Tozzer and the Invisible Lap Dancers

 TATD   (Ablaze, 2002)

™ and © 2002 Ablaze Media Limited

Pulling off a parody or a spoof is a tough thing to do—maybe one of the hardest things to do, if Hollywood has shown us anything. While Tozzer is not a direct spoof on a specific project, it is something of a direct spoof on popular culture of the past decade.

Tozzer lives in a trailer park (the name of which defies printing) and dreams of being an illusionist. Among the characters living in the trailer park with him are Hannibal Lecter, Gwyneth Paltrow, and John Travolta as Terl in Battlefield Earth.

Tozzer’s wish comes true, as he is invited to Boarboils School of Drama, a school that will teach him his craft. The school is obviously modeled after Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series, but the staff and classmates are not the same. Teachers are modeled on the recent Charlie’s Angels remake, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus from The Matrix, and shock rapper Eminem.

The scene has been set and comes close to pulling it off. Tozzer has a good premise that relies a little too heavy on adult language and sexual innuendos. There are laugh-out-loud moments scattered throughout all its 80 pages, but somewhere along the way it falls just short of the finish line. An amazing facet of the book is how many spoofs writer Rob Dunlop was able to pull off well. Tozzer and The Invisible Lap Dancers embraces popular culture while at the same time thumbing its nose at it.

Who are The Invisible Lap Dancers? That’s never revealed, but how can a reader complain, when a comic book features Robert Downey Jr. showing kids how not to do drugs by doing them?

— Nathan Melby

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ca. 2002Rob DunlopPeter Lumby