Imagine if you were a comic book artist and every little scribble you put down on Bristol board came to life. It might be cool to have Josie and the Pussycats hanging out by the pool. But the Hulk? You don’t want that guy playing Wii in your living room.
But that’s exactly what’s happening to Willow Tate. She’s a popular comic book artist and she’s looking for new ideas to pitch to her publisher. Vampires and werewolves are over, she figures. Dragons and ghosts are overdone. But how about trolls? Yeah, trolls.
But as soon as she puts pen to paper, she looks out the window of her Manhattan apartment and sees a ten-foot-tall troll rampaging on the street below. Coincidence? Maybe not. Maybe she should give up comic books and start drawing Little Golden Books instead.
The appearance of the troll turns Willow’s world upside down. Suddenly there are secret agents knocking on her door telling her that she’s the key to “an apocalypse by aliens from another dimension.” All she wants to do is draw superhero comics. She’s not interested in saving the world.
Turns out she’s a “visualizer,” someone who has preternatural abilities to bring fantasy creatures to life. Sort of. In tandem with a “verbalizer” (someone who is able to communicate with these creatures), she is the link to a parallel universe filled with elves, ogres, faeries, and trolls.
Events lead her to a small village in the Hamptons filled with ESPers, witches, precogs, and inbred busybodies. During the day she’s trying to find a little kid who speaks elvish (he’s the verbalizer, of course), and at night she’s having world-shaking sex with a secret agent stud (check out chapter 24). As a cartoonist, Willow Tate is more Cathy Guisewite than Jack Kirby. As such, Trolls in the Hamptons is less about superhumans and more about unresponsive boyfriends, demanding bosses, meddling parents, and doting grandmothers. The titular troll, alas, is nothing but a minor character in his own book.
[Trolls In the Hamptons / By Celia Jerome / First Printing: November 2010 / ISBN: 9780756406301]