David Lynch’s bizarre avant-garde comic strip ‘The Angriest Dog in the World’
In 1973, during a period of time which was described as being dictated by “feelings of great anger,” David Lynch created his comic strip ‘The Angriest Dog in the World’.
The comic, which was first published by the LA Reader in 1983, ran through to 1993 and always followed the same formula with the following introduction: “The dog who is so angry he cannot move. He cannot eat. He cannot sleep. He can just barely growl. Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis.”
Formed amid frustrated stress around the creation of his 1977 experimental horror film Eraserhead, Lynch’s new form of artist relief started to gain momentum when he approached LA Reader with his new venture: “David Lynch called up the editor James Vowell, and said, ‘Hi, I’d like to do a comic strip for you,’ and James wisely said, ‘OK.’ And David Lynch said, ‘Well, it’s kind of a weird concept.” Richard Gehr, the editor of LA Reader once explained. “There’s only like one…part.’ And James said, ‘Well, OK, let’s see how it goes.’”
The comic was then published prolifically in the years that followed, always following the same format of three identical panels which would feature a black, angry dog growling and tied to a post by a chain: “I don’t know why I chose a dog,” Lynch once said. “It has more to do with people and that the idea that anger is so intense… I was curious about anger. Once you’re angry, you’re really, really angry.”
He added: “I just drew the tree and the dog. I got the idea that nothing would change pictorially. I like the idea that nothing would change.”
When asked why the dog was so angry, Lynch simply replied: “That’s a mystery. Certain clues come from the world around him.”