Toupydoops #2

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Toupydoops  #2 Creator(s): Kevin McShane
Publishers: Lobrau Productions (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $3.50(US)

Having set the scene [intentional pun] in Toupydoops #1 Mc Shane is now faced with the demanding task of developing both characters and narrative into something that warrants a long run.

I must say he makes a nice start as the story opens with our blue insect/ alien main character Toupy immersed in the comic book Hollywood world as•an extra. Bit of a come down from his lofty aspirations in the first volume then. And herein lies the main reason why I feel confident that this title is in for a well deserved long run.

Mc Shane has taken the na´ve exuberance of Toupy so evident in #1 and brought it crashing down to earth with a harsh dose of reality. So we cringe with embarrassment as he tries to grovel his way up the Hollywood ‘food chain’, as he attempts to gain a foot hold in the ‘industry’. He does have his ever loyal friend and supporter Teetereater picking him up and urging him on but that sort of encouragement can only take an aspiring comic book actor so far.

The overall tone of this latest edition is one of a dream shattered or at least shattering. Most of the comic is concerned with one fairly disastrous night out for the boys. Toupy struggles to find a car park, struggles to gain entrance to a club, has money issues, has trouble getting a drink, is patronised by the women he meets and gets a parking ticket.[ ah how well I remember those days]. His friend, the suave Don Juan, Teeter meanwhile is a sexual magnet and, as he is half bear a fairly impressive bar room brawler as well. As if to rub salt in the wounds Mc Shane also gives Teeter all the goods lines. Jeez even his creator has it in for poor blue Toupy. Teeter gets the girl, Toupy gets the parking fine. The hopeful glow of this comic’s first edition has well and truly been tarnished.

In the best tradition of Hollywood romance though Mc Shane ends the issue on a positive note with Toupy meeting Brit, an attractive [Am I the only one a bit creeped out by the prospect of bug human romance] understanding barmaid wearing a ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ T-shirt. So as Toupy says it might have been a downer of a night but “it’s getting better.”

The characters have been developed, the narrative, while still a long way from riveting, is also developing nicely, I missed the cockroach though so I hope he’s back for issue 3. In a nice self depreciating touch Mc Shane has added at the back of the comic his three page original pitch comic that was roundly rejected by the 2005 Small Press Expo Anthology. Well Kevin I guess it would have been easy to give up on the idea at that point, glad you didn’t.

In a Word: Veritable.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me