Review – Tinsletown #1 (Alterna Comics)

Publisher: Alterna Comics
Writer: David Lucarelli
Artist: Henry Ponciano
Release Date: 4th April 2018

Hollywood is a hot topic right now, to say the least. After the recent #metoo movement, our thoughts are quite rightly tarnished by the many abuses of power by executives in that seemingly alien land known as Hollywood. But people forget that it’s been like this for at least a hundred years now and, sadly, many men and women have got lost chasing that dream of stardom.

It’s this mindset that really piqued when I first came upon the description for Tinsletown. David Lucarelli’s tale inspired by the true events of women in the Universal Studios Police Department. Our heroine is Abigail Moore, daughter of a L.A. police officer gunned down while she was still young. Since then, she wanted nothing more than to follow in his footsteps, and, against the grain of the time, become a police officer herself.

Unfortunately, the LAPD had already filled their quota of three (yes, three) female police officers out of the hundreds of men and, as Miss Moore says, she sure doesn’t want to be a secretary. But thankfully the new Utopia Studios is taking auditions for their private police department, which she jumps at the chance to join, soon finding out things are never that simple in Hollywood.

I really enjoyed this insight into the time period in question. It feels like a story like this is exactly what’s needed in today’s climate; a focused woman taking no rubbish in a world where you were expected to be seen and not heard.

This first issue paints an accurate picture of a time that we forget about and a specific part of the entertainment business that I myself wasn’t aware of. When women had little say or choice about what they did in life, they were expected to conform into the roles of mother/housewife, or into particular jobs, and expected to remain silent when they were cat-called or belittled everywhere they went. The women in Tinsletown are the strongest characters in the story in my view. They’re the ones that push the story it along, and they manage it without falling into the vintage stereotypes of the time like their male counterparts do.

You can tell the personal investment that Lucarelli has put into this plot, making sure that the first issue is clearly establishing these characters in the minds of the reader, and ensuring that you not only know the world but the importance of it and how the characters react as a result to it. And what a beautifully vintage world it is, too. Henry Ponciano draws a wonderfully accurate Los Angeles with all the colourful brightness of Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, with a few panels teasing it could get just as dark.

My only real problem with the issue is that it might have spent a little too long a time establishing the setting and characters and not enough on the actual policing aspect. But I do understand the importance of this process and, judging from the ending it’s clear we’ll delve straight into it next issue, which I can definitely say I’m looking forward to.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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