I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to NPL’s Collection Development for recently adding a FLOOD of new comics to our already impressive collection. There are so many I can’t keep up, but I’m really glad I rushed this book to the top of my list. It’s a filthy, hilarious story of a dog named Denton who becomes a drug mule for his owner, gets disemboweled in the Amazon jungle, and has to fight a pair of sentient underwear for the affections of the girl of his dreams. In other words, it’s a perfect comic. Cowdry’s style is economical and unfussy. The combination of Denton’s cartoon cuteness and his debauched lifestyle is funny and surprising, but Pants Dude takes the same effect into overdrive, bringing to life the fears of fragile men everywhere. The biggest surprise in the book is – amidst all the foul language and spilled blood – there’s a sweetness that can’t be denied. This feels like something I see more and more: no matter how cynical or crass, many cartoonists are compelled to imbue their work with at least a modicum of sanity and sweetness. Cartoonists like Cowdry give me hope for the future of comics and, more than that, give me hope for humanity.
This review originally appeared in Panel Discussion, a monthly zine supplement to the book club of the same name. You can pick up a copy of this zine at the Main Library or select local stores. If you'd like a copy sent to your branch, email firstname.lastname@example.org.