By Dustin Cabeal
I should have written this review weeks ago when I talked about it on the podcast. Unfortunately, life had other plans for me, and I’m just now barely catching up on reviews and reading. Just in time for the end of the year.
Usually when I take too long to review a book the glow of the reading experience wears off, and I’m a bit more critical of the work than I might have been if I had done it right away. Strangely enough, that’s not the case with Alien Toilet Monsters. My feelings about it haven’t changed.
Now there is one thing to note, if you pick this up expecting alien toilet monsters then you’ll be disappointed. You shouldn’t be, but I can see some people feeling like it’s a bait and switch, I read the internet enough to know this. What you will get is a well-developed story that’s building towards the title characters and is using this first issue to set everything up. That’s why it’s aptly named “Breaking the Seal.”
The world the story is set in is a not too distant future in which we’ve discovered parallel earths, but we still eat at diners. Film crews visit these different and often underdeveloped worlds to film them and present them to people back home. This seems like a ridiculous detail to focus on, but it’s actually a big part of the story and also the world at large. It would be like no one talking about the internet in 2017. There’s another part of the story, but it’s developed wonderfully over the course of the first issue and doesn’t need me to repeat it. There’s a mystery to it, but it’s also interesting how it’ll play into the other storylines when their paths cross.
The writing is strong. Some of the supporting characters all sound and talk the same, but the main characters stand out and have individual personalities. At times there’s a bit too much dialogue and banter between people, but it does give a sense of the world being alive and that the people aren’t just there as background.
The art is a strange beast. For the majority of the issue, it’s very detailed. All the characters have realistic designs, but there’s a couple of characters here and there that end up looking out of place due to a lack of details. The animal/gore parts are always very detailed and incredibly creative. The creature designs stand out far more than the people models, which is by no means a problem. The coloring is gorgeous and elevates the art to make it look very professional. Hell, the coloring is better than a lot of “professional” books I’ve read this week.
I’m curious to see where this story goes. There’s just not a lot of strange sci-fi like Alien Toilet Monsters in comics, and so it’s a welcomed change of pace. There are some areas of improvement for the series going forward, but it does a tremendous job with the story and artwork. While I’m not sure I’d purchase an Alien Toilet Monster figurine, I would gladly continue reading this series.
Alien Toilet Monsters