Sunday, December 1, 2013

To Catch a Tooth by Dylan Campbell

I received a comic book this weekend from LA based comic creator Dylan Campbell and thought I'd do a little review of it right away since I had such a good time reading it.

To Catch a Tooth is Campbell's 15-page comic book debut and tells about two boys that want to catch the tooth fairy. Why? So they can rob her of her money. She must be carrying loads of cash, since so many kids lose  one of their teeth every night, right? Imagine their surprise when they hit the fairy on her head with a baseball bat and the fairy shows a lot of resemblance with... their DAD!? Is it really him though? To verify, the boys ask the fairy some basic questions only their father would know. If it's really him he must surely know how old they are, what their favourite food is and other such things?

Losing our teeth is an experience we all share and placing that newly lost tooth under our pillow to be replaced by a buck from the tooth fairy is another one of those events we all remember. That naive excitement we have as kids. It was almost better than Santa, since the tooth fairy is one of those real myths. No one has ever seen the tooth fairy, since she only visits when we are asleep, whereas Santa... I mean you can sit on his lap and even invite him into your home. Not as magical...

Campbell writes a fine debut here. There is some clever dialogue that is funnily entertaining. You can truly see he loves the medium. He brings these characters to life in just 15 pages. I loved the distracted dad in the first pages. We all know how busy our dads always were when we were kids, busy working or busy with their own hobby. You would probably recognise this characteristic in yourself now too, whether you're a dad or not. But kids can be so entertaining and take in pretty much everything you tell them. When they come to a certain age though they start to doubt you, not your love and care for them, but the words that come out of your mouth. And rightly so! The number of little lies we tell our kids, I mean where do you even start counting? Campbell does a great job showing this great father and son dynamic. At the same time he shows us how quickly little kids start having corrupted ideas. To rob the tooth fairy for loads of cash?! How disappointed would you be when your kid told you this? At the same time you'd probably think, why you hadn't though of that yourself when you were a kid. Gotcha, the source of your own corrupted kid!

Needless to say and I may repeat myself here, but I really enjoyed reading this comic. I think it goes a little too far yet to draw comparisons with Calvin & Hobbes, but I think it's a pretty good guess, that this is where Campbell got some of his inspiration from. We all love Calvin & Hobbes, and if you don't, get lost! Seriously just go away and stop reading this blog! But I think if Campbell succeeds in taking the potential of the characters he created here to different situations, we might be looking at a long and successful career. I don't know if Campbell's ambition is to further develop these characters, but I think he should, since I fell in love with this family. Bring in a cat, a dog and a gold fish and I see endless opportunities for this family. Oh and one minor complaint... next time more pages please! Yes, that's probably the complaint any creator can't get enough of...

So how can you get your greedy hands on a copy of To Catch a Tooth? You can buy a digital copy on amazon, but if you prefer a physical copy then grab one at one of the LA based comic stores. You may also contact Campbell via his blog or send him a tweet @renaissancedude.

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