6 Reasons to Read ‘Teen Dog’

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Teen Dog

by Jake Lawrence


January 6th 2016, BOOM! Studios


Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery


High school is tough, man. Even when you’re Teen Dog.

Skateboards, football games, prom…your teenage years have got nothin’ on the raddest dude that’s ever graced a denim vest. Written and illustrated by Jake Lawrence (Time Cowboy), Teen Dog tackles typical teen life with a manic twist.

Growing up is an adventure, and you might as well rock it! 


For the first time ever, I’m straying away from my usual book review format to do a LIST OF REASONS I LOVE TEEN DOG, AND YOU SHOULD, TOO. 


1: GREAT ART-TO-DIALOGUE RATIO

I’m so exhausted straining my eyes having to read tiny little font, and this really is the first time I’ve read a comic and not had to strain my eyes once. Jake Lawrence fills each panel without cramming the verbose dialogue I’m used to in a lot of other comics, and it’s so, so readable.


2: BEAUTIFUL ART

While I am a huge fan of the block colour style that is used for a lot of characters in this comic, it also mixes in points of detail and beautiful backgrounds and landscapes in some panels.  The art fits depending on the emotions of the characters in the scene, and the art conveys as much sincerity as the dialogue when it needs to.


3: CHARACTERS! RELATIONSHIPS! 

Teen Dog has such a lovable cast! Mariella and Sara are obviously girlfriends; Teen Dog is absolutely GREAT as a main character and I love him and his brother, Dark Teen Dog; Jim is adorable; Maya is wonderful and super shady for a chess champion; and Thug Pug was by far my favourite, he’s so moody. There’s also diversity that just feels so intrinsic to the story, no part of the characters and the exploration of their friendships and relationships ever feels overwrought.


4: THE WEIRD EXISTENTIAL HUMOUR

Existential humour really made this pop. It feels really true to how weird teenagers can be, especially the most recent generation, and I really enjoy it. It’s also existential humour without being cynical; not really any dread, beyond small moments of self reflection for characters that don’t feel bogged down by negativity but are instead important for development. It’s a very light approach to existentialism that reminds me of a lot of cartoons that have become popular in recent years.


5: THE NOSTALGIA FACTOR

Reading this just made me feel so nostalgic for eighties and nineties teen films. It has super cheesy moments mixed in with deeper moments, a great focus on friendship and growing up, and I just really love the overall vibe Teen Dog has. It’s also nostalgia for childhood and that period of time before you’re a quote-unquote ‘proper’ grown up but also beginning to recognise adult things you have to do, like working and moving away from each other while still making efforts to keep in touch.


6: THE THEMES

There’s a definite emphasis on friendship and staying true to yourself, regardless of what others say. The characters all learn hardships of life, even the perfect Teen Dog, without it every feeling really heavy and upsetting. It’s the perfect soft coming-of-age narrative that I definitely needed to relieve myself of so many darker approaches to being a young person. It gives you hope!


love Teen Dog. It’s the coming-of-age comic with anthropomorphic animals, existential humour, and deftly handled teenage conflicts I never knew I needed until I read it. It’s funny and witty and incredibly charming, and I adore it. While it certainly won’t be for everyone, I want everyone to give it a go, just because it deserves more praise.


If you liked this post, you might like:

🍎Graphic Reading Wrap-Up #1

🍎Three Graphic Reviews: Super Sexy Fun Times, Mooncakes, Sheets

🍎Graphic Recommendations #1: Contemporary


If you liked this post, consider buying me a coffee? Ko-Fi. 

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3 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Read ‘Teen Dog’

  1. Pingback: Book Covers I Love – seasonsofwords

  2. Pingback: THE GRAPHICS READATHON: TBR – seasonsofwords

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