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Dog Boy: The Elephant in my Back Catalog

June 14, 2022

The first Dog Boy story came to me in a flash in the winter of 1982–I cut up a bunch of bristol board, sharpened my Prismacolor non-photo blue pencil and, and blasted out an 11-page story as fast as I could draw. I tapped into a rushing stream of ideation and pulled it into comic form over a couple days. I published the results that July in Guts #3, and managed to get Last Gasp and Capital City to distribute, and I was off on a five-year arc that resulted in 17 issues of Dog Boy.

Eventually, I drew a good 500 pages of Dog Boy comics, and compiled a 488-page oversized collection of these early indy comics. Today, you can score a copy of this giant brick of Dog Boy comics for a mere $39.99 + postage, from my store at Lulu.

Here’s a description of the whole Dog Boy experience:

Imagine, if you will, a young man with a penchant for strong coffee, cheap beer and blotter acid (not necessarily in that order) who happens to be outfitted with a big fuzzy Golden Retriever head. This irascible “Dog Boy” is given to bursts of enthusiasm—we find him expounding on everything from socialism to earth-shattering transcendent epiphanies. Well, sometimes we just find him stealing cars.

I published seventeen issues of Dog Boy in the eighties, first with my own Cat-Head Comics label and then with Fantagraphics. I was a young cartoonist at the dawn of the independent/alternative comics movement pushing myself, riding my brush & ink as hard as I could, exploring the nature of reality. 

Trusting my process, I opened himself up to the deep muse, fishing for “the other”, mining for gold that lies deep in the heart of us all. Sure, I fell on my face time & again, but often enough I was amply rewarded for my journeys inside, returning jewel-laden with Dog Boy comix that shined.

Dog Boy is the elephant in the room, as regards my back-catalog of graphic novels. My Complete BugHouse collection is there, along with a bunch of other tasty & weird titles, all of which are available via comic shops, bookstores and distributors. But this monster Dog Boy book is only available from my Lulu store at present. The economics of distribution are such that, the cover price of this deluxe oversize volume would need to be around $75 to feed all the players in the distribution system.

That being the case, I intend to break the Dog Boy material into two separate volumes of around 250 pages each, and sell them through both comic book, and the book trade distribution systems. This will take me awhile–at present I’m drawing a project written by Paul Theroux to be published by Fantagraphics. In the background I’ll chip away at this vision of finding a larger audience for Dog Boy.

In the meanwhile, I invite you to grab existing oversize Doggie Style: Complete Dog Boy and dig in!

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