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Monday, March 27, 2017

Toothville Issue 1. Kim Roberts (Writer), Gabe Ostely (Art), Chris Allen (Colours & Letters). Swamp Line Productions (2017)

Very engaging and enjoyable first issue that develops an unexpected set up with with skill, detail and tremendous energy. There is trouble in Toothville, home of the tooth fairies, thanks to the new toothpaste, Decayless developed by Johnann Dipplurger. Tilda Hillfairy, the most unemployable tooth fairy in Toothville has developed Toothrot which could be the answer, unfortunately Tilda's demonstration is far too successful and she is banished. Determined to rescue Toothville Tilda finds out that Dipplurger is much more than a dentist and sets out to discover what he is really up to.
Kim Roberts has delivered a lot of story that solve the problems of a first issue with great energy and style. Toothville and Tilda are introduced with great energy, Tilda is not someone who fits into the traditional roles in Toothville, she has an exploring mind and the energy and patience to pursue her goals. She is also awkward and impatient, getting into trouble because she is in such a hurry. She has energy, confidence and a crackling charm that captures and engages the reader. A classic outsider who wants to be an insider, Tilda is off to discover much more than just the truth behind Decayless. Johnann Dipplurgerr is a suitable villain, he is determined and competent, his pursuit of secret knowledge was successful because he knew what to do to get what he wanted. Dipplurger and Tilda will make engaging opponents and the story possibilities that have been set up are deeply enticing.
Gabe Ostely art is perfect, it has energy and force, Tilda has the bright eyed approach and forceful presence that she needs. Johnann Dipplurger is a supervillian from his utterly insincere toothy smile to his wonderful swagger and careful preparations. The discipline of the art is very impressive, very tight control of the panel lays out manages the pace of the story with care and attention. The cast and context need to be slightly exaggerated to succeed without ever becoming overly cartoony. Gabe Ostely keeps the cast hugely expressive without ever betraying them, there are real emotions streaming through the cast.
Chris Allen's colours are a pleasure, they are bright and glowing as the fairy tale roots of the story and are a dark when they need to be as a fairy tale should be. They bring out the nuances and details of the story and the art with subtle effectiveness, they illuminate the story. The letters are natural and easy to read, the sound effects provide the emphasis needed to for the action and give the story the loud crunch that it deserves. A great fun comic that holds the promise of much more fun to come.

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