Toy was Mel’s first serialised manga, published in Xuan Xuan Magazine in three parts in 2003 and early 2004. Influenced by Osamu Tezuka’s robot stories, the three issues follow a schoolgirl who loves animals, but can’t have a pet of her own, until one day a mysterious box arrives on her doorstep. Inside is Cross, an adorable machine pet who is also intelligent, empathetic and completely capable of ripping buildings to shreds.

Toy was a fusion of a great cartoon premise and domestic Australian life, with settings and architecture lifted from Mel’s hometown – and while Cross’s origins were hinted at by the arrival of a shadowy thinktank intent on retrieving their property, Toy was left incomplete, the last frame a full-page splash as an aggravated – and no longer adorable – Cross exploded out of a locker to defend its owner from bullies.

Medium = Photoshop

A3 Print $20 AUD

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