I'm going to try and be as objective as I can about this book, because I honestly don't have a clear grasp on who this title is aimed at. While it exists under the BOOM! Box imprint, which is meant to be a platform for non-traditional comic book creators (think web comics, fanzines etc.), it has more of a children's/all-ages feel to it. While that is not a bad thing, I just think this book might be somewhat out of place under the BOOM! Box imprint, as opposed to over at BOOM! Studio's children's imprint, Ka-BOOM!
Teen Dog is basically a series of short, single-page (sometimes two pages) snippets that tell the story of who Teen Dog is, what he likes and some of his daily life at school. When read together, these pages loosely form a periodical-length comic book, but that is only because it is packaged that way. This seems like it would work better as a web comic due to the nature of how the "stories" are arranged. The best comparison I can think of would be the manga, Azumanga Diaoh!, which told its stories in a similar fashion, though with more panels-per-page than you will find here in Teen Dog #1.
The art reminds me of things you would currently find on Cartoon Network, shows like 'Amazing World of Gumball', 'Steven Universe', 'Adventure Time' and the like. It isn't polished art by any standards, but it excels in the use of colors to create loud, vivid worlds that distinctly set it apart from more reality-based comic book material. The art is simple, playful and definitely engaging. While it isn't exactly 'deep' in any way, there are nice touches of detail to be found throughout this issue, my favorite being the graffiti on a locker that says, "save Ferris", a nod to the classic 80's teen film, 'Ferris Bueler's Day Off'.
The 1-2 page stories are basically short jokes and/or moments from Teen Dog's daily life, intermixed with quirky asides that I assume are meant to either be 'in jokes' or just silly and fun. If you know what you're getting into with this title, then it will prepare you for the lack of depth in this book, because there isn't any, it's just a fun visual storytelling exercise for creator Jake Lawrence.
While I'm not the target demographic for Teen Dog, I can see where it would be a fun book to pick up if you fit any number of the following categories.
- You are a younger reader
- You enjoy web comics
- You spend a lot of time on Tumblr
- You like supporting creator-owned comics and want to take a chance on something lighthearted and different
That being said, Teen Dog doesn't suit my personal taste, but I can see where there is a market for this book, as long as the right person is reading it. Kudos to BOOM! for finding new channels and new creators for material like this, as I believe there is definitely a place in the market for it.