cover image Hogbook and Lazer Eyes

Hogbook and Lazer Eyes

Maria Bamford and Scott Marvel Cassidy. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-68396-773-6

Comedian Bamford (of the streaming series Lady Dynamite) and her husband, artist Cassidy, sketch out their life together in a series of wry, pug-centric vignettes. The two met on OkCupid after being intrigued by each other’s bizarre screen names and discovered they had plenty in common—including histories of mental illness and “a lot of issues.” They also both loved dogs, and their menagerie, mostly comprising adopted pugs, soon dominates the narrative. Those pets (and, in one memorable installment, a dog bed) take turns narrating—Bamford’s and Cassidy’s engagement gets less space than the four-legged adventures, such as when Bert the pug burrows into a trash bag full of cupcakes. Cassidy has a knack for bringing the animals and their spaces to life; if the dogs are drawn with more care and personality than the human characters, that’s apropos. There are dips into absurdist comedy (one of the pugs attempts a stand-up act), but it’s not strictly a gag book, and though the co-creators have insights to share about living with mental illness and trauma, they don’t attempt deep revelations. Those fond of visiting friends mainly to pet dogs will enjoy this invitation into the Bamford-Cassidy crew’s day-to-day. (May)