The synopsis for this new title from publisher Black Mask goes like this:
A gentrified city. Its homeless population restricted to six square blocks called The Dregs. When people start disappearing, a drug-addled homeless man obsessed with detective fiction becomes addicted to solving the mystery. Equal parts Raymond Chandler and Don Quixote set in a thriving metropolis that literally cannibalizes the homeless, The Dregs is the first homeless meta noir ever made.
The first two sentences of the pitch intrigued me. The latter two less so.
From the off the comic makes clear exactly what’s going on in the city of Vancouver and what’s going on with the homeless population.
They’re being slaughtered for meat.
In the city of the future meat is at a premium so with the homeless being disposable the solution to the problems of feeding a city is to turn the homeless into food. In terms of allegory and political point The Dregs isn’t exactly subtle in terms of dealing with the harsh reality of gentrification.
There then follows a mystery to find out why homeless people are vanishing and the comic becomes a noir-ish mystery.
The Dregs is a surprising good, as well as original book, or at least trying to do something different rather than just rehash old ideas. This is helped by a fine artistic style that steps away from traditional American comic art and feels more European, which is in fact quite pleasing to see. This is trying to be different, as well as political and the creators should be applauded for coming up with this interesting new comic.