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The format of the comic is semi-traditional with the panels being separated by thin black lines that appear to merge with the background, giving the individual panels an appearance of floating as transparent PNG's. The art relies heavily on bright colours.
Demon Dog & Retro Rat begins in 1929, on October 29, the day that the stock market crashed, known as Black Tuesday. The protaganist, John Devlin is an ordinary, yet handsome man whom has only one unique ability, and that is he has extreme empathy. He can sense people's emotional state and this has given him a fine intuition as to when major social and economic changes are coming. Sensing that something big is going to happen, he tells as many people as he can to buy gold and gems to ride out the upcoming economic storm. He is proud of hiumself for this insight, but when he sees people commiting sucide (which many did that day and the following weeks), his guilt over takes him and he throws himself out of his 27th floor apartment window.
Demon Dog & Retro Rat gollows Catholicism's rules about suicide, so John Devlin ends up in hell and is forced to serve hell for 50 years before becoming a level 2 demon. Demons that serve well, get promoted and each promotion allows them more autonomy in their daily tasks and 1 of their earthly desires to be granted to them, which last forever. When he attains his new level and wishes to be a gymnast, he is assigned a level 1 demon (a nameless character) whom has died on October 29th, 1979 to train in the mannerisms and rules of being a good demon. His new student is useless and a slacker, donning a white disco outfit that does not cover his immense belly.Moving on to 2012, Animal activists break into Toronto's Sky Dome to free showdogs from their on-site kennels. They get sidetracked and choose to attempt demon summonings for fun and to try and scare each other. They succeed in summoning John Devlin and his sidekick, and in the fury of hell-fire and a momentary lapse in the laws of physics, John Devlin merges genetically and magically with every dog on the field area of Sky Dome, while the sidekick merges with a white rat.
John Devlin can now take on the form of any dog, while the sidekick can turn into a rat. The two of them, completely displaced from their comfort zones, now try to figure out what to do next in this now future time.
Kevin Jackal Johnston in several radio interviews made it clear that he had no major inspirations in the creation of Demon Dog & Retro Rat, and that the thought just popped into his head, and it was written down, then storyboarded and then completed.
The style of the art is one that is based on colour work. The deepness of the colour is why Toronto artist Nigel Lewis was chosen from a group of more than 70 applicants. Since fire was be a prominent aspect of the book, the style of art is one that contrasts the flames from the background very well.
The first book is a story which spans 115 pages, with several full-page spreads. The second issue is now being written and sponsored by Future Stars Arena in Toronto, along with DAWG FM, an Ottawa radio station.