I just finished reading the first issue of Southern Dog, Jeremy Holt and Alex Diotto‘s comic series about Alabamian werewolves and racism in the six months before the (first!) Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. My skin is crawling, and that’s a testament to Holt’s writing. His script doesn’t waste any time: within three pages we’ve got a battered werewolf, a gaggle of pointy white hoods and a truck full of rednecks. The pace slows considerably after that, but the atmosphere of menace and violence never dissipates.
Every review I’ve read of Southern Dog makes mention of Alex Diotto’s young age (and I guess this is one of them now, too). I sure don’t see anything inexperienced about his art, though – there’s a satisfying, workmanlike quality to his panel layouts, and while I’m not crazy about the “catty” design of his werewolf, it doesn’t detract from his skills with facial expressions and body language.
I enjoyed Southern Dog, and I’m grateful to Holt and Diotto for sharing the first issue with me. For a proper review by someone who actually knows comics, I’ll direct you to Michelle White at Multiversity Comics – her assessments of the issue’s ups and downs are similar to my own, and she’s got more Comix Credibility than I.