Puchi Award 2021

Dog Biscuits – Alex Graham

Dog Biscuits, by Alex Graham, an extensive graphic novel that explores with humour and drama the labour, moral and sentimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the main characters of a love triangle. Set in Seattle and serialised on Instagram in near real-time, Dog Biscuits was itself affected by readers interaction, suffering the vicissitudes of the evangelistic pressure from social media, while pushing the boundaries of what we know as “tragicomedy” to ultimately deliver a condensation of stylisation, spontaneity and emotion worthy of these unpredictable times.

  

July 2020, Seattle. Gussy struggles to keep his dog biscuit boutique afloat while a global pandemic rages unchecked. The loneliness of lockdown and social distancing drives his employee Rosie to betray her principles. Rosie’s roommate Hissy is at a personal crossroads. A love triangle emerges as they find themselves tangled in a web of police brutality, protests, drugs, dating apps and COVID chaos. Taking place over the course of just a few days, this is a familiar snapshot of humanity—okay, animals—in crisis. Why is this one the comics of the year is something the reader will figure out soon all by himself.

Dog Biscuits’ biggest strength comes from its refusal to moralise, not condemning or caricaturising the main characters and allowing the audience to consider their own responses. Dog Biscuits deftly shows the complexity and dynamics of the current moment, but with enough substance that it should prove a timeless testament to the complexity of living in uncontrollable times”.

—Bruno Savill de Jong

Dog Biscuits, with its pandemic and bizarre love triangle, did many things to me: it scared me, it gave me plenty of laughs, it annoyed me, it made me angry, it made me horny. Above all, it made me very happy.

—Ezequiel Zaidenwerg

 Alex Graham (1987) grew up in Commerce City, CO, an industrial suburb of Denver. She attended Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design for a year before dropping out and beginning a decade-long stint working full time in restaurants. Painting after work, between shifts, and on her days off, Alex began selling her paintings and showing them in cafés and galleries around Denver. In 2015, she self-released the first issue of her surreal comic Cosmic BE-ING. Her first full-length graphic novel, Angloid, was published in 2017 by Kilgore Books. At the end of 2017, Alex relocated to Seattle and continued working in restaurants while painting and drawing on the side. A number of her paintings were shown at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles in January of 2020. After losing her restaurant job in the wake of covid, Alex began full-time work on her anthropomorphic webcomic Dog Biscuits, posting one to three pages to Instagram daily until the story’s conclusion in January 2021. Soon after that, the censored online versión of the story won the Cartoonist Studio Prize 2021 as Best Webcomic of the Year.

Alex Graham

 

The winning project will be published next Fall 2021, coming together with the award ceremony, held at La Casa Encendida.

Jury 2021:

  • Ezequiel Zaidenwerg: poet.
  • Ana Llurba : writer.
  • Carlos Copertone: Caniche editorial editor.
  • César Sánchez: Fulgencio Pimentel editor.

Finalist projects:

  • CHAOS, WHIMS, LUST, Jia Sung

  • DEATH AS DECORATOR, B. Cain, D. Diamond and E. Gatón

  • H., POR EJEMPLO, Ángel de la Rubia

  • DOG BISCUITS, Alex Graham

  • EL PEOR ESCENARIO POSIBLE, Alejandro Morellón

  • MURPHY WHO TALKS, Ronan J. O’Shea

  • THE DEGROWTH MANUAL, L. Dudareva and E. Cassina

  • LA TECNICA DEL TRAMEZZINO, Stefano Togni

  • UNA HUMANA, Ana Cristina Sanz