By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)– Black Mask Studios has brought the world some amazing books: We Can Never Go Home and Space Riders to name only a few. With The Dregs, we get a mature readers book that shocks, awes, and opens our eyes to a different kind of world, and a different kind of hero.
Something is foul in the downtrodden part of Vancouver. A string of homeless people have come up missing, and the first few pages graphically show us where they are ending up. One of those missing is Manny, a resident of The Dregs, the alley dwelling of those down on their luck. Manny’s friend Arnold decides to strike out on his own to see what happened to his friend, which isn’t an easy journey as Arnold himself is strung out on the drug Listo, but that doesn’t stop him from storming in to meetings and demanding answers and following the clues he has through the streets.
From writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson and artist Eric Zawadzki, we get a very graphic look at the seedy underbelly of this world. Arnold is not your typical “hero”, but this isn’t your typical story. Arnold takes the role of a makeshift detective, doing what he can to find out what happened to his friend. It’s an ugly world, but illustrated beautifully by Zawadzki. The book is stark and shocking, and hooks the reader at that last page, leaving me wanting more.
The Dregs is a fresh new story, different from what’s on the shelf today. Black Mask is known for their imaginative books that push the envelope. The Dregs definitely pushes the blood soaked envelope in this mature readers book. If you are looking for a book outside of the super hero norm, then The Dregs doesn’t get much better.
Nolan Smith is a longtime reporter with High Desert Daily, covering everything from the opening of a new comic book shop to a series on the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. A long time resident of the Victor Valley, Smith has worked in the educational sector in the High Desert for the past decade. He is also the Editor and Co-Founder of Pastrami Nation- a pop culture news site which features news, reviews and podcasts on various aspects of pop culture, including comic books, video games, films, anime, manga, cosplay and more. You can visit Pastrami Nation at www.pastramination.com.