Toupydoops Volume 1: Ground Floor

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator Lobrau $14.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-9792908-1-7
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Is it any surprise that a young, male comic artist has envisioned a world in which comic artists are the nation’s biggest celebrities and all of Hollywood revolves around who’s starring in the latest superhero epic? Perhaps not, but McShane brings a freshness to this adolescent fantasy with his lovable loser of a hero, Toupydoops. Toupy, bright blue and antennaed but otherwise humanish, has moved to the City of Angels with his much studlier, markedly ursine pal, Teetereater, and their taciturn, cigar-smoking pet monkey. (The nonsensical, strangely irritating names remain a weakness.) The two rent a flea-bag apartment—complete with six-foot cockroach—and go about trying to break into show business. After royally screwing up one too many auditions, Toupy has to get a job as a kindergarten teacher to pay the rent. Of course, the big lug actually likes it. Meanwhile, Teeter charms the ladies and gets into fistfights that he invariably wins. McShane’s ear for young bachelor banter and convincing rendition of the soulless business of entertainment combined with his painless drawing style, make for a mildly diverting, if not groundbreaking, comedy. (June)

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