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A 104 page anthology Graphic Novel. Ruxby Bear and Toyburg PD investigate cases of violence, corruption and murder in a city of toys.
A 104 page anthology Graphic Novel. Ruxby Bear and Toyburg PD investigate cases of violence, corruption and murder in a city of toys.
131 backers pledged £6,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg is the first volume of a cartoon noir comic book, about toy-on-toy crime in a fantastic city of playthings, created by Brett Uren. 

Anybody who loves cute toys and cartoons, new and old will love the ELEVEN stories contained within. But be warned, these yarns ain't for the faint of fluff!

FINAL WEEK ONLY! BACKERS THAT TAKE US PAST 5% MILESTONES GET A FREE ORIGINAL SAOIRSE LOUISE TOWLER HAND-PAINTED PAGE!!

‘In the fluffy noir world of Torsobear, not all toys play nice!

Welcome to the city of Toyburg, where the sweet streets are teeming with crime, passion, and murders most foul. They are walked (for the most part) by grim detectives, burned-out has-beens, femme fatales and tragic heroes.

The dismembered bodies of teddy bears are being found in back alleys of Mindy Mile district, and it’s up to our hero, rookie detective Ruxby Bear and his partner officer Hazbrow to solve this string of murders, no matter how high and far the clues take them.

Between cases, we take a look into the lives of Toyburg’s citizens, police and criminals. No matter where you turn, this city has something sinister hidden just behind the storybook surface.

Remember, it’s always fun until someone gets hurt...’

Ruxby drives through Sugary Hills in 'She Sang For Buttons, She Unstitched My Heart'. Art by Brett Uren, colours by Harry Saxon, Letters by Mick Schubert.
Ruxby drives through Sugary Hills in 'She Sang For Buttons, She Unstitched My Heart'. Art by Brett Uren, colours by Harry Saxon, Letters by Mick Schubert.

We need the funding to pay our diverse creative team for their input, and the first printing of the book itself for shipping to backers and sale at conventions. We will also make it available digitally.

The original Torsobear story was first published as a short story in the pages of the digital anthology book, Outré. 

Such was the positive reaction from readers and press, with interest from comic book creators, that a collaborative project emerged from that small initial idea, growing into a whole world with a rich history and social structure.

Old time Toyburg cops beat on immgrant bears in Janos Honkonen's 'The Big Wind Up'. Art by Saoirse Towler, letters by Mick Schubert.
Old time Toyburg cops beat on immgrant bears in Janos Honkonen's 'The Big Wind Up'. Art by Saoirse Towler, letters by Mick Schubert.

In the book, rookie detective Ruxby Bear discovers an unstitched bear torso on his first day and follows the investigation into great danger with his partner, a racist old wooden soldier named Hazbrow. 

The other yarns take us into the lives of historical police toys and bear immigrants, a wrestler figure who fears the forces of Playtime, ex-bad guys getting framed, knock-off toys fighting for equality, a fashion retailer with dubious sources, an ex-army guy fighting for his livelihood and a creepy man doll on the con.

Hazbrow interrogates ex-villain-turned-PI Snaplok in Cy Dethan's 'Some Assembly Required'. Art by Pete Mason, letters by Nic Wilkinson.
Hazbrow interrogates ex-villain-turned-PI Snaplok in Cy Dethan's 'Some Assembly Required'. Art by Pete Mason, letters by Nic Wilkinson.

Alongside my contributions, this first volume will feature the writing talents of Cy Dethan (Cancertown), Janos Honkonen (Finnish novel Kaiken yllä etana), Glenn Møane (Fubar: American History Z, Outré), Brockton McKinney (Ehmm Theory), Kieran Squires (The Shadows of Vicenti), Frank Martin, Jake Young and Grainne McEntee (Apes 'n' Capes). Art will be provided by Pete Mason (Cancertown), Carlos Nick Zamudio (The Remains), Saoirse Louise Towler (Discworld stamps, Whispers magazine), Joel Cotejar (Toxic Storm), Randy Haldeman (The Jacket), Matt Rooke (Apes 'n' Capes) Jon Scrivens (Little Terrors) with pin ups by artists to be announced. Lettering comes from Nic Wilkinson and Michael Schubert with colours by myself, Pete Mason, Harry Saxon and Faye Harmon (The Vale, Kuzimu). The cover was created by Hal Laren (Reaper Comics, Dan Dare). The book was edited by myself and Glenn Møane.

We have some excellent treats for backers of all levels.

My previous books, Kuzimu and The Vale can be obtained on some reward levels (mature readers only for these titles), as can sketch cards, posters, t-shirts and original artwork from the artists! For fans of fun and crime, this is something totally unique, bursting with energy and passion!

NEW REWARDS FOR FINAL WEEK

Upgrade your pledge to get these merch items -

Plus we have a new top reward, for the truly dedicated fan who wants a unique painted canvas, or retailers looking to sell Torsobear in their store -

FREE COMICS!

For helping us out, you can unlock free digital comics for all, to be delivered to you immediately when we hit funding milestones! Check our updates on this page for more details.

ART PRIZES FOR BACKERS!

Saoirse Towler's watercolour pages are up for grabs at milestones too, and all backers on a given day are automatically entered into a sketch contest.

REFER A FRIEND OR SHARE FOR EVEN MORE REWARDS!

If you're a backer and refer a friend to back us (they need to tell me in a message), then you get the below art print of Ruxby (limited edition). Even non-backers get on the thank page in our book if a new backer tells us where they saw your post.

We can also show you the first Ruxby Bear plushie that has been produced. Look at his adorable little hat. Only 20 will be made, so be sure to pledge for one quickly!

Reviews for the Torsobear original short story -

       

‘The best contribution by far (in both art and writing) has to be Torsobear by Brett Uren… It is beautiful, stunning, and haunting. And I wanted more.’ – Max Delgado, Unleash The Fanboy 

‘It reads like Raymond Chandler meets Teddy Ruxpin with a generous dose of Robert Crumb and we’d love to see a full series of it.’ – Pipedream Comics

‘The art style and color choices made it feel like a more disturbing and adult Hanna Barbera piece, and the blend of issues such as racism, crises of faith, and horrific crimes with a world of toys resonated with me.’ – Jodi Scaife, Fanboy Comics

‘There are few comics out there as innocently decadent as this one. In fact, I can’t think of the last time I read a story akin to Brett Uren’s Torsobear. It is more than just a well-executed piece of parody pulp – it’s a marvellously constructed yet endearingly simple tale of subversion, and demonstrates just how strong a story can be when combining the innocent with the deadly.’ - Fred Mac, A Place To Hang Your Cape

With your help and support, perhaps we can add even more to the Torsobear experience. Here are some possibilities should we exceed the original goal:

Risks and challenges

I and many of the team have a track record of delivering indie books of calibre equal to anything you'll find the major publishers putting out. In fact some of our contributors have already run successful Kickstarters.

With such a diverse team and complex project we've already had to put in a lot of the work that can be done upfront. This is in order to make sure the whole thing is able to be completed for delivery up to a couple of months after funding.

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $3.35

    WALLPAPER - You receive a digital copy of the Torsobear Wallpaper! This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    DIGITAL - You receive a digital PDF/CBR version of Torsobear, plus the wallpaper. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $17

    DIGITAL COLLECTION - You receive a digital PDF/CBR version of Torsobear, Brett Uren's previous comics Kuzimu Volume 1 & 4 issues of The Vale, plus the wallpaper. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $25

    ADD T-SHIRT - Add £15 to your existing pledge reward, get a t-shirt (please tell us your size), This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $34

    BOOK - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, with a special inside cover sketch if you pledge in week one of the campaign. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £5 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $42

    BOOK PLUS POSTER - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus a sketch on an A6 sketch card. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £5 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £35 or more About $59

    BOOK PLUS T-SHIRT - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a t-shirt (please tell us your size), plus a sketch on an A6 sketch card. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £5 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £35 or more About $59

    BOOK TIMES TWO - You receive 2 print copied of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus a sketch on an A6 sketch card. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £5 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £45 or more About $75

    ADD PLUSHIE - Add £45 to your existing pledge reward, get a handmade Ruxby Plushie, This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $84

    BOOK COLLECTION - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus Brett Uren's previous comics: Kuzimu Volume 1 & 4 issues of The Vale. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £5 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £70 or more About $117

    ORIGINAL ART - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a sketch on an A6 sketch card, plus one piece of original art from the book by Brett Uren or Saoirse Towler. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg.
    Pledge includes £10 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £90 or more About $151

    PLUSH TOY - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus a t-shirt, plus Brett Uren's previous comics: Kuzimu Volume 1 & 4 issues of The Vale & a plush toy of Ruxby Bear himself. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £10 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £120 or more About $201

    YOU ARE A TOY - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, a t-shirt, plus you will be drawn as a toy into the book itself, plus one piece of original art from the book by Brett Uren or Saoirse Towler, plus a sketch card of you as a toy. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £10 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $503

    CITIZEN OF TOYBURG - You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus a t-shirt, plus Brett Uren's previous comics: Kuzimu Volume 1 & 4 issues of The Vale, plus a plush toy of Ruxby Bear himself, plus you get any future Brett Uren creator-owned comics for free for the next 10 years & an artwork commission of your choice (Please provide contact details and address so we can keep in touch). This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £10 for shipping within the UK.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $838

    MAYOR OF TOYBURG - Individuals: You receive a print copy of Torsobear, plus a poster, plus a t-shirt, plus Brett Uren's previous comics: Kuzimu Volume 1 & 4 issues of The Vale, plus a plush toy of Ruxby Bear himself, plus you get a Torsobear-themed 3 foot art canvas, painted by Brett Uren. Comics Retailers: You get a package of 40 Torsobear books (your advert in the back of all books), 10 T-Shirts and 4 handmade Ruxby Plush Toys for sale at your store. Due to the nature of this reward, delivery to individuals will take longer than for other reward levels. This level and all above have their name listed in the thank you section of Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg. Pledge includes £10 for shipping within the UK.

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Funding period

- (30 days)