Writer: Matt Miner
Artist: Sean Von Gorman
Publisher: Black Mask Comics
“Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman are insincere peeves…Repent before you split Hell wide open!” – Westboro Baptist Church
That’s quite a statement coming from a church in regards to a comic book that gained funding through Kickstarter. Miner has used Kickstarter in the past for other projects, but none have gained attention from a group recognized nationally for their hate and fear mongering. Putting their “accidental endorsement” aside, I found out about Toe Tag Riot, and Miner’s other writings from another source. That source being Andy Hurley, the drummer for Fall Out Boy. He happens to also makes an appearance in this book. This combines two of my favorite things, Fall Out Boy and comic books. So needless to say, not a bad way to catch my attention. Too bad the rest of the guys from Fall Out Boy aren’t present in the book. That’s not really important in the grand scheme of things, at least not in this issue.
Miner introduced us to band members Paulie, Dickie, Annie and Evie. They’re playing a gig at CBGBs in 2004, a couple years before the famous New York City venue closed its doors for good. They’re not your normal rock band, though. While appearing to be costumed zombies, Miner alludes to something more sinister going on within the band. I’m sure it will be a slow reveal involving flashbacks, something I’m already accustomed to seeing in this book. This time the flashbacks are only revealing how the band came together. Miner also shares the fact that the two main female characters are not only lesbians, but also dating each other. Sean Von Gorman’s depiction of various characters is great. They appear as you would imagine in real life. Green zombies seem a little odd, but a nice change. I did like that Evie, the drummer, was drawn with one arm. Perhaps a tribute to Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen. Von Gorman’s comic creation of Hurley is spot on, neck tattoo peaking out of his shirt included.
While I’m used to seeing a more activist’s approach to Miner’s books, this wasn’t too different. Miner has presented us with a book that is friendly and supportive to the LGBTQ community. He wasn’t even that harsh towards the Westboro Baptist Church. At least not in this issue. I expect everyone’s thoughts to be reflected in later issues. I live a short drive away from the church, so I have some very strong feelings regarding the church. I think anyone that is an equal rights activists, or a supporter of the LGBTQ community will enjoy this book. Of course anyone that’s a fan of zombies will enjoy it, too. Just don’t expect the zombies you’ve grown accustomed to in The Walking Dead. One last thing I liked about this book is that they included a list of names. That list is comprised of those that financially backed the comic on Kickstarter. There’s nothing better than looking at the list and seeing one of your best friend’s name.
“Toe Tag Riot #1” earns 9/10