By Julz Hendricks
A punk rock zombie story focusing on human rights, Toe Tag Riot has rocked it's way into my life.
Starting off as a Kickstarter, Toe Tag Riot quickly gained massive attention. A comic that is pro- LGBTQ, and anti-hate is something that people are going to have a lot to say about. Even the Westboro Baptist church couldn't resist putting their two cents in, endorsing the comic without realizing they were even doing it. I am happy that this comic got all the attention that it totally deserves. Not to mention, it's an indie comic and I really love supporting them anytime I am able to.
The story is simple, yet so compelling. A punk rock band that turn into zombies when they perform their music. Each time, the transformation to their normal selves takes longer and longer. They also didn't always have the popular fandom that they now, even though they now have a whole other set of zombie problems. As they deal with their overwhelming sense of integrity, they are also dealing with their insatiable, ever growing appetites. Paulie is a vegetarian, so his conundrum is definitely a hard one to overcome. Annie has a hard time controlling her knew found hunger, and almost takes a bite out of Andrew Hurley (Fall Out Boy). The very end of this issue gives us a glimpse of what this group of zombies don't have a problem eating: the worst humanity has to offer.
Matt Miner has given this comic such a strong voice, and the message is bright in a dark world. I can appreciate that this is not your ordinary zombie story, which can sometimes seem regurgitated. This is a fresh take on the genre. They have morals and feelings. This makes what they stand for all the more emotional. Miner doesn't shy away from laying it all out there, and that's what makes this comic so much fun to read. Miner has been putting out comics I can stand behind, and he's a comic role model for so many people. I am excited to see how Miner will take it to the next level, eventually ending on a fourth issue explosion.
Sean Von Gorman's art brings rock and spunk to this comic. The panels are not so crowded that things get lost in the background, and you can see everything effortlessly. The zombies are rad looking, matching Miner's writing perfectly. I always love when artist take on zombies, mainly because they don't have a real model to go on as to what a zombie looks like. It's all in how they think they should look, and I think Von Gorman kills it.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the talents of John Rauch on this comic. His colors are an equal match for the tone, and the watercolor like panels are really pleasing to the eyes. The colors warm you as you dance to the beat of the story Miner and Von Gorman are telling. There is a tremendous amount of talent on this book, and I'm happy to see it spread it's message of love and acceptance.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Toe Tag Riot you can find here.
Julz Hendricks is a co-host of the all female podcast Chickcast, as well as the We Be Geeks podcast (www.webegeeks.net)She is a huge advocate of kids' comics but reads a lot of different titles. You can find her on Twitter as @JulzHendricks.