|Creator Brett Uren|
Published in Outre Vol 2
Date of publication 2013
|Publisher Toyburg Press Comixology|
Torsobear is a graphic novel series authored and edited by creator Brett Uren, as well as numerous contributing writers and artist. The series is co-edited by Glenn Møane. Torsobear is an anthology format with a main story arc running alongside contributed stories. The series was devised by Brett Uren after the positive feedback he received from his experimental publication in the 2013 second volume of the Outré anthology. The main story of this noir parody focuses on Detective Ruxby Bear as he investigates the criminal goings on in the imaginary town of Toyburg.
Volume 1: Yarns from Toyburg
The first volume was an experimental piece capitalising on the success of the original short story and included that work as the opening piece in the book. Uren invited contributors to pitch stories for the book which would run alongside his main theme in order to flesh out the world and provide a dramatic backstory to the environment in which these toys lived. The core of the book revolves around Ruxby Bear and his investigations into the recent Torsobear Killings. Over all there were 12 stories in this volume by a variety of contributors with cover art by Hal Laren.
Uren successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project in July 2014 and print copies of the book were made available for purchase. Uren intended to release a digital version of the book through Comixology's Submit series but ran into copyright problems with Comixology's legal department, specifically around the A New Hopelessness story which focussed on cheap imitation toys and their place in the toy world. Comixology believed that the main protagonists bore too close a resemblance to characters owned by Disney, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Uren was required to edit the art in order to allow the work to be published. Volume 1 went live on Comixology in April 2015.
Reception for the first volume was generally positive, with the majority of reviews citing the originality of the book and its sinister tones playing a major part in its effectiveness. Good Reads says the book was high in "emotional resonance and depth". A Place to Hang Your Cape says that it is "a combination of noir-homage and toy culture" that challenges "the reader as to how far the fusion of adult themes with a child-friendly setup can be accepted. Ain’t for the faint of fluff indeed."
Volume 2: All Stitched Up
The second volume in the series was released in the last quarter of 2015. Uren ran a second successful Kickstarter campaign in June 2015. Again, the central theme revolves around Ruxby Bear, who has this time been incarcerated for crimes he is innocent of, all the while in pursuit of a vicious killer who is turning toys inside out. This volume is geared up to deliver its conclusion in a third volume set for release sometime in 2016. Stories included are:
Reception for the second volume was again positive.
Volume 3: Back on the Blocks
The third and final volume concludes Ruxby's story as well as tying up smaller arcs from some supporting characters built up over the three volumes. A Kickstarter campaign is due to run during September 2016 with an estimated released date of December 2016, bringing the trilogy to a close. Cover is again provided by Hal Laren. Distribution for this volume will be handled by Uren as well as Source Point Press for a wider international audience. Stories included are: