Every day this month I’ll be reviewing a different independent comic book, based on submissions from the creators of the comic books themselves.
The month continues with the fun and entertaining one-shot, Toy Boy Special #1, by Tom Stillwell and Jethro Morales, which has a very cool Tim Seeley cover…
Years ago, I reviewed the first issue of Tom Stillwell’s Honor Brigade, which introduced Toy Boy. At the time, I noted that while I felt that Stilwell had an engaging sense of fun with his story, the story lacked a lot of polish. I was pretty sure that he would improve over time, though, and sure enough, with Toy Boy Special #1, his plot and his script are a great deal tighter. This is a very polished comic book.
The artwork from Jethro Morales, also, is quite professional.
Here are a few sample pages…
See? Strong sequential work. Morales tells the story well. I wonder how much input Stillwell had in the page layouts. I know some writers give general hints as to how they want the panels to be arranged, and I wonder if that is the case here, if only because Stillwell and Morales seemed to be SO in sync.
The clear inspiration for Stillwell’s all-ages “fun” comic approach is the work of Kurt Busiek, and in this issue, the Busiek influence is heavy. That’s not a bad thing, though, especially if you pull it off as well as Stilwell does.
At the end of the Honor Brigade mini-series, Toy Boy “defeated” the evil head of the corporation he appropriated his Toy Boy gear from (it was a toy company that was really a front for weapon production). Well, the thing is, just because the CEO is arrested, it doesn’t mean the corporation is out of the way, which Stillwell explains in a very clever little scene…
This, then, cleverly provides the set-up for the special…
Now the spokesperson for the company, Toy Boy has to go to Vegas, and once there, he gets caught up in some more drama.
It’s an action-packed issue with a lot of humor and some interesting character work (you see, Toy Boy used to be a criminal, so when he quit being a bad guy, he broke up with his “evil” girlfriend – well, guess who he has to face against in Vegas?).
But perhaps most of all, this is just a well-made comic. It’s plotted tightly, the dialogue is decent and you are able to jump into this world without having read Honor Brigade at all and still be able to perfectly understand what is going on.
Good comic. Check out Tom’s website to read more about Spinner Rack Comics. And click here to buy a copy of this comic (you can see Tom’s store on his site to get the trade paperback of Honor Brigade).
If you would like me to review you independent comic book this month, there is still time to send me a copy for review! Click here to read where to send the review copies.