Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R
Writer: John Ulloa and Al Bondigas
Artist and Letters: Juan Navarro
Cover: Juan Navarro and Roberto Torres
Editor: Julio Alvarez
Publisher: Creature Entertainment
I have always enjoyed titles that are somewhat unique. That’s a big part of why I love indie comics as much as I do. When I saw this one in an online auction a while back I figured it was worth it to see what this was about.
If you are looking for something unique “Tommy” fits the bill to a T. The focus of the story is a young boy named Tommy. He has an extremely active imagination. When grownups are not around his pet rabbit has the ability to walk on two legs and speak.
The rabbit, “Jack”, is not a kind and gentle imaginary friend. He’s vulgar, abusive, and downright dangerous. He wants to do unspeakable things to Tommy for goodness knows what reason.
Tommy’s mother appears and it looks like a bad situation from the perspective of a grown-up. When Tommy tries to explain everything his words fall on deaf ears.
We shift gears to Tommy’s school where Tommy’s teacher is telling the principal that the young man is troubled and needs help. The principal explains how that isn’t their job.
When we go back to Tommy’s home “Jack” is on a rampage. He rips off the head of Tommy’s teddy bear when it comes to Tommy’s defense. Things are getting very heated.
We see Tommy’s mother on the phone with his father saying that Tommy is crazy and needs help. Dad doesn’t seem to care. “Jack” overhears the conversation and takes exception to the word crazy and things escalate from there.
The cover artwork is a bit cartoonish, but it’s intended to be a spoof on a Trix box so it’s understandable. The artwork on the interior pages is very vivid. Jack is the stuff of nightmares.
“Tommy” is akin to Calvin and Hobbes, but much darker. It’s an incredible think piece on how mental health is handled in our country. People don’t want to listen when someone says there’s a problem.
The dialogue is very very powerful. From “Jack” to the principal, everything is written with a purpose in mind. There are a few “F bombs”, but it isn’t gratuitous.
The style of lettering for “Jack” is outstanding. It shows how maniacal this character truly is. The rest of the lettering is well done. It’s crisp, clear, and in a font that is easily readable.
The first couple pages had me thinking this was a snuff book. After getting over the initial shock it’s a powerful story that has a relatable character.
This is definitely not a kid-friendly book. Then again it’s not marketed as such. “Tommy” is a terrific example of why parents need to actually listen to their children as opposed to half-listening while dinking around on their phones.