Just a portion of the graphic novel saved to Christopher Tuchenou's stolen laptop. Credit: Christopher Tuchenou
A New York artist is hoping to recover a stolen laptop containing the only copy of a graphic novel he spent six years completing.
Christopher Tuchenou, a 35-year-old self-described "jack of all trades," was at a Lower East Side McDonald's late one night earlier this month when he got up from his seat to get a soda.
While buying the drink, Tuchenou kept an eye on his bag, which was holding the computer. Though he saw two large men pass by, he didn't see them take anything. When he got back to the table, the bag — and years of hard work — was gone.
"The criminals in this town are pros. The problem is it is impossible to carry your bag always," Tuchenou said in an email.
He called the police. While the responding officers were friendly, Tuchenou said they admitted he'd probably never see his laptop again.
The officers told him that if he wanted to fill out a report, they wouldn't be able to classify the bag and its contents as "stolen" since he didn't witness the theft.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.
The novel — sort of like a Batman comic based in New York City for adults — is somewhat critical of police policies under the Bloomberg administration, Tuchenou said.
He said he wished the officers had reviewed nearby surveillance footage, but was told it wouldn't be useful.
By now, Tuchenou said police should be able to easily look at such tape to catch criminals.
"The police are powerless to stop most crime or solve most murders," he said.
Tuchenou said he didn't have a chance to save a copy of the novel. But his external hard drive was in the bag when it was taken, so he'd still be out of luck even if he had.
His next graphic novel will be a parody about Superman's sex life, but he's still hoping someone might be able to help him retrieve the other novel.
If anyone knows anything about the laptop or the novel, he asks that you email email@example.com. The laptop was in a black canvas bag with a logo for the Joyce Theater.