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Good Dog

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  450 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Good Dog marks the welcome return of alternative cartoonist Graham Chaffee, who, after his successful 2003 collection of short stories, The Most Important Thing and other Stories, took a detour to devote himself to the art of tattooing, before charging back with his new, beautifully conceived graphic novel. Ivan, who is plagued by terrible nightmares about chickens and rab ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published June 15th 2013 by Fantagraphics (first published April 21st 2013)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  450 ratings  ·  65 reviews


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karen
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
awww, connor bought me a present!!

and it is a present that came with a sidecar present for early-orderers!

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and connor doesn't even like dogs!

so, first, there is bad dog. which is just a free little mini-comic about a very mischievous bulldog who spends a day getting into trouble.


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BAD DOG!

i love bulldogs, and especially this one. dogs that go out and get into trouble, especially when they have sweet flappy-jowls - well, they are the best kinds of dogs by far.

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and then there is good dog. whic
...more
David Schaafsma
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
The artwork in this book makes it look appropriate to be a winner of a Will Eisner Award, as it looks like it owes something to Eisner's work. Feels like old comics. Has a touch of nostalgic heart to it. And Chaffee can really draw dogs well, and dog movement. And he does the "humanizing" anthropomorphic work of getting us to care about a lonely stray dog just lookin' for love pretty darned well. I am just not a dog person, so it just didn't move me.
Emily
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, graphic-novels
If you love dogs and you love graphic novels, pick this up. Told from the point of view of a stray dog named Ivan, the author packs a lot of thought, empathy and humor into a book that only takes about a half-hour to read. The writing, combined with striking black and white artwork, made this a swell read.
Dov Zeller
I wanted to love this one but in the end, though there were some stellar moments and some great art, I was annoyed by the anthropomorphized longing for a human owner. The strange moralizing (it is ethically wrong for a dog to fend for themself among a pack of dogs and much better to have conversations with chickens because they belong to people?) Hmmm. Giving it a 3 because of dogs and art.
Bjornv
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great straight-forward read for dog lovers. Going to give it to my 12-year-old nephew.
Adam
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
cute story dogifying the existential angst of sucky tradeoffs between loneliness and brutal society. But only three starred because not really that memorable and I don't think I'll be thinking about it tomorrow.
Richard
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but I didn't adore it. While I thought that Good Dog book had really good character development, really beautiful art and at times felt like a Eisner-esque story, I'm not entirely sure what point it was trying to make.

You basically have a lost dog looking for somewhere to belong and it's not apparent if he ever will. He meets other dogs who have owners and some who run wild and tries out different life styles but none of them seem to work for him. During this time, though sho
...more
Lex
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This delightfully penned graphic novel follows the adventures of a lonely stray dog named Ivan who wished for nothing more than a human master to serve. Ivan lives a lonely and hungry life on the streets of an unnamed small town in the United States in a time not well defined (could be now, could be the 1950s). He meets a feral dog pack led by the fierce wolf-dog Sasha, who is inspired by a dream from his mother about how he (Sasha) will live a free and glorious life and die a warrior's death. I ...more
Popzara Press
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
A welcome return for Graham Chaffee, one that should please fans of mainstream and indie comics alike. Dog lovers may wince at some of the cast’s monologues, some less than flattering, and the sharp tonal shifts keep it from being a true classic. There’s sharp imagery here, no doubt, but apart from the odd swear there’s nothing here that wouldn’t keep sensible parents from sharing the story with impressionable younger readers. Overall, a solid recommendation. Let’s hope he doesn’t take another t ...more
Peacegal
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- A graphic novel about a stray mutt, Ivan, trying to make his way in a hostile world. While I loved the idea, the execution was a little spotty. I wasn't quite sure of the purpose of tossing in supernatural elements, for example, and the story didn't feel entirely fleshed out. Nevertheless, I prefer Good Dog over many graphic novels with human protagonists.
Ed
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A stray dog haunted by nightmares wonders what it is like to belong. Part of the magic of this book is the anthropomorphized dog and his thoughts, dreams, and experiences illustrated, but also the tradeoffs of having a human "boss" versus the freedom of running with the pack. Young adult only because language.
Amanda
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Enjoyed the artwork and simple story, but felt like the end was so...non-ending? Like this had been prematurely published before Good Dog pt. 5 was completed, I found myself flipping the final page and staring at the blank back of the book going, "Oh...?"
Mary Helene
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I checked 3 graphic novels out of the library rather randomly chosen to get a feel for the genre. This was a delightful surprise. Black and white helped me to focus on the spacing, pacing and movement in the story. The story was simple but subtle. It would make for a great discussion.
Tabor
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Not gonna lie I could probably keep reading about Ivan forever. So, I'm kinda sad this is only one volume. The story is about Ivan, a stray, who wonders around a town and looks for his place in the world. Sometimes, he has bad dreams about rabbits, which causes him to question his purpose. He talks to his friends, tries to find food and runs with a pack of wild dogs for a little bit. It's a charming story with simple black and white panels and a really cute dog. What's not to like?
Kristy McRae
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Picked this one up on a whim from the bookmobile.... An interesting graphic novel, but it ends abruptly, so I'm guessing it's one of a series. I may need to investigate further. Definitely NOT one I'll hand to my 10-year-old, because of some pretty harsh language not aimed at young ears.
Sassafras Lowrey
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this book but only found it moderately good. i HATE that the dog dies (i almost always refuse to read books where that happens) and overall I just didn't feel the plot. in fairness i also am completely heart broken by homeless dogs, but the art is pretty
David Thomas
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story of a stray dog that joins a pack of strays. Quick read and well illustrated.
Hollowspine
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
An interesting look through dog POV, a dog's homelessness, more or less invisible? The dog expressions were wonderful, expressive without losing their doggy aspects. The story follows Ivan a dog who was born an unwanted puppy and now lives on the streets. Most people shoo him away, misinterpreting his appeal for food or water and while he runs into other dogs he's really looking for a good person.

Ivan is a loyal dog, often trying to be helpful to those he encounters, though his attempts often ge
...more
Jennifer Hendzlik
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Ivan was born an unwanted pup that survived being thrown into the river only to become a lonely stray who has nightmares about rabbits. His nomadic life is troubling to Ivan and as he makes his rounds through his neighborhood, he struggles to understand which would be better-having a "boss" (for better or worse) or being part of a pack. The pack offers protection but at what cost?

Watership Down is one of my most favorite books of all time. When animals are anthropomorphized well it leads the re
...more
Mark Schlatter
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: shreve
A black and white graphic novel about Ivan, a stray dog who is looking a purpose while troubled with nightmares. Over the course of the short tale, he wanders around encountering folks as a stray, hangs out with an owned dog (who has a bad "boss" of an owner), and falls in with a pack of dogs led by Sasha, a malamute with visions of grandeur.

Despite the subject matter, this isn't a children's book (for reasons of language, if nothing else). It's more a reflection on finding a home and an identit
...more
Emilia P
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Not trying to pull any fancy tricks or win any Awesomest Comic Ever prizes, this book is a very sweet little heartstrings-tugger of a perpetually stray dog looking for a place to belong, and dogs or people to belong with. Will he find one? Does the art express his dilemma expertly? Why, yes! It's a long and winding road, of course. But yeah, it takes the elements of Dog Stories, and tells them faithfully and with appropriate levels of emotion, and is just a really nice, handsome read for it.
Damian
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really sweet, charming graphic novel that I simply devoured in a single sitting. I didn't mean to read it all in one go but really I had no choice once I got started! "Good Dog" is such a cute but misunderstood puppy and his difficulty with fitting into the world and finding his place are very resonant. The artwork is also, of course, excellent; simple but very effective. So while this isn't War and Peace I'm glad that I made some room in my life for this tale (pun intended).
Ronald
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a graphic novel about a stray dog's seeking to belong. The animals are anthropomorposized--the animals communicate like humans.

The stray dog seeks companionship, but his first attempts to find it with humans fail, and winds up joining a pack of wild dogs. The stray dog finds though he doesn't like the mode of existence with wild dogs.

An interesting choice by the graphic artist is that the pictures are in black and white.

Melle
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who need compassion for homeless dogs
This is sort of set in a hazy time period sometime between the 1930s and 1950s and in a rural location (my guess would be somewhere in the deep south, but I could be wrong). The story is stark and brutal with a silver lining of hope and kindness. Not-quite-spoiler warning for animal lovers: a dog does die. A pretty decent read.
Xilks
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
I just thought this would be an easy read, and it was. It was interesting to see things from the dog's point of view and I enjoyed the actually, I felt the ending was too ambiguous and unfinished though. I wasn't very satisfied. Is this the first in a series? There feels like there should be more to this.
Nancy
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Gorgeous cover. And I liked the way the gal looked in overalls and reading glasses, though not for a second was she real to me (and I think she was supposed to be) (way too good). I loved the last few pages. But I couldn't keep the dogs straight, or (oh dear) didn't quite feel like making the effort to.
Jessica
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a graphic novel about a dog that wants to find a home. It is adult in its language. It is told from the dog's point of view. I enjoyed the illustrations.

The cover grabbed me because I am a sucker for dog stories.
Rachel
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, humor
This book is very sweet. The inside doesn't look a lot like the cover, and I wished it did, but it's a nice story about a stray doggie finding his place in the world. If you like dogs, you'll probably like this book.
annie  k
Okay, I freaking love this graphic novel all about one good dog's search for a place in which to belong. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say it's a great read for any animal lover. The language is rather adult so I cannot recommend this for the preteen or younger reader.
J.T.
It was interesting to see things from a dog's point of view (and I did enjoy that aspect of the story), but I felt the ending was unfinished and the characters relatively flat. I also wasn't sure of the purpose of tossing in supernatural elements at story's end. The book left me dissatisfied.
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