Trench Dogs

by Ian Densford

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Editions:Paperback Original: $ 18.95
ISBN: 9781682472330
Size: 10.25 x 6.63 in
Pages: 184

Trench Dogs Study Guide

Inspired from assorted first-hand accounts, this fictional story of World War I is a sweeping look across the war and the soldiers who experienced the horrors of the front lines and high seas. While horse drawn carts and trains were ordinary sights, some of the first automobiles, tanks, submarines, airplanes, and battleships were being used; alongside machine guns, poison gas, and flame throwers. The nightmares of World War I and the fallout afterwards are often overlooked, this book asks the reader to look again and remember the dead, to weigh their number against those that would choose war. Conceived as a long, continuous camera pan through the trenches and beyond, the reader is soon buried in mud, corpses, and ruin, emerging on the other side with blurred recollections of lost comrades and a nagging sense of pointless destruction.

Reviews:Publishers Weekly wrote:

“…a nonstop horror show.”

The GeekCast Radio Network on GCRN wrote:

Top 100 Comics of 2018

Comics Workbook wrote:

“What a monstrous dream Ian Densford has conceived…. The story itself is incredibly poignant and quite vicious. It is a war story or a story of a war. It does not pretend to do anything other than depict war and war’s violent consequences…. [T]here is wisdom in this book in its depiction of human suffering, selfishness, selflessness and survival. Ian Densford steps back and triangulates the brutality of a war that laid waste to an entire continent and more as we stare in horror and amazement hoping we never share their fate, and yet it is difficult not to sympathize and even admire the victims whoever they might be. Death is the great equalizer and, when people encounter it, we can learn a lot from that. Ian Densford has masterfully managed to encapsulate that fact into a comic book.”

Graphic Policy on YouTube wrote:

“[Trench Dogs is] very cinematic in a way where one scene flows into the next…. It kind of feels like a tracking shot and the concept is really great…. Not something I can think of being done in comics before.”

Graphic Policy wrote:

Trench Dogs by Ian Densford is an ambitious graphic novel…. The art is detailed and impressive…. It’s beautiful to look at…. This is an impressive attempt to do something different in the comics medium and in so many ways it succeeds.”

The Fandom Post wrote:

“[Trench Dogs] provides a powerful view of this war…. [T]he narrative and artistic choices were solid.”

Mark Bielski on History with Mark Bielski (podcast) wrote:

“There are a lot of superb interpretations and renderings throughout the book ... It's almost like reading poetry.”

Historical Novel Society wrote:

“The burgeoning audience of graphic novel fans, especially the historically literate ones, will certainly be impressed by this book…. The author’s and publisher’s intentions could not be more honorable…. [We are] happy to recommend Trench Dogs.” wrote:

“Ian Densford’s Trench Dogs left me speechless.”

Military Heritage wrote:

“History is becoming a lost art in the modern era and there is always a question of how to pass on an appreciation for military history to a young person. [Trench Dogs is] a graphic novel intended to interest young readers…. The illustrations are vivid but not gratuitous in their depictions of violence and bloodshed, rather seeking to surprise the reader with the brutality of the war through the eyes of those who were there.”

ARMY magazine wrote:

“Veterans … will likely find much that resonates [in] The ‘Stan.”

Military Times wrote:

“Using countless canine characters as soldiers is a clever move.”

The Newest Rant wrote:

Trench Dogs is a fascinating read that touches-upon many aspects of World War I and is a good way for those less knowledgeable about the first, 'War to end all wars,' to learn a bit about it in a visual manner. Ian Densford is a fantastic illustrator who portrays how ugly and terrible war is with some of the edge.... It is quite a good read and I recommend it to anyone who is a history buff or loves comics that are a bit more out-there than the norm. 5 out of 5 stars.”

The Midwest Book Review wrote:

“Ian Densford's graphic watercolors paired with a spattering of onomatopoeic utterings create an unforgiving tale of the ‘war to end all wars’.... Very highly recommended for community library graphic novel collections.”

Charles Forsman, author of The End of the F***ing World wrote:

Trench Dogs is an unrelenting torrent of war machine imagery. Densford's thick lines and dirty color palette in an unending panel layout takes the reader on a train ride through hell.”

—Arcadia Pod wrote:

“Overall, this book definitely takes the horrific aspects of the war, ones that are often overlooked to present tales of heroism that are palatable for the general public, and puts them front and center…. The art is interesting, and the book is VERY action-packed. It makes you think about some of the social issues of the time, and paints the war as the most inhumane meat-grinder of its time that we should think of it as. Not everyone is a hero here, and it really makes you think about what man is capable of when backed into a corner. This is quite the feat to have such a profound story with nearly no dialogue at all. Trench Dogs is a great World War I book.”

About the Contributor

Ian Densford the author and illustrator is a working artist living in New York state with his wife, Tae, and their son, Anderson. When not animating on the computer, or drawing in his sketchbook, you can find him frolicking in the nearby forest and rocky hillsides.