Dregs #1

The Dregs #1

Writers: Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson
Artist: Eric Zawadzki
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Publisher: Black Mask Studios

A review by Greg Brothers, Anelise Farris, and Dave Hildebrand

What is the price of progress and growth? How far will the rich and powerful go in order to grow their business? How much of a blind eye will city officials turn if it means the growth and gentrification of their city? And if the city doesn’t care what is happening to their homeless population, who will? These are all questions that could be asked in any type of political debate, or in the case of The Dregs #1 they can be asked in a comic book.

The Dregs #1 from Black Mask Studios takes place in Vancouver and focuses on the homeless population in an area of town called The Dregs. As happens in areas throughout the world, corporations realize that there is money to be made by buying up cheap properties and redeveloping the area. The homeless in the area have a feeling of ownership and community to the area even though they do not own any of the buildings. So, when the homeless people start to disappear as the building are razed they turn to one of their own to try and solve the mystery of their missing friends.

Anelise: The writing in The Dregs #1 is poetic and philosophical without being heavy handed. The story is a nice weaving of horror and a dystopian vibe with a modern-day twist. Because of this it creates a nice social critique of how we treat homeless population.

Dave: Being a fan of both crime and noir the story in The Dregs #1 scratches two itches. We are introduced to some very interesting characters and plot points that I am eager to see more of. The narrative is finely crafted and gives you that hook that you need while leaving you wanting more.

Greg: When I saw the five-page preview a few months ago, I was hooked just by that little appetizer before the main course. The story is dark but it needs to be to tell the story in a way that will influence people. The story is written in a way that will get the reader’s attention and make you curious for what is next for the characters within the book, while not giving away all its secrets in the first issue.

Dave: The art is a perfect fit for the story that Nadler and Thompson are trying to tell. It is dark, dirty, and rough. It does not glamorize what life would look like for a drug addicted homeless person.

Anelise: One of the elements that I enjoyed about this comic is how well the art pairs with the story. For a comic to be successful both parts should work together to tell the whole story and we get that here. The shading, grit, along with the unique panel work, and how it plays with perspective all enhance the story and the reading experience.

Greg: As Dave said, the art here is dirty. It’s dark and it does not sugarcoat the life that the homeless in The Dregs #1 are living. One of the big things for me when reading a comic is the look and feel of the characters and the difference between them based on what they are supposed to be. The way that the homeless are drawn compared to the way the richer and more affluent are presented is dead on. Each panel drew me into the story further and I’m left eagerly waiting for more.

The Verdict
Buy it x 3!

Anelise: The Dregs #1 a smart comic that moves beyond just good story telling and solid art. I am curious and excited to see how the social critique develops and if it affects some change in the way that the homeless population are treated. We read to expand our understanding of the world, and you cannot help but think about the homeless that you may pass in the streets differently after reading The Dregs #1.

Dave: Sign me up for the second issue! Bon Appetite!

Greg: The Dregs #1 comes out and hits you in the face with the first five pages and lets you know it is unique to anything that is currently on your pull list. But it doesn’t just rest on its laurels after those first few pages, instead it tells a story that is entertaining, interesting, and more importantly, leaves you thinking about the world outside of its pages. The Dregs #1 is one of those books that you can throw down in front of someone when they try and tell you that comics are just filled with superheroes and are for kids. To me, the series has the potential to be one that is talked about for years to come.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

Leave a Reply