Ah, vacation. It’s lovely in that I’m not at my day job, it’s not lovely in that I’m not actually on vacation, I’m on staycation and I’m spending a lot of time cleaning my apartment. I completely lost track of the last week unless there was a popup on my iCalendar, and that is how I find myself reviewing Toe Tag Riot #3 this late, when in fact I had a copy of it two weeks ago. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, because the TTR crew never deserves to wait. Especially when they’re taking on spring break bros. Last issue of Toe Tag Riot we had the “Million Mom Massacre,” this time out we have “Disembowelment of the Dudebros.” And dudes, it is good.
When last we saw our intrepid band, they had finished their battle with the Million Moms and were rising triumphantly from the body parts. Fall Out Boy’s Andy Hurley and his battle buddy Leigh weren’t in such good shape, however, and as this issue opens they’re kind of bleeding to death on the floor of the venue. Never fear, Dickie…well, mostly Evie, has a brilliant fix for this, and in the process we get more of the backstory for the zombie curse that’s been laid on the band. Once everyone is patched up again and en-route to the Westboro Baptist Church, we get a glimpse of exactly what has to happen for the group’s transformation to occur as the band very graphically takes on a bunch of homophobic assholes in a parking lot. I’m guessing that information is going to come in handy in the next issue.
Toe Tag Riot is still one of my favorite comics: it handles big issues like hate mongering and homophobia with a tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps you rooting for the band. And for those of you into it, this issue gets really imaginative with the gore-factor: I can’t remember every seeing someone get scalped in a comic before, nor someone drinking so much their eyes pop out of their head. It’s basic wish-fulfillment taken to a literal and very bloody level. How many of us have been so angry that we said we wanted to rip someone apart before, even if we didn’t actually visualize it? I know I’m guilty. While this issue didn’t pack quite the punch of the last one, the good writing and art I’ve come to appreciate from Miner and Von Gorman carry us through. The highlight of the issue for me? Dickie has a stuffed bear named “Teddy Mercury” (Queen references go far with me). 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
TOE TAG RIOT #3
Writer: Matt Miner
Pencils & Inks: Sean Von Gorman
Colorist: Savanna Ganucheau
Letterers: Sean Von Gorman
Logo Design: Matt Miner
Cover: Christian Dibari and Michael Spicer
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: February 11, 2015