Stymie and Toffel is a kid’s eye view adventure set in a very different near future Toronto, but my version of dystopia is all about finding fun with friends and trying our best, despite the chaos – just like so many youngsters before us, who grew up in especially crazy times!
Stymie and Toffel are a couple of (imaginary) hilariously independent and eccentric twelve year old orphans, who came to live with my wife and I a few years ago. We love their odd perspective and funny zero budget life hacks. It’s helpful to think about how the chaotic world looks to a clever kid who is trying their very best.
Kids once got a diet rich in hope and inspiration – to help them reach and try hard. But kids now get scary adult information very early. They understand perfectly well that their future world is an open question. But nobody ever says to kids that just because things are bound to change, that doesn’t mean the future has to totally suck.
We will still be here, and together we made: skill, art, kindness, honour, friendship, trust, welcome, compassion, respect, and family (both natural and chosen) – long before we had factories, jet planes and cellphones. We adults can’t bear to think clearly about a different world. Our kids and grandkids can’t ignore it, and are made lonely by our denial. They deserve a vision of the future in which hope and cleverness will still be worthwhile on the far side of our crisis. And friendship, at least a hundred times more.
Stymie and Toffel. A tale of post collapse Toronto, music, friendship, loyalty, and finding your family at last.
Stymie and Toffel is a 196 Page story – with 19 superb illustrations by Andrew (Refoe) Foerster – in Trade Format (8.5″ x 5.5″) Softcover. Almost exactly one quarter kilogram in weight.