Robot 6

Have you seen this dog? Dalgoda

For comics, the 1980s were a Wild West in terms of experimental and varied content, with publishers large and small taking chances, and new creators coming into town and leaving before you had a chance to fully appreciate them. A recent post by Tom Spurgeon jogged my memory on a space-faring dog named Dalgoda who lived in a European-esque sci-fi world. The eight-issue series was released by Fantagraphics, and it was admittedly a strange title in the publisher’s output but fit inside the larger eclectic framework of the era. At the time, a certain group of mutated turtles were kicking up a storm. But unlike Eastman and Laird’s weapon-wielding terrapins, the Dalgoda series came and went without any discernible buzz or toy tie-ins.

The Dalgoda series, written by Jan Strnad with art by Dennis Fujitake, followed the dog-faced Dalgoda as an emmisary from the alien race the Canida sent to broker peace with Earth. It was some epic and eclectic space adventure when a third race intervenes to nix the potential Canida-Earth alliance and takes out Dalgoda’s fleet, leaving him to find refuge and resources with the outskirts of human society in space.

It was a fun series, and bolstered by a great pair of backups such as “The Bojeffries Saga” by Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse, and “Grimwood’s Daughter” by Strnad and Kevin Nowlan. After eight issues it went on a brief hiatus before a brief return in a new series, Flesh & Bones, before disappearing permanently. As time went on, it’s become one of those titles I’m surprised hasn’t been collected in a trade paperback but also half-worried it wouldn’t do well enough sales-wise to pay off for any publisher who took a chance on it. In 2010, Colin Smith wrote an endearing open letter to Dalgoda that’s worth reading if you’re in a reminiscing mood, which’ll give me time to buy up the back issues online on the cheap before you try to do it, too.

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I read Dalgoda in the 80s when it came out and was always disappointed that it didn’t continue.

Actually, Dalgoda also appeared in at least one issue of Fantagraphics’ Anything Goes anthology series, although offhand I couldn’t say if that came before or after Flesh & Bones.

Oculus Orbus: Thanks! I’ll have to track that down.

There’s also a distinct possibility that I could be wrong about that.

I had a few issues. I was struck by the clean lines of Fujitake’s art that was so different from the Marvel/DC I was reading at the time. I wouldn’t mind a collection, assuming the story was finished.

And it turns out that I am, in fact, wrong. Mea culpa. A thousand pardons, sahib.

(I wish I *was* right, though. I loved Dalgoda)

My goodness! Its been almost 3 decades since this title was brought up.

I have Dalgoda (Fantagraphics Books, 1984) #1 – 6, 8 -VF/VF/+VF.

I have no idea how or where the issue #7 went missing.

Um…isn’t it spelled “Jan Strand”? Isn’t this the guy who wrote the “Sword of the Atom” miniseries.

For fans of Dalgoda, there is one more Dalgoda story besides the Dalgoda title 1-8 and the stories in the back of Flesh and Bones 1-4. There is a Dalgoda story in the back of John Byrne’s, The Doomsday Squad (Aug 1986). Zoom in on the top left side of the cover at http://www.comics.org/series/3244/

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