A Month of Self-Published Comics: Doug Deever: Dumpster Diver #1

This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!

Today I am featuring Russ Kazmierczak and Brent Otey's Doug Deever: Dumpster Diver #1.

Doug Deever is a bizarre comic book that has a quirky, endearing premise.

The idea behind the comic is that Doug Deever, when a child, was often forced to live outside by his evil mother. He eventually decided to embrace living outside in the trash and became obsessed with trash. As a young man (after the un/timely death of his mother by a collapsing pile of trash), Doug sought out a place where he could live with trash - this brings him into contact with a group of homeless people who perhaps do not understand Doug's obsession with trash, but in the end, they end up with him anyways, so they learn to live with his peccadilloes - will the rest of the populace be so forgiving, however?

As a premise, Doug Deever works really well. I could easily see it working as a cartoon series, perhaps one on Adult Swim. A weird dude obssesed with garbage makes his way in the world with a motley crew of quirky homeless guys

That can definitely work, and it's a clever idea by Kazmierczak.

As for the actual comic book...

The production values are very strong. It's a well put together book.

I found the captions hard to follow at times - the book is all colored brown and white, so having brown captions on brown paper with tiny captions written in cursive - not a great recipe for a legible reading experience.

Brent Otey takes an interesting approach to the art in the comic. The backgrounds are mixtures of photographs and drawings (mostly photographs), with the characters depicted in one of two ways - the "normal" people are drawn as almost animated photographs of heads, while the homeless people and Doug are drawn in extremely simplistic cartoonish styles. The result is that Doug and his friends definitely do pop off of the page more dramatically than if they were depicted in a more standard style (again, the whole book is bathed in brown, so having Doug and the others being bright white cartoon characters is certainly useful). Doug's mother is a variation of the second style - she's cartoonish, but she wears a pig mask for some reason.

The plot is fairly simplistic, but it has a nice hook (and a great resolution).

Anyhow, as a premise/idea, I'd give it high marks, but I dunno if I'd necessarily recommend the physical comic itself.

Check out their website at K.O. Comix here.

Ross sent me a copy of Doug Deever: Dumpster Diver #1 for review. If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there most likely is still time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.

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