"Toe Tag Riot #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Matt Miner
Illustrated by Sean Von Gorman
2015, 32 Pages, $3.50
Comic released on February 11th, 2015
It's all fun and games until Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley lies dying in your arms. Sure, the zombie punk rock band Toe Tag Riot meant well with their antics, but now Andy is going to die...or is he? Looks like the band just got a bit bigger, and that works out great as they trek towards Kansas and the Westboro Baptist Church.
While each of the band members seems like a pretty cool person, Dickie has alternated between being incredibly annoying and my absolute favorite character. As the comic progresses, he definitely falls more on the latter side of things. Writer Matt Miner pulls him along as this lovable idiot. Dickie will do some really dumb things, but his heart is in the right place, so you can't help but love him. He's also incredibly loyal to the rest of the group and ready to defend them against any asshole that comes their way.
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That brings us to the human garbage that is the Toe Tag Riot's target this time around. We've already seen the band take on skinheads and One Million Moms. Now they take on the dreaded dude bros. You know exactly the kind of guy this is, too. "Do you even lift, brah?" The band encounters the dude bros at a rest stop. Push comes to shove and things get pretty bloody in a ridiculous two-page spread surrounding a literal image of a heart, with Evie and Annie standing in the center. Artist Sean Von Gorman went to town on this fight. The dude bros are pretty laughable from the moment they appear on the page. It's kind of weird yet oddly believable that there are so many of them not wearing shirts.
This issue also provides some more of the band's backstory, including how the drummer, Evie, lost her arm. It was nothing like the dude from Def Leppard. It fits perfectly with the tone of the comic. It also introduced what could be my absolute favorite fictional stuffed animal (suck it, Paddington Bear) in Teddy Mercury. It's a teddy bear that looks like Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, complete with mustache. Build-A-Bear workshop would bring in an entirely different clientele if they offered a Teddy Mercury bear.
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Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman have really found their stride with this issue. Toe Tag Riot is a damn fun comic book. It flows like a gore-filled, undead road trip with a cast of characters that really grow on you. It's kind of like the Punisher if he killed stupid people instead of mobsters...and he was four zombies in a punk rock band...OK. It's nothing like the Punisher.