TINSEL TOWN #1 by David Lucarelli, Henry Ponciano, and HDE
The dialogue in TINSEL TOWN #1 does a lot of work both for plot and characterization. The illustrations and coloring go to add on to the characterization of the comic. TINSEL TOWN #1 is a must read!
98 %
Strong Comic

Everyone has a job that they wanted when they were a kid. In TINSEL TOWN #1, readers get to see a woman from the early 1900s chasing after her dream job. Written by David Lucarelli and illustrated by Henry Ponciano, TINSEL TOWN looks at movie sets,  police officers, and gender equality, or the lack thereof.

Incident Report

TINSEL TOWN #1 follows the story of Abigail Moore. Her father, a police officer, was killed when Abigail was a child. She was forced to move in with a relative,  go to a vocational school, and get a job at a young age. So, she became angry with the world around her. However, she still had dreams and ambitions of becoming a police officer, just like her father had been. However, in the time period of the comic, those kind of goals didn’t become reality very easily. Abigail applied for a position with the L.A.P.D., as they had employed three women as police officers. She didn’t make the cut. She continued to lead a bitter life, enraged at the world for denying her so much.

Then, she sees an advertisement for a position at the Utopia Police Department, open to men and women. Eager to follow her dream, she applies. With little more than an interview to the application process, Abigail begins to think this job may not be what she thought it was. She finds herself immediately disappointed after receiving the position. She becomes upset when she realizes what it really entails. Still, she stays with the job under the promise of receiving a recommendation for the L.A.P.D. So, she agrees to endure it.

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Writing Up TINSEL TOWN #1

David Lucarelli was inspired to write TINSEL TOWN by his mother, a police officer. This tells readers that he is aware of some struggles that women in the police force face. He presents these difficulties with care from the experiences of his mother.

Image courtesy of Alterna Comics

The dialogue in TINSEL TOWN #1, particularly that of Miss Redwood, is telling of the plot. Miss Redwood asks Abigail why she’s there, and Abigail answers that she wants to be a police officer. Miss Redwood’s follow up question, “And then what?” tells readers that Abigail might be getting something other than what she bargained for. We see this foreshadowing supported when Abigail finds out that she is basically a prop. Miss Redwood tells Abigail that she will occasionally escort someone off the premises, but mainly she’s there to look good. The dialogue continued to provide foreshadowing of future events throughout the comic. Thus, the dialogue helps to support the plot.

This same use of dialogue characterizes Abigail. She doesn’t speak too often in the comic. When she does, it becomes telling of her character. At first she speaks with reservation. Her sentences trail off several times. Later, as she gains more confidence, we see her speaking longer and stronger lines. This transition shows not only her growing confidence, but also her growing frustration. This is clear, because the longer bits of dialogue she says are usually talking about her rethinking the job. Ultimately, the dialogue is the driving force behind the writing of TINSEL TOWN #1

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Not a Sketch Artist, But an Artist

TINSEL TOWN #1 uses clean lines to portray the characters in great detail. Henry Ponciano shows readers everything from laugh lines to strands of hair. We see this all done through the use of line. For example, Abigail has a defined chin, even when seen at a three quarters angle. The line that runs just below her lip creates definition.

Because her chin is so prominent, readers are given a sense of her stubbornness. The way her chin becomes a significant feature of her face, gives the appearance of Abigail constantly pouting. Perhaps, instead, she is gritting her teeth in frustration. We know about her stubbornness from the narration and dialogue. So, this appearance displays her character traits.

Image courtesy of Alterna Comics

In addition to seeing Abigail’s stubbornness visually, the coloring portrays Abigail’s bleak outlook on life. We know from the narration that she leads a life full of bitter feelings. The coloring uses heavy shading to represent this. The shadows are so prominent that at times we can just barely tell the hair color of the characters with brown hair. The shading also has little gradient, it usually starts or stops without much of an inbetween. This creates a contrast that shows Abigail still has hope. The contrast between heavy shading and full color is visually stunning, while still conveying Abigail’s characteristics.

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Making the Arrest

TINSEL TOWN #1 is the story of a strong woman making her way in the world, with a dream of being in the police force. The dialogue foreshadows for events later in the comic. Additionally, the dialogue tells a lot about the characters, specifically about Abigail’s discomfort with the situation. The clean lines create details that support the characterization of Abigail. Also, heavy shadows are used to show Abigail’s outlook on life.

David Lucarelli and Henry Ponciano have made an excellent comic that can be purchased through Alterna Comics. TINSEL TOWN #1 shows the beginning of feminine power being taken back. With characters like Miss Redwood and Abigail, I think it’s safe to assume we’re going to see real strength in women within this comic. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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