In writer Matt Miner’s new comic book collaboration with artist Sean Von Gorman, a zombie punk-rock-pocalypse devours the flesh of racists and homophobes on a gory path to Topeka, Kansas, where they plan to have the Westboro Baptist Church for dinner.
“I had always kind of wondered who I’d eat if I was a zombie,” Miner says. “I try and live my life with certain ethics, and I thought if I had to eat someone, I’d make it someone really awful. Make the world a better place with zombie attacks, you know.”
The WBC seems all too ready to serve themselves up, rare, in Toe Tag Riot, a comic about a touring punk-rock band that is cursed with zombification whenever they play.
“Without thinking, their kneejerk reaction was to champion the book because their horrible signs show in one single image,” Miner says. “Nobody ever accused them of being too smart, am I right?”
When he and Von Gorman launched the Kickstarter campaign, the WBC saw their signs appear in the illustrations and directed people to support the project, explaining, “Geeks want money to show our signs? Help ’em out!”
Little did they know they had just endorsed a project starring a handful of queer zombies.
“I mean, clearly a book that casts racists and homophobes in the roles of the villains is going to be okay with LGBT people, but it wasn’t until the announcement that the women in the band are a lesbian couple and that Paulie, the guitar player, is bisexual that Westboro realized their mistake and got a little pissed, calling Sean and me ‘insincere pervs,’” Miner says.
Miner and Von Gorman may have got an endorsement from the church everyone loves to hate, but they still need more backers for their all-or-nothing campaign, which has as many perks as a zombified corpse has maggots.
“So thanks for the laughs and the plug, Westboro,” Miner says. “Hopefully with enough support we can put this progressive LGBT-positive book into comic shops worldwide and into a fandom that can still at times be an unfriendly place for women, minorities and LGBT folks.”