Toupydoops #3

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Toupydoops #3 Creator(s): Kevin Mc Shane
Publishers: Lobrou Productions
From: USA
Price: US $3.50

If #1 of ‘Toupydroops’ was the hopeful arrival of our heroes to Hollywood and #2 was the crashing reality of life in big city then #3 is the big break edition. Toupy cracks it•or does he?

This latest instalment in Mc Shane’s appealing and ongoing series starts with Teetereater [the half bear, half James Dean best friend of Toupy] proving just how quickly he has adjusted to the hard edged life in the big city as we observe him verbally destroying the fragile ego’s of two rather pathetic fan boys. If he verbally destroys them here it is nothing to the violent interaction he has with them later on.

Meanwhile just as Teeter revels in his rapidly developing street cred we find that Toupy’s experiences offer us something of a contrast as he tries to avoid their landlord [and for more reasons that just an inability to pay the rent]. This contrasting and parallel narrative structure is particularly effective and controlled well by Mc Shane.

Poor Toupy [I still have difficulty relating to the simplistic way he is drawn when compared to the detail present in all of the other characters] he just seems to be screwing up every chance he has [the words are those of attractive and attentive bar maid, Brit, and not mine by the way].

But as with all good Hollywood stories, just when things are looing really bleak Toupydroops scores a job in the industry. His elation is only tempered by Teeter’s jaundiced cynicism.

Unfortunately the elation is short lived as the workplace Toupy finds himself in is populated by tired, sycophantic, terrified workers who work for a tyrannical bully of a boss. The last thing he wants to see from his employees is creativity and individuality. Hardly the vision Toupy had of life in the comic industry then. The pages fairly drip with irony at this point as we see an industry based on fear, suspicion, frustration and bitterness. Our Toupy can’t even mange to change the message on his answer phone and seems destined for an early departure.

Teeter then, gets to fight like a super hero whilst Toupy has to spend his nights reading turgid scripts about super heroes, life just ain’t fair. Like I said you can almost taste the irony. In the end the final humiliation is where Toupy actually gets to offend Alan Moore.

The art remains effective and convincing especially where Mc Shane needs to show specific moods through facial expression, his range is extensive. The dialogue is tight, the pace well managed and the contrasting fortunes of the two characters is revealed in a well controlled and effective manner.

‘Toupydroops’ seems destined for along run and this edition really marks the point where it has arrived on the scene. It may not be a barrel of laughs but the characters are engaging and their world interesting.

In a Word: Alternating.

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