My Brother, Teddy
Remember when you were a kid lost in your imagination with your toys scattered across the floor? You with your favorite toy; maybe it was a cowboy, an action figure, a doll or a teddy bear. It doesn’t matter which one you had because we’ve all felt that unbreakable bond that a kid has with their favorite toy. But what if that bond was tested? What if the bond was so strong, the toy took on a life of its own to leap into hell with the hope of returning you home.
From the first panel, My Brother, Teddy carries you into childhood’s dreams in a story that intertwines fantasy, terror and action, and that plays with your expectations and talks the double-language of fiction, reality and memory. If you ever have played with your superhero toys or imagined lost worlds within the realms of your own room (which I definitely have done), this comic will touch something inside your heart, and let that sparkle develop and move you through it.
This dialogue-free, visual story-based comic comes along with a soundtrack by Lawren Brianna Ware that walks between pianos, atmospheric and windy sounds, and jazzy electronica to create an epical musical landscape to our heroes’ journey. The only text on this comic is single lines in full-page black panels, and the use of this placard-style of narration, alongside the music, makes My Brother, Teddy feel like a musically arranged silent comic of sorts, with a core relationship to silent movies’ expressionism, visual action and extradiegetic soundtrack, alongside an outstanding use of the possibilities of the page and the panel. It’s a preciously written comic where the visual motion tells everything you need to know, and the interlude placard pages make sure the reading flow stops and you acknowledge the emotional closeness of this narration. And that clearly gets complemented perfectly when you play the music alongside it.
While Jaromir François’ script is surely made to bring you the closeness and soft epicness that this tale requires, Todor Hristov’s art makes sure to give this fictional world an astounding weight and presence that perfectly represents the spark all of us feel playing with imaginary worlds in our rooms. The line art is emotive, expressive and fantasy-infused, with a complex, detailed and risky inking that still doesn’t take away from or muds Sonya Anastasova’s vibrant colors. Said coloring is perfectly composed to draw attention to the scenes and, while impassioned and expressing a lot about the story, lingers beautifully with a perfect balance between intensity and calm. All of those things together, plus a detail for shadowing, form composition and a combination of humane first-face panels with epic fantasy sinuous monsters, make this comic a precious visual jewel as much as is a moving story that will most probably make you cry.
A beautifully narrated visual story that uses innovative form and presentation alongside emotive art, complex inking and vibrant colors to arrive to the heart of childhood's memories.
My Brother, Teddy: Memories From The Heart
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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