The Present – Fabio Coala’s comic strip as related material for Stray

The Present cartoon Fabio Coala

In Preliminary English Standard, we have been discussing and annotating The Present and how Fabio Coala’s text would be suitable as related material for our prescribed drama text Stray. Originally published in 2012, this comic strip has been transformed into an award winning animated short film, also titled The Present, by Jacob Frey.

We decided that possible links between the two texts include:

  • the mistreatment and disrespect of animals – Tiga encounters characters and situations where he is in danger or abused
  • both texts have limited characters
  • both dogs are rejected in each text before finding acceptance – the boy angrily dismisses the disabled dog in the comic, while in the opening scene of Stray, a number of customers overlook Tiga in the pet shop before he is bought by Wanker
  • anthropomorphic qualities – The Present, the dog continues to respond positively, while Tiga also demonstrates resilience, yet this is a quality often explored through the human traits of the dog protagonist
  • both texts have an absent mom – the mother in The Present is shown as a torso which masks her identity, while Tiga’s mum is only revealed through Tiga’s memories or dream state
  • both texts demonstrate a shifting emotional response for the main characters – from anger to acceptance in The Present, with Tiga’s exuberant positivity tempered by an understanding that trust is based on mutual respect

Download the annotated version of The Present and check if you have these language features on your copy

The Present annotated

* cartoon image from

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