Dodgeball graphic misses it’s target.
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!
Title: Dodge City
Author: Joe Trujillo
Three Descriptors: Fast paced, LGBT, Flat