ADVANCE REVIEW: Toe Tag Riot #1

Story: Matt Miner
Art: Sean Von Gorman
Cover Art: Tristan Jones and Rod Reis
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: November 26, 2014

I looked at the cover of Toe Tag Riot and groaned, more out of reflex than conscious distaste. More zombies? I mean, over the past several years zombies have pretty much caused the entertainment apocalypse as far as I’m concerned. I can’t flip on the TV, click a link or watch a movie without some sort of reference to the living dead. Much to my surprise, however, Riot throws a curveball where I was expecting an over-the-plate fastball.Toe Tag Riot #3

Unlike most of the recent contributions in the genre, the book doesn’t focus on an impending zombie judgment day or a past apocalypse with only a few survivors; it’s more personal, zeroing in on a punk rock band and their unusual perfomance personas. Y’see, the band has been cursed and each time they perform, they transform into zombies.

Miner’s story is about as fun as it gets when it comes to walking corpses and still manages to have something of a message as well. Instead of feasting wantonly on random people, the band tends to focus on bigots, racists and the socially intolerant as their foodstuff of choice. It’s a pretty cool spin on an overdone theme.

Toe Tag Riot #2The art isn’t overly detailed, but manages to effectively display the appropriate gross-out levels. Take Dickie’s bathroom break with a group of heckling neo-Nazi’s for instance. Good times. Beyond their dinner choices, the band itself is comprised of those not normally (or favorably) represented in mainstream media; lesbians, people of color, etc.

The thing that really keeps you reading is the way Miner has mixed and mashed the chronology of the book. We jump around from present to past and back again without ever being told just what brought about the band’s fortuitous curse.

Pick this up, support the creators and start a riot; in your head of course.

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