What happens when you die? And how do those left behind deal with the fact that you’ve left? Dr. Cho has the answers. He’s created The Charon, a device that allows his team to bring the dead back to life. With one catch: the process will kill them soon after. But this is worth it to some, who want to be able to say goodbye to those that they’ve lost. But how does it really work? What if…what if the dead don’t want to come back to life? And what if what they see and feel doesn’t match with what reality is or was? Those are the questions that Dr. Cho’s team are about to encounter.

Doctors is one of those books that you can’t really describe without giving away part of the story that you don’t want to give away. So the best that I can come up with is, think of the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where they bring Buffy back from the dead…the first time. She’s brought back from Heaven and she’s distraught and horrified and lost because it’s a traumatic experience! Here she was happy and free from everything that bothered her in the real world and now, and now…she’s back in a sluggish body and on dealing with the crap she thought she was done with. That’s part of what this book is, but there’s more danger and loss mixed in and…argh! Go read the book if you want to find out more.

Dash Shaw is typically not one of my favorite artists. Not that he’s bad…he just isn’t all that to me. His drawing style is okay, but it just is very there. You can tell what the characters are supposed to be, how they’re supposed to look, and what the scenes are. There’s nothing that gets me overly excited about it. But here he does something a little bit different—large swatches of color. Sometimes the entire page is just one color. Other times panels are different colors. It’s always a solid color, but it heightens the emotions and tensions on the page. In part because sometimes the characters blend into the background and they slowly reveal themselves on the page and other times because it adds to the tension. Bright red or bright yellow don’t really signify happiness (contrary to what some people may think.) Instead it’s a buzzing tension just waiting to be released. Waiting.

As an additional note, Doctors has been optioned by Hollywood to be adapted for the big screen. And to be honest, I’m worried about how they’re going to make it happen. Not just because this is a short book and I think Hollywood would cram in too many extras to pad the running time, but because the colors (or the lack of colors) help tell the story. And that’s not something I think Hollywood can do well. They managed to pull it off with the first Sin City, and while it was difficult, it was black and white. This is solid blocks of color and I’m not sure Hollywood has it in them to do justice to this story. But, we’ll see.

Overall, this is a book that you have to read to understand. Don’t go in expecting that you’ll know what will happen, because chances are you don’t. And you can’t really describe visuals of saturated color like this without seeing it. Be prepared to have Buffy meet Blade Runner meet A Clockwork Orange and to have your mind asking you, “What did you just show me??”

by Dash Shaw
ISBN: 9781606998038
Fantagraphics, 2014

  • Dani Shuping

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Dani Shuping is currently a wandering librarian looking for a home. She has been involved in libraries for over nine years and and has had an interest in graphic novels since before that time. Dani began the graphic novel collection at Mercer, works with an English professor from time to time on a class on graphic novels, and just recently started a graphic novel book discussion group. She love attendings comic conventions, especially the smaller ones when they can, and one day may just have a comic of their own. Dani can be found at and goes by the user name ashuping where ever they can, such as on Twitter: @ashuping.

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