The term dryfoot, has a two simple dictionary definitions: one with dry feet or the bottom of a piece of pottery unglazed. But when I see the phrase, I think of a law from 1966 known as the Cuban Adjustment Act. The Cuban Adjustment Act becomes more commonly known as the "wet foot, dry foot" policy. This policy was specifically created for refugees from Cuba, for if they took the 90 mile oceanic voyage, as long as they had one foot reach dry land (one wet foot, one dry foot) they would be granted amnesty/refugee status. This policy explains the massive influx Cuban immigrants into and around Miami in the 70's and 80s.
Dryfoot #1 (Mad Cave)
This book instantly transports us back to 1980's (which is not only evident from the cover). With all of the best forgotten fashion choices of the era (like linen suits with pastel shirts, mullets, excessive jewelry, muscle shirts etc.).
The book opens establishing the villain, who is washing his hands and brass knuckles of blood after offering a savage beating to three gentlemen who are bound together in a nondescript cellar. The only thing we know about him, he wears too much cologne, and "he's a dick." The story's narrator wants to leave both him, and Miami.
Why pick up this book?
1. The story is a fun ride. This feels like the opening 15 minutes of every 80's movie I've ever loved, but this is one I've never seen before. It does a good job swiftly introducing you to the major players in the story without bludgeoning you to death with backstory. I also like that it introduces the robbery quickly because it gets you wondering how they are going to pull it off instead of letting it linger across three books and we wonder what they are eventually going to do.
2. The art! For as much as the story screams 1980's Miami, it would not be successfully conveyed without the bang-up job both the artist and the colorist provide. It feels like every image I've seen of that period. They take the aesthetic of Miami Vice and shape it in their own direction. One thing they do exceedingly well is showing some of the pain and/or frustrations each of the characters are feeling when they return home. Everything about the art team's stylings pops for me!
3. Can I get a shout-out for the letterer? Each touch feels golden, from the narrator's dialogue boxes, to the radio chatter, to regular dialogue, to the subtle shift between the English and Spanish typesettings, all was great! (and I feel like letterers do not get enough love!).
As I have noted in previous reviews, I really think Mad Cave Studios is bringing the heat with unique storytelling, dazzling art, and books that are really catered to their readers. Dryfoot is the debut offering from 2019 Mad Cave Talent Search Winners in Lujan and Caicedo and from what their first offering provides, it is now easy to understand why they were among the winners!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...
Rimmey is a high school history/government teacher & speech and debate coach in Kansas. He has slowly been rediscovering his love for comics since June of 2019.
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