I backed the first issue of Toy-Z on Kickstarter last year and this was long overdue a review from me.
The premise from co-creators Cliff Hughes & Nicci Thompson is to mash together a cutesy version of Toys with the gore-filled Walking Dead and somehow make this feel unique. We’re dropped right in the middle of a risky situation so they’re at least fearless in the story they are looking to tell and before you know it, you’re on-board with the idea that toys can come to life and fight for survival.
The cartoony style from Ammar Al-Chalabi & colours, in particular, are a good fit for this as it sets the tone as far away from the typically grim tones we’d expect to see and if anything that helps emphasize just how visceral the gore elements can be. That and the darker elements of the story that hit like a gut-punch charges this with real momentum too.
There’s a few of the expected elements in a zombie story but the challenge of toys on the move that have to keep their lives a secret from the human population gives this a story within a story vibe that’s going to be interesting to see develop over time. Story & art are all working well together and that cover from Charlotte Herbert gets a nod too as it sets up just the right amount of intrigue and matches the mood of what’s inside.
The main challenges with this or any other title hitting the genre, is the sheer number of zombie stories that have already flooded the mainstream and Indie comic world but it feels like the whole creative team have managed to pull it off. It doesn’t feel rushed, nothing feels shoe-horned in and instead, the world feels almost natural…..well….as natural as a world with talking toys and brain-hungry corpses can feel I guess :). A solid start for sure and here’s hoping we get more soon.
Keep tabs on what’s next from the Toy-Z creative team over on the New Age Comics Facebook page and get hold of a copy through the Comichaus website or App. New Age Comics will also be attending Granite City Comic Con at the end of May too (26th & 27th).