Shoes, doorframes, their own beds: sometimes dogs have the tendency to destroy things we wish they didn’t. When artist Tony Maher sprung his two pups excitedly reveling in the remnants of his Batman comic, Maher didn’t get mad. He laughed first, and then saw the shredded pages in a different light. “My dogs didn’t so much as destroy my comics, as they did reinterpret, or create a new narrative,” Maher says.
Picking up the pieces of ripped up paper, Maher was reminded of Richard Misrach’s images of Playboy magazines found in the Nevada desert riddled with bullet holes. “I couldn’t help but notice how much more violent they seemed now,” Maher says. “The work in MDKB (My Dogs Killed Batman) makes a comment about how we as a society are okay with violence. Don’t get me wrong, I love Batman and many other comic book heroes. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is how violent a lot of the characters and stories are. MDKB highlights this by focusing on an aggressive act that was physically done to the comic itself. To Batman.”
Maher doesn’t actively encourage his hounds to keep eating comics for art’s sake, however they’re quite fond of mail call. “They sit patiently as we go through junk mail waiting for us to hand them something to ‘file’,” Maher says.
A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.
None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?
February 5, 2019