances (he peed on a truck and melted its tire). The two seem to fit right from the off, and the beginning of a beautiful friendship is formed.

Artistically, Carlos Trigo is on the money. His style has an edge to it, all sharp lines & hard contrasts, something that works in a comedy involving an escaped hellhound with demons in hot pursuit. With this opening issue, the layouts are dedicated to character introductions and some well-placed visual comedy. In previous works I’ve seen (River of Blood, The Space Heists of Vyvy & Qwerty), Trigo does a fantastic job with action sequences, a thing I’m looking forward to seeing play out with Howie the Hellhound.

But it all takes a village, right? Adding to the visual appeal of Howie are the talents of colorist Simon Robins and letterer Lucas Gattoni. Robins highlights Trigo’s work, bringing the contrasts I mentioned into eye-popping focus. Anyone using a softer color palette could have easily undone the tone for this story. For Gattoni, I have nothing but respect and the job he’s done. Through most of the book, the dialogue is pretty straightforward… but every now and then Gattoni gets to crank it up a notch.

With a shipping estimate set for early October, there’s still time to get in on this entertaining twist to the dramedic meet/cute. Hop over to Scout’s website and take a look at what they’re offering. Time is slipping away from you… much like Howie’s leash… but if you let this one get away, it probably won’t result in fun times. It would be sad.

Don’t make Howie sad.

Final Score: 11/13

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