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Dodge City #1-4

Dodge City

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Dodge City is a YA sports comedy about making sense of a chaotic world and growing up against the insane backdrop of competitive dodgeball, told through the eyes of oddball Tomás and his teammates.

Life comes at you fast, but dodgeballs come way faster! Tomás is a teenage misfit, but when he joins the Jazz Pandas dodgeball team, he's thrown into a family of oddballs and outcasts who are willing to do whatever it takes to win the summer regional dodgeball championships. Through a season of highs, lows, and blows to the face, Tomás might finally find a place where he truly belongs, and the person inside himself he didn't know he could be.

From writer Josh Trujillo (Adventure Time: Brain Robbers) and artist Cara McGee (Over the Garden Wall), comes a comic that packs a punch and a whole lot of heart!

112 pages, Paperback

First published October 31, 2018

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Josh Trujillo

77 books14 followers

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5 stars
37 (11%)
4 stars
95 (28%)
3 stars
141 (42%)
2 stars
53 (15%)
1 star
9 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 16 books297 followers
September 6, 2019
Super-diverse, super-queer YA graphic novel about a dodge ball team. Friendship! Intrigue! A team of oddballs called the Jazz Pandas! (For one match they face off against a team called Game of Throws, ha!) Many characters have great hair, and there's a huge found family vibe, two things which are always my jam. Really looking forward to the second volume in this series.
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,045 reviews63 followers
July 30, 2022
I thought this graphic novel had a lot of potential. I really liked the diverse cast of characters especially the inclusion of a Deaf person (even if he was pretty much ignored by all but one of his teammates for most of the story) I didn’t feel like any of the characters were as developed as they could be. I also didn’t think the story was great. The art was pretty good, but I really wanted more of this story. It’s a pretty basic story about dodgeball. Overall I give it 2.5 stars rounded up for representation.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,143 reviews171 followers
June 9, 2019
I like the diverse cast and the cartoonish art, but the story is too slight with a negative ending that feels incomplete, as the creator obviously hopes for a sequel to address all the open issues.
Profile Image for Rian *fire and books*.
476 reviews136 followers
August 25, 2019
This was an okay start to a series.

To start, there’s an open ending and it left me in a weird place because there’s two plot lines that were left hanging and I’m not a fan.

We didn’t get a great sense of who the characters were as most of the time was spent on the court playing. Which those sequences were fantastic. Super quick and understandable what was happening.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish so I lost out on some content as it didn’t come with a convenient translation at the bottom of the page. Moreover Abril - who Tomas is speaking to - says the Jazz Pandas are cheaters, and that’s brought up again by one of the characters on JP. Thing is? We don’t know who the cheater is and we don’t get a clear answer to why JP is the worst team.

So yeah, a frustrating ending. And unfortunately it seems like the only volume we are going to get.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Adam Stone.
1,487 reviews19 followers
October 30, 2018
There have been a few really wonderful stories about growing up and inclusivity using sports as a narrative in the last couple of years. Fence by C.S. Pacat, and Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu being the best of the bunch. Each of them tells an interesting story that happens to involve sports. Fence is a cool look at classism and gender-attraction, and Check Please is about accepting your queer self and teaching empathy by example. Dodge City is just a bland book about Dodge Ball.

I got no sense of any of these characters aside from This Person Is An Outsider, This Person Is Confident, This Person Is The Cool Kid You Have To Win Over. It was very basic, and never engaged me.

I don't recommend it unless you really, really, really, really have spent most of your life dreaming about a graphic novel about dodge ball.
Profile Image for Laura (bbliophile).
791 reviews155 followers
April 25, 2019
Oooh I really liked this! Honestly, there hasn't been a sport-focused comic I haven't liked, what's up with that? I normally never like reading about sports
Profile Image for Gary Butler.
624 reviews45 followers
December 26, 2018
83rd book read in 2018.

Number 411 out of 743 on my all time book list.

Ground work laid for some complex character profiles in the next volume.
Profile Image for Ryan.
517 reviews
November 11, 2018
Graphic novels and comic books are some of the most personal mediums out there. The combination of writing and images can invoke so many more feelings than just writing in many ways. This is why I’m stunned at how graphic stories are at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in media today. In “Dodge City” we have characters of different ethnic backgrounds or races, queer characters, even a differently abled character where his deafness is incorporated logically into the story with text messages and ASL. Large portions of the story are only in Spanish. It’s amazing to see how many people are not represented in many different stories when you look at characters as diverse as those in “Dodge City.”

Members of a dodgeball team called the Jazz Pandas, this team of misfits at the bottom of the rankings are fighting against their rivals and another team to win the tournament. Like so many other sports-based stories, this is just the impetus to bring these characters together, but the heart of the story is their relationships.

I loved this book and I recommend it for anyone who likes “The Backstagers” or “Check, Please!” or “Fence” or “Lumberjanes.” This is a collection of the first four issues of the comic series and a great start. Please let me know if you’ve read this what you think about it. I’d love to talk about this with others. • Comic Book Collection • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Found through online recommendations. • Purchased online.▪️

Follow me on Instagram @my.books.my.shelf
Profile Image for Ashley (Red-Haired Ash Reads).
2,395 reviews126 followers
August 21, 2022
Series: Dodge City #1-4
Rating: 3 stars - I liked it

This was a fun story about Tomas finding his place with the worst dodgeball group, the Jazz Pandas. This was just a great group of friends who have each other's backs. I also liked that Tomas started to learn sign language so he could communicate with his teammate, Huck. My only issue was that there were whole conversations in Spanish that had no translation, so I had to pull up Google translate to figure out what was being said.

You can also find my reviews at Red-Haired Ash Reads.
Profile Image for Luke Reynolds.
643 reviews
December 24, 2019
Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A fast-paced dodgeball comic that I feel like could've benefitted a lot more from character development and circumstances surrounding the game than throwing us into the middle of the game. However, the characters were fun and quirky, and I really liked all the great representation features (several people of color, characters who speak Spanish to each other, two girls dating, a gay deaf character). If this at some point gets picked up for any kind of adaptation down the road, hopefully writers can work on expanding the cast so we know why they're playing dodgeball and what they want to gain out of this.

It's a shame that the series looks to be done after this, because it definitely had potential.

Before Reading:

I saw this at the library and went, "Queer teens of color playing dodgeball? Sign me up!" Boom Box is really serving the prime queer fun comic content. Gonna have to read this soon.
Profile Image for Dakota Morgan.
2,244 reviews25 followers
March 4, 2019
Lots of teenage drama and poorly illustrated dodgeball action. Solid representation, which is always important, but the characters are severely underdeveloped. I guess with only four issues here, and most of those issues devoted to dodgeball, it's tough to get to know anyone. Follows in the footsteps of all the other Boom Box sports titles like Slam and Fence: brightly colored, noisy, not a lot under the hood.
398 reviews23 followers
May 20, 2019
This rating is more indulgent than usual. Even though I do rate books on how well I enjoyed them compared to are they well written, hows the plot, how are the characters yada yada, this one is more pure enjoyment on my part [pushing it up to a 4 instead of a 2.5].

Art: Art is good, there's a lot of individuality in designs. I love the colors and the faces they pull.

Characters: I love all of these idiots, yeah they mess up, yeah they're kinda dumb, but they're trying, and they're precious.

My only real complaint is this seems like a one shot story. And I can understand if you wanted to keep the ending open like oh they're future isn't well know, they could do anything. But I felt like the story was too short [and this isn't just cause I want to read more about these doofuses, which I do, but this isn't about me this is about the plot]. We rush through meeting the characters, regardless of my love for them, they don't all feel like well rounded people [especially the opposing teams and even the ref].

Everyone is dealing with personal issues, some bigger than others, and we only ever get a snippet of it and how it can affect them and their playing. I understand that the book wants to focus on these guys doing dodgeball to let loose and forget about the real world for a bit, but understanding what they're going through helps us connect to the characters, and I didn't feel very connected. I love them, I know roughly who they kinda are [if they're anxious, if they're annoyed, if they're burnt out] but those feel more like snippets and characteristics than really knowing someone.

I feel like this is a good comic to have made and printed if you were pitching a longer version; like if this was the pilot episode for a series then hell yeah, we get our base knowledge of characters and situations, we get our antagonists, we get our underdogs, and then when the series starts we get to know them better, we see why they play, why they want to keep playing, we see them grow and deal with their issues to be able to play BETTER.

I want a continuation of this, that goes just a little slower with the plot buildup so that we can better immerse ourselves in the story, really start rooting for them, be there for the highs and the lows. Cause I'm not a big fan of dodgeball, hated it even when I was a kid, but the way these guys come together to try and play, even after losing almost every game, well that's idiot optimism that I'm always down for.
Profile Image for Courtney Rose.
444 reviews7 followers
May 18, 2019
Dodge City is a teen graphic novel that centers around a dodgeball team made up of misfits and outcasts. Tomas is new in town and joins the Jazz Pandas in the hope of feeling less lonely and making some friends, but grossly underestimates the highs, lows and intense drama of being on a team. The story follows Tomas making the team and making friends, as well as his first dodgeball tournament as part of the Jazz Pandas.

This was a super quick read that I liked, but I honestly wished I liked it better. I don't know much about sports but I have read two other teen sports related graphic series (Fence and Check Please) and although I generally hate comparisons, those two are streets ahead of this. In those I felt as though the reader was really going along with the main character and experiencing the same situations and emotions, whereas in this Tomas felt very one dimensional, even though he's a very likeable character with a lot of heart. There's an underlying LGBT storyline between two characters on the team, and the author teases more information every time they interact but we never actually get to that information. There's a lot of potential with this series and these characters, but this first volume felt very rushed and I never got the feeling I knew any of the characters/their personalities. There's some cool kids there, especially Huck who plays on the team while being deaf, and I would have loved more insight into why he loves and decided to play dodgeball, or how he feels about people not including him because they forget about his deafness. I'm guessing that's something the author plans on expanding on in the future, but without anything like that to build the character with in the first volume, it felt flat.

It's a quick read and I would probably check the second volume out from the library to see if it's been improved upon, but I wouldn't go out of my way to track it down.

I should also note the art is probably the best thing about this series!
Blog / Twitter
Profile Image for Aleksandra.
1,389 reviews
December 5, 2018
This was so cute and entertaining!

Dodge City is 4 issue/chapter comic about dodgeball team Jazz Pandas and their new team member Tomas. We follow their training, couple of games in the championship and a bit of personal drama happening in the private life. The characters are diverse (many characters of color, f/f side romance, different maybe-future m/m romances), the characters have memorable designs and vivid personalities.

It's clear that the creators were inspired by sports anime/manga. Dodge City captures in the atmosphere of sports shows perfectly - the team dynamics are incredible, there are various duos and groups in the team and it's interesting to see them all work together. To spice things up, Jazz Pandas are called cheaters and both Tomas and the reader want to get to the truth and bring back the good reputation to the team. But apart from fascinating dynamics between team members, the most prominent feature is the rivalry with other teams and oh how the comic has delivered! I can't wait for the next volume, if/when it's happening.

The art is lovely! The coloring is bright, the panel composition helps to carry on the momentum of the game. To sum up,the illustrations are excellent and a delight to read!

My one big complain is that the authors didn't take time to explain the rules of dodgeball. Perhaps the game is widely popular in US and everybody knows what's up. I didn't know them and even after finish the volume I just barely understand the rules. I's very difficult to follow the game you don't rules of. The first chapter got me especially confused because what? why? what the heck is going?! are we hitting the opposite team? are we catching the ball? dodging? what are we doing again?

All in all, Dodge City is fast-paced and exciting sports comic with diverse lovable cast of characters. If you like comic Fence or anime/manga Haikyuu!!, Dodge City is right up your alley!
Profile Image for Murphy.
174 reviews6 followers
June 17, 2019
This was a very energetic and engaging series with characters that were easy to grow attached to, and I would love to read more about them and the aspects of their life away from dodgeball that were only briefly touched upon so far.

My only compliant is in regards to Huck's place in the series, almost all of his hearing friends were uninterested in communicating with him when they didn't deem it to be useful or necessary, which made them seem rather callous. I was relieved their inconsiderate behavior was touched upon but still felt saddened reading the multiple scenes where Huck's teammates talked among themselves without even attempting to include him.

With that criticism in mind I still enjoyed reading this book and hope the Jazz Pandas will be given another chance to become winners!
Profile Image for Heather.
1,174 reviews9 followers
July 13, 2019
So this is a bit more adorable queer comic wish fulfillment than it is a tightly plotted novel. New kid Tomas joins a dodgeball team to make friends and discovers an intense world akin to roller derby,entirely populated by teens. The Jazz Pandas are on a solid losing streak thanks to the defection of several players after their cheating scandal the previous year.

A lot of the relationships confuse me. Chase is semi-ignored by their teammates and seems way happy when people actually listen to their strategy, Drew and Elsie are either very intense FWB or trying to get over a breakup. Why is Abril so mad at the Jazz Pandas? Hopefully more of their history and see decent character development show up in future issues. This is a great pick for fans of Fence, Check, Please, and Moonstruck. Teens grades 8+
Profile Image for Smote.
164 reviews
November 4, 2019
I liked this a lot! I think it's just getting started and I hope future volumes give a little more character development! I loved the weirdness of the teams but because of that, some of the intensity about the game seemed a bit misplaced? (Then again, I have no idea what goes on in Dodgeball so this may be par for the course).

Also it's v. queer and nicely inclusive (deaf characters, spanish speakers, etc) which was rad! I got to flex my old spanish muscle but do wish for people without internet access that there was a translation or something in the back or below. I felt those moments were probably the most heartfelt of some of the scenes and there's enough dodgeball stuff in them that I wouldn't have necessarily understood without the help of past spanish knowledge and google translate.
Profile Image for Kelsey Riggs.
221 reviews
November 7, 2019
This book has a very diverse set of characters and even includes spanish dialoge from latinx characters. I LOVE that! I also don't know that I have every come across a book (graphic or otherwise) about dodgeball. I had high expectations because I know many people will be excited about this subject. However, there was a whole buildup about cheating, losing a game, and relationships that was never resolved. Fights were started between characters that obviously had a connection, but the author never gives any indication by the end of the book that the problem is fixed, over, or even continuing. It's like the matters no longer exist. I can tell the author is expecting to drag this out amoungst many issues, but, if they all read like this one does, I don't know if I can do it.
Profile Image for Jason McKinney.
Author 1 book20 followers
April 17, 2019
Although Dodge City does have some heart and some vibrant, splashy colors that definitely appeal to the eye, the plot is kind of dullsville. It's about, and only about, dodgeball. The storyline never moves away from there and everything we learn about the characters basically happens on the court. The characters aren't exactly one dimensional but they're not very deep either. Things pick up in Parts #3 and #4 when the Jazz Pandas make it to the big tournament, but even then I wasn't ever more than mildly engaged.
Profile Image for kel.
432 reviews59 followers
November 18, 2019
I never knew how badly I needed a comic series about dodge ball until I read this. The art is so pretty, I absolutely loved it, and with how short it is the characters grew on me so quickly that was really nice. And the diversity! Gotta love it!

There's a lot left open at the end which I'm assuming is because they planned on creating more issues but it doesn't look like we're getting any more so that's a real bummer. This could have easily ended up one of my favorite comic runs if only it were longer. I just really want more of this.
Profile Image for Monte Price.
603 reviews1,589 followers
January 15, 2020
This was another whim pick and I have to admit that after having finished this title I'm sad that there doesn't seem to be anything more with these characters. Here we follow a dodgeball team and get a glimpse into the off the court drama that follows them. The cast was diverse, the dynamics between the members were great, and the art style was one that I fell in love with. It was a quick read and for the most part tells a contained story. Again, I would recommend because while it is short it completely stole my heart.
Profile Image for Krim.
51 reviews9 followers
January 11, 2021
Okay so I really really liked this as an intro, and for some reason I thought this had three volumes and was super excited to continue reading. I have now been made aware there is only 1, and it was published three years ago so I'm not too hopeful of a sequel. As a standalone story it doesn't have an ending so I can't recommend it too highly based on that, but(!!!) I really loved it as a beginning for what I believe is a series I'd love if there was more of it 😔

I can only hope the creators involved and boom would give it a chance for another volume. Or five.
Profile Image for Bianca.
375 reviews11 followers
Read
August 8, 2018
Sadly not for me, I couldn't finish.

All of the character setups were too much for me, I felt like I was getting hit over the head with all of the very deliberate shows of diversity. Like. I'm glad? But also I wish it felt less like an after school special from 1991.
I also didn't love the storytelling style in general, the visuals left me feeling very harried and ultimately that's why I stopped reading this one. Might be good for manga fans though, the artwork on each page is very active.
72 reviews2 followers
September 22, 2019
For people who like character-driven narratives, you might like Dodge City more than I did.
There was nothing wrong with it, per se; it was just light on storytelling for my tastes.
On BIG plus in this title is the intentional diversity of its characters. It goes above and beyond, not only having different races, genders, and sexualities, but also including people of different faiths and people with disabilities.
A good way to spend an hour, but not a title I’d pick up a second time.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
259 reviews1 follower
October 6, 2019
Dodge city was a cute read with a multiplicity of characters. I liked that the creator made an explicit effort to diversify the cast and provide representation across the board. Further, I like how the writer integrated Spanish dialogue without translation which added to Tomas’ authenticity. Overall, this is a fun and light read. I don’t think there is a greater meaning to this series outside reading about a bunch of young folks playing dodgeball.
Profile Image for Sammy.
59 reviews10 followers
November 7, 2018
This was cute! Nothing spectacular but I enjoyed the first four issues and I think it’s biggest strength is how gorgeous the art is! I was probably more engrossed in the art over the story but I’ll continue reading it! I do wish they had a translation somewhere for the conversations in Spanish though :(
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