Alien Toilet Monsters #1 by Carol Zara and Eric Barnett is one of the most bizarre and charming comics you could read this year.
Set in a future where interdimensional travel is possible and obsessive fandom is still around, we are introduced to the characters of Frank and Andrea. The former runs a diner who is grieving over the loss of a lover, and the latter is a fangirl who spends much of her time navigating the ever-toxic internet space looking for news and conversations about her favorite IP. There are other characters like Angel, the lost lover of Frank, and, well–Carol Zara herself.
A first issue that is more about setting and character than story, Alien Toilet Monsters #1 introduces us to a world of high sci-fi that is also quite familiar. People still obsess over things, have issues with body image, pine over what could have been. Essentially, people are still people.
I keep going back to the fandom topic because Alien Toilet Monsters has a lot to say about the nature of obsessive fandom. It touches on the toxicity and how devotion to a single consumer product can be a paralytic of the highest caliber.
The characters are all quite enjoyable as well. Andrea is quite relatable, as I myself obsess over consumer products. Frank is a nice if grouchy guy. Angel is an immensely kind person. Carol Zara, while we don't get much time with her as a character, is given a lot of personality in the small details.
This brins us to the artist, Eric Barnett, who is quite adept at displaying those small details. His characters are distinctive and unique. He has a wild eye for sci-fi monster design. The colors are well balanced, and the layouts are quite daring but still flow well.
Alien Toilet Monsters is one of the most intriguing, engaging, and charming comics of 2017. For those interested in picking up a copy, here's the link to the official website