Coyote Doggirl

Lisa Hanawalt. Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 (156p) ISBN 978-1-77046-325-7
In this cockeyed Western, a pink, half-coyote, half-dog cowgirl named Coyote gallops across the prairie on her faithful horse, Red, “pursued by guys” but mostly luxuriating in the ride. She falls in with a tribe of seemingly friendly wolves in Native American garb, but as the guys persistently tail them, she can only delay a showdown with her pursuers for so long. Hanawalt (Hot Dog Taste Test) is best known for idiosyncratic gag cartoons and design work on the black humor animated series Bojack Horseman. This graphic novel showcases plenty of her trademark off-kilter wit as the characters engage in casual violence and anachronistic dialogue. (“I like your top,” a wolf says, checking out Coyote’s cowhide shift. “Did you make it from scratch?”) But there’s sincerity imbued in the book’s appreciation of nature, the frontier spirit, and, above all, horses; Coyote’s bond with Red is the central love story. Hanawalt draws simple anthropomorphic characters (the horses are rendered with more realism and care)—colored in vivid preschool watercolors—and sketches in maps and inventories of riding supplies. The hilarious, bloody journey unfolds with a childlike sense of adventure, bigger and brighter than life, shot through with a snarky adult sensibility. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 08/21/2018
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