Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Dregs' #1 By Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Eric Zawadzki, and Dee Cunniffe


★★★★★ (5/5)

'The Dregs' is unlike any detective story you've ever read. It's not only in the spirit of hardboiled pulp novels like 'The Long Goodbye,' but offers a commentary of modern society like gentrification, drug abuse, and the plight of the homeless. Here's the solicitation that kind of gives the story away but it's so well executed that you still have to experience it.

A gentrified city. Its homeless population restricted to six square blocks called The Dregs. When people start disappearing, a drug-addled homeless man obsessed with detective fiction becomes addicted to solving the mystery. Equal parts Raymond Chandler and Don Quixote set in a thriving metropolis that literally cannibalizes the homeless, The Dregs is the first homeless meta noir ever made.

The drug-addled homeless man is Arnold and his friend has gone missing. The opening of the book makes it pretty clear that things in Vancouver's East Hastings neighborhood have gotten cutthroat. Between the homeless struggling to survive to the new developments popping up displacing them even further, Arnold has his work cut out for him as he tries to piece together what happened to his friend. 

Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson do their best to honor Raymond Chandler without falling into parody as Arnold operates as his favorite detective Philip Marlowe. He pounds the pavement looking for clues and realizes he's up against more than he bargained for. He has to battle not only whatever conspiracy that's befallen his friends but his own addiction. 'The Dregs' exposes the disposable ways that the homeless are treated, trapped between their own situation and the world that continues to encroach upon them. It's a multilayered story that elicits empathy, anxiety, and a level of real-world relatability to the series.  

Eric Zawadzki creates a wonderfully detailed urban center where Arnold can prowl like a panther, full of corners and alleys to navigate. The juxtaposition of the homeless detective made small by his environment and his circumstances. The layouts are creative and dynamic resulting in some of the most visually arresting pages you'll see in comics. It's all bolstered by Dee Cunniffe’s coloring. Using muted earth and rust hues, Cunniffe captures the often dirty little corners of a downtown where every dark corner can be home to someone full of belongings that may seem like trash to us. 

'The Dregs' #1 is a winning debut that takes an unlikely protagonist on a mysterious journey that also reflects the ugliness in our own world. Masterfully crafted with a nod to crime noir of the past, Nadler and Thompson have created a true detective story that crackles with hard-boiled fiction and social criticism. It would be a crime to miss out on this title.  

Popular posts from this blog

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica' #2 by Amy Chu and Maria Sanapo

The body count increases and the mystery deepens as Vampirella and Red Sonja investigate the deaths plaguing Riverdale High. Turns out American high school life is as mysterious and perplexing as the murders themselves! Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica have troubles of their own when they butt heads with the editor of the school newspaper over their investigative news coverage. Is there a coverup afoot?


Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #2
writer: Amy Chu artist: Maria Sanapo covers: Fay Dalton (A), Robert Hack  (B), Laura Braga (C)              Dan Parent (D), Cat Staggs (E)               Dan Parent (RI-B/W), Laura Braga (RI-B/W),                Laura Braga (RI-Virgin), Dan Parent (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  










Legendary Comics Releases Volume Two of 'Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger' and 'Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano'

Legendary Comics announces the release of the second seasons of popular comic series: LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER and FIREBRAND: THE INITIATION OF NATALI PRESANO.


Launching into comic stores and online today, Volume Two of Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger tells all new thrilling backstories of the show’s favorite heroic characters, with a special focus on Parker Posey’s villainous ‘Dr. Smith’ and fan favorite ‘Robot.’ While, Season Two of Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano, created by Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis, continues the journey of a young witch who has come to Seattle to defend humanity against darkness, now available exclusively on Webtoon. Readers can download the official Webtoon app by visiting the Apple App Store and Google Play.


LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER:

Penned by writer Richard Dinnick (Doctor Who; Thunderbirds) and Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics; The Flash) with stunning artwork by Zid (Skull Island: Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days …

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Jordie Bellaire and Drew Moss Bring 'Vampirella/Red Sonja' Together for New Ongoing Series

Long overdue history in the making! Dynamite's two flagship heroines are teaming up in a new ongoing series starting in September, written by the multitalented and Eisner-winning Jordie Bellaire (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Redlands) with art by Drew Moss (Star Wars).


The story starts in 1969, the genesis of Vampirella - timed perfectly with her 50th Anniversary now being celebrated in 2019. Vampi's new to Earth and still adapting to our world. She finds herself attracted to the supernatural and paranormal mysteries of the world. When suddenly she runs across a young Red Sonja, plucked out of time and clueless. The two women set forth on an adventure, collaborating as both detectives and warriors to find out what has happened... only for more space-time shenanigans to befall them! Do not expect any cliché misunderstanding fights, these two Women of Dynamite are working together, no holds barred.

This series marks Jordie Bellaire further flexing her skills as a writer, following …

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…