Tove and her brother, Dag, are on an ordinary outing with their biologist father, when they find a derelict alien space ship. Like most kids, they decide to go exploring. Unlike most kids, they find a strange device that sends Tove to the Halls of Fate, whereupon her spirit guide, an Oobol, explains the Gemhakumen are attacking Earth. Tove however isn’t interested in fighting bad guys, and heads home. But when she and Dag catch up with their father, they learn a meteor has crash-landed in the center of Little Star City. Looks like Tove might have to fight evil after all.
Written by Severin Piehl, Tove is a surreal comic combining fantasy and science fiction. Begun in 2014, the series is still only on the second chapter. Although the first chapter deals with Tove’s trip to the Halls of Fate, the second is concerned with the family and their friends investigating the meteor hole, as well as introducing other characters and the town of Little Star. Both chapters are exposition-heavy, with little emphasis on character development. Essentially, the surface of the characters is what the reader can expect. A tagline for the comic states Tove is “tasked with bringing her brother home after the end of the world,” so there is hope the story takes off soon. The only fighting is best described as “cartoonishly slapstick,” in keeping with the overall light-hearted tone.
Visually, the art is a contemporary mixture of Japanese manga and American cartooning. The main human characters are slightly off-kilter in anatomy and proportion; secondary and background characters are an eclectic mix of fantastical and bizarre. The architecture of the comic’s universe is rounded corners and elongated lines, adding a funhouse-style atmosphere. The colors are starkly primary, with little shading and blending, adding to the whimsical nature. While the story is slow, the graphic details are fun to view again and again.
Tove shows a lot of promise and a good read for the young and young at heart. Check it out at Tovecomic.com.