ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Dry Foot,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dry Foot #1
Dry Foot #1 is published by Mad Cave Studios, written by Jarred Luján, with art by Orlando Caicedo, colors by Warnia Sahadewa, and letters by Justin Birch. It’s 1984. Miami Florida. Little Havana if you want to be precise. Times are tough for a lot of people. This goes for Mariana, Angel, Diego, and Fabian as much as anyone. But, they have something everyone else doesn’t have. A plan on how to get out. The only problem is they gotta rip of the most violent drug lord in town for their dreams to come true. But, if you make someone’s options bad enough, the unthinkable can become a viable possibility.

Isn’t it interesting how some settings become so immutably connected to story concepts that they feel all but inseparable. Dry Foot #1 leans into this bond hard. I mean let’s face it. The 80s, Miami, tacky suits, and drug lords. Yeah, this is perhaps the most obvious story/time period combo you can think up. And it’s all good. There is a reason why something just goes together. And this setup just works. The only tricky thing is, if you are going to wade into extremely familiar territory you have to nail the story. You don’t get breaks because you are trying something different. You gotta nail it. And does Dry Foot #1 nail it? Read on and I’ll tell ya.

The main thing to talk about is the cast. First and foremost, I love how diverse they are. To start, there’s Mariana. A strong Latina character who gives no worries about what others think of her outside her home. Inside, however, a sharp Spanish spoken word from her abuela, and she is instantly brought to heel.  The mixed language scene in Mariana’s home gives an authentic representation of what I’ve always heard my Latinx friends say their households are like.

Dry Foot #1

The rest of the cast is built out in much the same way. Whether it’s Fabian’s hard home life complete with drug-addicted mother, or Angel’s house that is so overstuffed with members that couches are filled with sleeping bodies when he arrives, each character is shown to have their own unique backgrounds and struggles.

With so much time spent fleshing out the main cast of Dry Foot #1 little plot is actually delved into. We are given the fact that there is a plan to rob the local drug lord everyone hates, but no one dares to do anything about, what the rough outline of it is, and that’s it. This is not a bad thing, however. Luján’s choice to focus on character, given how well it is delivered, feels like the right call. By showing us where these characters find themselves greatly helps us understand their places in the group. As well as why some are more eager to launch their plan, while others are more hesitant.

The art in Dry Foot #1 does a good job of capturing the many aspects of the book. From the diversity of the cast to the flavor of it’s setting, everything flows together well. Caicedo also does a good job handling the various emotions present throughout the story. While the emotional presentation is always important, it’s doubly so here, as getting the reader invested in the characters feels front and center. The art does it’s fair share to pull this off.

Colorist Sahadewa does a good job of infusing the story with a great variety of color while managing to not get carried away with it. It gives off the vibe that I expected from the setting while balancing it with the job of reinforcing the story’s actual elements. Not just the setting’s look.

The final element in Dry Foot #1 presentation is Birch’s lettering. A solid display of skill is shown in how Birch places the boxes within each panel. The story flows smoothly and keeps clear of the images themselves.

So, when all is said and done did Dry Foot #1 nail it? I’d have to say yes! This character-driven first issue serves as a great start for its narrative. It commits to its characters, crafting them into real people the reader can relate to, and root for. As long as the story moving forward can be the equal of its cast, I think Dry Foot #1 could be the start of something great.

Dry Foot #1 is available on September 9th wherever comics are sold.


‘Dry Foot,’ Issue #1
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TL;DR

So, when all is said and done did Dry Foot #1 nail it? I’d have to say yes! This character-driven first issue serves as a great start for its narrative. It commits to its characters, crafting them into real people the reader can relate to, and root for. As long as the story moving forward can be the equal of its cast, I think Dry Foot #1 could be the start of something great.