What’s been a delight for me as a reader is seeing how much better this series continues to get. Overall you can see this series develop and change, improving its weaknesses and refining its strengths. It has made it one of the first books I pick up when I set out to read all ten of Double Take’s titles. There’s two big and interesting things that I noticed about this issue, and other fifth issues I read. The first is that the panel’s take on a more traditional or rather modern layout. I’m not sure what feedback Double Take received from readers, but it’s kind of a shame. I personally liked the way they set up their comics and that there wasn’t a ton of spreads. Now there’s a lot of them and while I don’t hate, it did make me realize that the first four issues had a great balance in panels that made it work for both print and digital, though I suspect it still works for digital here as well. It just gave the book a different vibe and honestly changed how I read the issue. I’m probably in the minority on that though because most comic readers like to read their comics a certain way and well, I don’t. Sure, not every creative panels works, but the effort is always appreciated.
The other thing that stands out is that this very much feels like a first issue. There’s enough of a recap that a new reader could easily jump on and be caught up on the series. Really at this point you only need to go back and read the previous issues to enjoy the character development that was done. Otherwise you can start here and be on the same page as everyone else in terms of where the story is. Any time a comic does this it’s good and meh. Not bad, but meh. Because as someone who has been reading from the first issue, I don’t particularly need a recap and when a story makes sure to go over information that was already given. It’s a double edge sword but there’s an easy fix. Make it interesting. Which Dedication did.
The story picks up after the dragon that was shot up in the sky at the end of the last issue. A newly appointed Deputy decides to check it out and George tells him he can’t go up on his roof. The Deputy persists and George makes him a deal: if his posse does some work for him, he’ll let him go up on the roof. Oh my, hijinks ensue and George shines in this issue. He explains how he bought the town and also got extremely rich. All of it is great.
I was a little confused/shocked by the ending. I won’t say what happens, of course, because I’m not a dick, but there’s only so many options as to what the outcome of the cliffhanger will be in the next issue. I’m curious and of course will be back. Hopefully I won't be bummed by the outcome.
One thing I will definitely give Double Take and this issue of Dedication in general, is that they try new things with the dialogue and how we read it. This time they break up a character's word, as another character interrupts them. The goal is to mimic how one person will talk over someone while they draw out their word and then continue after the interruption. It works okay. I think I would need to see it more, but I didn’t hate it. I thought it was interesting and it caught my attention. It’ll play well with digital for sure, but in print it’s admittedly a little off.
Dedication is definitely one of the stronger series, but this issue is a little strange. It moves the story forward, but in a lot of ways stumbles to get new readers caught up. It’s not perfect. The story shifts ever so slightly forward, but there’s a lot of fun character moments with George and his Gammas.
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Dedication #4 Story: Bill Jemas Script: Matthew Summo, Bill Jemas, Michael Coast Layouts: Dean Kotz, Stan Chou Pencils: Ezequiel Ferreira De Assis, Juan Frigeri, Adriano Vicente, Elton Thomas Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital