Graphic Novel Review: Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg

Detective Ruxby Bear and his old wooden soldier partner, Officer Hazbrow, have some grizzly murders to solve in the soda rain.

Synopsis: Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg is a “fluffy noir anthology.” It’s a Kickstarter funded graphic novel featuring twelve interlinked tales of crime in a toy city.  Detective Ruxby Bear and his old wooden soldier partner, Officer Hazbrow, have some grizzly murders to solve in the soda rain.

Review:  My inner Victoriana loving child of the 80’s is doing cartwheels. Wooden soldiers mixed with teddy bears, tin elephants, plastic dolls. and action figure knock-offs. The lead character, Detective Ruxby, Bear, is a cross between Teddy Ruxpin and a care bear. His partner, Officer Hazbrow (the names are that obvious), is what happens when you put a wooden soldier from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker into a season of the UK drama Ripper Street.

Writer Brett Uren did wonderful work throughout, crafting a narrative that combined toy and noir tropes. That said, guest writers provided my three favorite stories. Script by Cy Dethan and art by Peter Mason, “Some Assembly Required” is an extremely affecting mix of Transformers and Requiem for a Heavyweight. Script, Line Art, and Lettering by Kieran Squires and colours by Faye Harmon, “A New Hopelessness” sees a Darth Vader knock-off rise from the pit of existential despair to become the charismatic leader of a new toy faith. Script by Janos Honkonen, art by Saoirse Louise Towler, and lettering by Mick Schubert, “The Big Wind Up” is Officer’s Hazbrow’s thematically and artistically perfect period piece backstory.

You can learn more about Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg and purchase it at http://torsobear.com

Editors – Brett Uren & Glenn Møane

Writers – Brett Uren, Glenn Møane, Cy Dethan, Brockton McKinney, Janos Honkonen, Frank Martin, Kieran Squires, Grainne McEntee & Jake Young

Artists – Brett Uren, Pete Rogers, Carlos Zamudio, Matt Rooke, Saoirse Towler, Joel Cotejar, Randy Haldeman, Harold Saxon, Jon Scrivens, Faye Harmon & Brian Traynor

Letterers – Brett Uren, Nic WIlkinson, Mick Schubert, Shawn Aldridge, Kieran Squires & Jon Scrivens

9.5
Graphic Novel Review: Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg
  • tone and homages
  • neon green font can be hard on the eyes
  • Scripts
    10
  • Art
    9.5
  • Lettering
    9.5
  • Colour
    9.0

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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