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Toe Tag Riot Returns for More Undead Mayhem and Rock & Roll

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

A few years ago, Toe Tag Riot went to war against the Westboro Baptist Church, bigots, homophobes, transphobes, sexists, and racists, murdering and eating them...ethically. It helps that they turn into zombies whenever they play music. They're returning for a new generation, as there's a new breed of villain in the world. This reunion tour targets anti-vaxxers, white nationalists, flat earthers, and MAGA chuds and it promises to be even bloodier and funnier than before.

I caught up with writer Matt Miner and artist Sean Von Gorman to talk about Return of the Toe Tag Riot, currently on Kickstarter.

James Ferguson: What brings Toe Tag Riot back from the undead for this reunion tour?

Matt Miner: Well, we decided to bring the gang back in a time when everything is going right for a change. Racism is on the decline, sexism is almost a thing of the past, immigrants are treated with respect, and our president is just an absolute champion of human rights.

Wait, I think I blacked out and was talking nonsense for a minute. I meant the opposite of everything I just said. We brought Toe Tag Riot back because the country is on fire more than normal, and it's an absolute shit-show of stupid people scaring stupider people to hate facts, human kindness, and anyone different than them. We needed some catharsis. Toe Tag Riot won't fix anything, but it'll be fun.

Sean Von Gorman: Matt and I had always wanted to return to these characters at some point. When we were working on the first series, we were maybe two years ahead of being relevant. Since then there has been a huge increase in hate culture, not only in the country but specifically in the comic industry itself. The world needs this band of ethical zombie punks more than ever.

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JF: Last time around, Toe Tag Riot endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. Are they backing any specific candidate for 2020?

MM: I think they're split right now. The guys are looking at Elizabeth Warren and seeing how she might be the progressive that appeals to the center, and the women are still feeling the Bern. They all will vote blue no matter who if it comes down to it, but they won't be as excited unless it's a progressive candidate who has plans, actually believes the positions they take, and don't have to be convinced by aides to say they care about people of color, the disabled, women, LGBTQ folks, etc. They're an exact representation of how I feel on the inside.

SVG: I always liked to think Toe Tag Riot existed in a world where Bernie won, and he eats bad people too.

MM: So, we have him join the band and inherit the witch's curse that turns them into zombies whenever Toe Tag Riot plays their music? I'm digging this direction – we'll see!

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JF: What do we have to do to get a Teddy Mercury at Build-A-Bear?

MM: Riot in the streets! Smash the banks! Burn a cop car! Liberate your local fur farm!

SVG: I recently reached out to Build-A-Bear via their website. The response I received was, “Your message has been sent.” “It's great to hear from you! We received your message and will get back to you soon. Please be patient as we are receiving a high volume of emails at this time”.

So, like any day now.

MM: Yeah, I didn't have a real answer. You should probably not do the things I said, because it's, you know, illegal. Or whatever.

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JF: There is some actual music for Return of the Tog Tag Riot. How did this come about?

MM: They're a band, it's what they do! If you want a real-life answer, the last campaign had a fancy rock star who may or may not have an awesome codename made the first song for us, and this time around our buddy Rene Rosa performed, mixed, and recorded the more mature, newer sound of Toe Tag Riot. The lyrics are hilarious.

SVG: My favorite thing from the last series has been all of musicians who became fans of the book. We had plans to do something music related for the last series that didn’t quite pan out. I’m happy we are having another chance to do something this time. There are a lot of similarities between working in comics and being a rock star and it’s always cool when those worlds overlap. ProTip: People can, at best, really like comic book creators, but they LOOOOOOOVE rock stars.

MM: While we're on the subject, we have a cassette single pledge level on the Kickstarter. It's super limited, has a download code, and you get both songs on a pretty green tape. It's gonna be awesome.

Return of the Toe Tag Riot is currently on Kickstarter, running through July 25th, 2019. Rewards for the campaign include digital and physical copies of the book, a cassette single, other books from A Wave Blue World, commissions, and even a pitch review by A Wave Blue World Publisher Tyler Chin-Tanner.

About The Author
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Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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