The definitive instance of pandemic lockdown romance comics, originally serialized on Instagram, and then self-published via Lulu, Alex Graham’s Dog Biscuits at last has the opportunity to get the wider audience it deserves in this hefty hardcover collection from Fantagraphics. Age, gender and relationships – both sexual and non-sexual – are negotiated, social media is dissected, and all the while precariousness reigns over lives and businesses as the pandemic and associated lockdowns are navigated by a cast of cartooned characters embodying a combination of animal and human characteristics with a dazzling naturalism.
An empathic record of a dismal time running close to 400 pages that were drawn – more or less – one page at a time, Dog Biscuits provided – and continues to provide – a cathartic experience for readers. It has the feel of coming from an authentic creative urge, reading like a prismatic projection of Graham’s own lived experiences of "keeping it together" during this period in our shared history.
Simon Hanselmann, who knows a thing or two about making pandemic-themed comics on Instagram, and has this to say: "Dog Biscuits was, for me, the best piece of media produced by anybody in 2020. Alex really stepped up to the plate with this thing and had all of us that were tuned-in on the edge of our seats. Gussy and Rosie's doomed romance felt realer than any bullshit in the 'real world'."
"It's July 2020 in Seattle. Gussy struggles to keep his dog biscuit boutique afloat while a global pandemic rages unchecked. The loneliness of lockdown and social distancing drives his employee Rosie to betray her principles. Rosie's roommate Hissy is at a personal crossroads. A love triangle emerges as they find themselves tangled in a web of police brutality, protests, drugs, dating apps and Covid chaos. Taking place over the course of just a few days, this is a snapshot of humanity -- okay, animals -- in crisis. Alex Graham's pandemic-inspired graphic novel was initially serialized six panels at a time on Instagram during the lockdowns of 2020 and became one of the most talked about comics of the year; this hardcover edition will remain a timeless work long after the pandemic ends."