"Vinegar Teeth #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey
Illustrated by Troy Nixey
Colored by Guy Major
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 24th, 2018
He's a tough-as-nails cop with a bad attitude. It's a pale, tentacled monster from another dimension. They couldn't be more different, but now they're forced to work together as partners on the Brick City Police Force. They're going to have to learn how to get along if they want to save not only the city, but the world as dark and sinister threat is emerging.
Vinegar Teeth is a strange comic. It's definitely unlike anything I've read before and at first I wasn't sure exactly how to describe it. I read it a few days ago and I'm still having trouble. It is rather enjoyable, especially since no one seems to bat an eye at the title character, the aforementioned monster, after it's discovered during a sting operation and helps out by eating the suspect. After that, it's given a badge and tasked with patrolling the streets.
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This creature is so friggin' creepy. Just looking at it sends a shiver up my spine. Usually with monsters like these I can describe them as “X meets Y.” It's an aardvark mixed with an accordion. Something like that. I don't know where to start with Vinegar Teeth. It's sort of like an insect larvae, but with strange tentacles coming out of its face. Other times it resembles a bag of albino flesh, floating eerily a few feet off the ground. This is why I'm so surprised by the reaction to it because most folks might just throw up right when they see it.
Much of Vinegar Teeth's unsettling nature comes through in Guy Major's colors. It is a sickly white, almost like you can see through its skin to the unholy organs working within it. Major gives the book a gritty feel, like Brick City is filthy and its residents are desperate for anyone – or anything – they can turn to for help cleaning it up.
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Artist Troy Nixey's characters are full of life. They're very animated and expressive. I hesitate to describe them as cartoony, but there are a few moments that look like they were ripped right out of Saturday morning. This is aided by Nixey's lettering, which becomes part of the artwork and works to bring it to new levels. There's a scene towards the end where a gruesome murder is taking place in a cramped space. You don't see the action, but the sound effects surrounding the spot are horrendous so your mind can fill in the gory details.
Vinegar Teeth is described as Lovecraft meets Lethal Weapon and it definitely delivers on that premise. It's a quirky book, filled with equal parts horror and humor. You just have to go with it and enjoy the ride. This was already a strange world and it just got even stranger with the appearance of this creepy monster that's now serving as a police officer.