All about the Tom Kids

The Tom Kids set was created to build interest in the Hong Kong-based startup internet company. The hype behind Tom.com with the addition of six limited edition Michael Lau figures helped make Tom.com a huge buy when stock became public.

In fact there was such a huge demand for Tom.com stock on it's first day of trading that the Hong Kong stock exchange had to close early. I don't know how much this has to do with the popularity of Michael's figures but it certainly didn't hurt.


From left to right: Killjoy, D mon, Immune, Tomm, Madcap and Ocellus.


Note: Michael rarely got permission to use any brand names when making clothes and shoes for his figures. To him it was art, to the companies it was free grassroots urban-art advertising, hence no lawsuits have come from this.

The Tom.com logo is an aserix (*) Michael put the symbol somewhere on each figure. For example the asterix is shaved on the back of the afro of Immune, wide on the t-shirt of Tomm and tattooed on the left eye of Ocellus.

To the left are all of the figures in their boxes. Each figure came with extra shoes (or flip-flops) the shoes for each character reads as follows Immune: Gravis Tarmac, Tomm: Adidas Superstar, D mon: Gravis Merc, Ocellus & Madcap: Gravis shoes and Killjoy: Clarks. Each character also came with an extra shirt, laptop computer, pet dog and sticker sheet.

Needless to say collectors that managed to get all six rare Tom Kids are lucky fellows. You can see the attention to detail Michael pays when not only designing figures but accessorizing and packaging them as well.



All about Tokyo Tribe

Santa Inoue writes and draws a manga in Japan called Tokyo Tribe. In it he chronicles the lives of fictional gangs in an ultra violent, Hip Hop, urban world. Santa has received acclaim for his art and representation of street culture the world over. His manga, characters and story are not presented in any typical Japanese format, but is instead a mixture of Japanese, American and European storytelling devices. The Tokyo Tribe series can be seen in the pages of Boon. A hip fashion and street culture magazine from Japan. Boon can be considered the Japanese equivalent of East Touch from Hong Kong.

The hero of the story is Kai, pictured far right. His arch rival and head tough guy of the Wu-Ronz gang is named Meera, pictured immediate right. Meera killed Kai's best friend early on in Tokyo Tribe 2. The series chronicles revenge, murder, warfare and ultimately redemption.

The streets of Tokyo are run by several gangs, for the most part, Kai's Saru tribe is relatively low-key and mostly interested in hanging out. The other, more violent gangs like Waru, Hands and the Wu-Ronz are literally at war on the streets.


Michael Lau's Meera and Kai are pictured above. Several issues of Tokyo Tribe 2 and a reprint of the original Tokyo Tribe are presented below.
Santa's work is the manga equivalent of Michael Lau's groundbreaking art. Some of the fashions in the Gardener figures comes from the Tokyo Tribe comics. Michael was commissioned to create stylized versions of Kai and Meera once Tokyo Tribe 2 was released. Since that time Michael and Santa have become good friends. Santa interviews Michael in the CD-ROM that came with the Gardenergala box set.


Santa has been working on manga for many years. Like Michael he did not suddenly appear overnight but has instead been creating a name for himself in underground circles.

To the right are some other books that Santa has created. From left to right, Neighborhood 13, Santa Land 1 and Santa Land 2.

Santa deals with very adult subject matter in all of his books. His manga content is extremely graphic in it's portrayals of sex and violence. It is not a series recommended for young audiences.


In 2005 Michael released a crossover project called Garden Tribe, featuring Square in the role of three main characters from the series. From left to right they are Ah Square, Hasquarem and SquareRa.




Click on Michael's back to go to the Crazy Children page.

Click on Michael to go to the michael gallery page.

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Fan-based web page and illustrations by Noe V. Updated Quarterly