Early Book Review: Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues

Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues is a graphic novel written by Glenn Eichler and Illustrated by Joe Infurnari. It is set for release on December 6 2011. This is the story of one team of sled dogs, their master and their master’s mate. Power struggles and politics are not reserved for people. Even a seemingly simple team of sled dogs has their struggles. Venus wants Buddy to stop trying to be her mate. Buddy wants help wooing Venus, and to ultimately secure her as his mate. Winston wants to be respected. Guy wants to lead. Dolly wants to know the how’s and why’s of the world. Nobody has a clue about what Fiddler wants, including Fiddler. The one thing they all want is to run. Even their master, and his mate, has some serious issues.

Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues is entertaining as it comments on the climate found in some families, work places, and in society in general. Everyone seems to want something, even if it is just the time to think deep thoughts. There always someone that seems to want more than they have, or deserve. Mush! also comments on the idea that they best person to lead is often the one that does not feel the drive to do so. Throughout the book, Dolly doubts her ability to lead while Guy wants little more than to take the lead spot. It is the very concerns that Dolly voices, about doing the best for the entire crew, that makes her a great leader even when she makes mistakes, where as Guy simply wants the power of the position. In the midst of all the serious topics lie the sardonic humor of Glenn Eichler, which I loved in Daria (a cartoon series aired on Mtv in the nineties).

In the illustrations for this graphic novel, at least in the digital galley that I read, are not as deep or clear to me as the story itself. Guy does look generally sinister and Buddy generally looks goofy, as fits their personality and actions, the dogs as a whole do not seem very well detailed to me. There is almost a sketch like quality, rather than a complete or finished feel to the artwork. That might be part of the story, but it just felt a little off to me. That being said, there were some panels that the artwork did a perfect job of capturing the action and feel of the tale.

I recommend Mush! for young adults and adults that enjoy dry, sardonic humor in their graphic novels. I do not suggest this as a foray into the realm of graphic novels for those that would otherwise avoid them. Those that remember Daria and the combination of dry wit and social commentary fondly, like myself, might want to pick up this work and enjoy some great examples of both. I enjoyed the graphic novel, but it did not leave me wishing for more.
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