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REVIEW: 'Stray Dogs' #1 by Tony Fleecs, Trish Forstner, and Brad Simpson

 Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs. It's scary being the new dog. Sophie can’t remember what happened. She doesn’t know how she ended up in this house. She doesn’t recognize any of these other dogs. She knows something terrible happened, but she just…can’t…recall...WAIT! Where’s her lady? A five-issue Don Bluth-style suspense thriller by My Little Pony comic artists TONY FLEECS and TRISH FORSTNER, STRAY DOGS is Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.   STRAY DOGS #1 Writer: Tony Fleecs Artist: Trish Forstner, Brad Simpson Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 24, 2021 Cover Price: $3.99 Score:  ★★★★☆ (4/5) 'Stray Dogs' may see itself as " Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs " but issue one was all Alfred Hitchcock. The mystery, the tension, the dread, the lingering questions suffocate each page soon after our shellshocked protagonist, the trembling Sophie arrives at a strange house full of other rescues. Something is amiss an

REVIEW: 'The Department of Truth' #2 by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds

COLE TURNER has spent most of his life suppressing false memories of Satanic ritual abuse at his preschool. Now, he’s the newest recruit of the Department of Truth…and he just found out those false memories might be truer than he thinks. JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) & MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy) continue their breakout conspiracy thriller!

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 28, 2020
Cover Price: $3.99

Age Rating: M
Genres: Horror, Thriller

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

'The Department of Truth' #2 builds off the revelations of the first issue that all those wild conspiracy theories who've heard about your whole life, the ones still discussed in chat rooms and podcasts today, are actually real and there's a clandestine agency designed to make sure they remain just theories to the general public. Agent Cole is recruited and thrust behind the curtain exposed to all of humanity's darkest secrets. 

Cole begins to realize that his childhood trauma involving a satanic figure may not have been a unique experience after all and sheds some light on the satanic cult trend of the 80s. Writer James Tynion takes this conspiracy thriller into some genuinely terrifying territory. The series is a wonderful mix of 'Men in Black,' 'X-Files,' and with this chapter a little 'American Horror Story.' It's not too often a comic generates some well-earned jump-scares but it does so legitimately. 

Manifesting the fright is artist Martin Simonds. His menacing depiction of the satanic figure and it's almost omnipresent power within Cole's mind sticks with you. The terror hovers around Cole like a dark cloud and Simonds' abstract renderings keep the reader on edge throughout. 

'The Department of Truth' is a fantastic read. It's a creative deconstruction of our obsession with conspiracy theories and how those ideas permeate our collective psyche. 'Truth' is engrossing, compelling, even funny at times and the perfect vehicle to bring our collective fears into the light. 

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