Just some guys having fun, ya’ know?
Way back in February, I was sent a copy of Toxic Shock Comics #1 for review, and quite frankly it got set aside amidst the mad writing and hectic schedule of dealing with too many things happening at once. I didn’t want to be “one of those guys” that take creators up on the offer of free comics, and never write a review, so here’s your Major Spoilers Indie Review of Toxic Comics #1.
Reader Warning: Images may not be suitable for all readers.
Unlike the other reviews we do at Major Spoilers, Toxic Shock Comics is not mainstream. I don’t think it even comes close to the D-List of indie comics. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you are hoping to discover the next Love and Rockets, you might as well move along.
Issue #1 (originally released in September 2006) has a lot of fun aping the style of anthology comics featuring three main tales, and two spoofs ads. The spoofs are done quite well; mocking the style of the Hostess fruit pie ads we read as kids in the pages of Spider-Man and Superman. The crew is able to tell a single page story that achieves the same results as the Hostess ads that suckered us into the sales pitch at the end. These bits had me laughing out loud (not ROTFLMAO though). The other three stories are packed with drug use, ninja fights, talking monkeys, and killer garden gnomes. Yup you read that right – killer garden gnomes.
The Killer Garden Gnomes story is nothing more than a setup for future mayhem caused by those seemingly innocent (yet still creepy) lawn ornaments. From the cover image of issue #2 it looks like they get their wish.
Kind Budz is one of those tales of being drop kicked to the curb by the hot girl you love, and consoling yourself the only way you know how – lighting up with your best friend. To make matters worse for Tim, the object of his lust is going clubbing with his arch nemesis Dan Palmer. According to Tim, even though Dan comes off as a goody-good, he is a bigger loser than Tim and his pot smoking friends. Tim knows he needs to go to the club to keep Dan from taking advantage of his girl, but as it turns out Selina can take care of herself.
The Subcultural Syndicate is probably the best story in the issue as it features Kirby – a talking monkey – and his crew taking down a band of ninjas on a killing spree.
One look at the issue and you can tell this is true indie. The art is not Kirby, Lee, Eisner, Romita, Romita Jr. or any of the other recognizable names in comics, but Nick, Chris, and Mike do a good job in keeping the characters recognizable, and certainly do a better job than most who think they can make a comic.
This issue isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are looking for something that is as far away from superhero comics as you can get, Toxic Shock Comics is that book. Did I enjoy it? There were parts I thought were extremely well done (The Subcultural Syndicate), others that seemed autobiographical (Kind Budz), and I could tell the creators really want to have fun creating and telling stories in a graphic format. Not all of the art appealed to me, but I have that same problem with many mainstream titles. Toxic Shock Comics is solid. It’s not great, but it doesn’t blow chunks either. Would I read it again? If it has kung-foo monkeys and friends waxing philosophically while lighting up, then the answer is yes. Until then, Toxic Shock Comics #1 earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.