"Tommy #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Creature Entertainment
Written by John Ulloa and Al Bondiga
Illustrated by Juan Navarro
2011, 28 Pages
While I had an active imagination as a child, I never made the jump into imaginary friends. It just seemed like a line that I could never cross. That doesn't seem to be a problem for Tommy, though. He's got a couple imaginary friends, but they're not all looking to play games. On the one hand, there's Mister Cuddles, a lovable and peaceful teddy bear. Then there's Jack. He's Tommy's pet rabbit and when Tommy's mother isn't around, he's a real asshole. He's verbally and physically abusive to the boy and downright vicious to Mister Cuddles. Jack is about to go a step further though and it's going to get bloody.
The setup for Tommy is an interesting one, albeit a little disturbing. Tommy has pets and toys that double as imaginary friends, sort of like an altered version of Toy Story. Mister Cuddles and Jack represent the two different sides of his conscience, like the angel and devil that would appear on the shoulders of a character in old cartoons. Each is taken to the extreme. It's unclear what is real. Is all this actually happening? Or is Tommy mentally unstable? Either way, it's going to get pretty dangerous pretty quickly.
When I said that these characters were taken to extremes, I meant it. Jack isn't just evil. He's demented. This isn't a matter of him getting Tommy to say a bad word or steal money from his mother's purse. The comic opens with Jack threatening to stick Icy Hot up Tommy's ass. Needless to say, he would tear Bugs Bunny apart.
Juan Navarro's artwork has a bit of a cartoonish style in Tommy. The title character has big innocent eyes. The mean school principal looks like a dried up prune of a woman. Then there's Jack. He seems to get bigger and scarier as the issue continues. At first he's only a little larger than Tommy, with some hyper-realistic and gnarly teeth. Picture the rabbit from Donnie Darko but tougher. As the violence ensues, Jack appears to get stronger and it shows in his stature. By the end of the comic, he looks like a giant.
Tommy is a creepy take on imaginary friends and what could amount to serious mental illness. The young boy is clearly troubled, but it's not his fault. Will Jack help him “grow a spine” as the animal claims? Or will it send the boy further down the rabbit hole? (HAR HAR! See what I did there?) Either way, this comic has made sure that I will never own a pet bunny. Hell, I probably won't eat Trix cereal ever again.
Tommy can be purchased directly from Creature Entertainment through their official site.