Poser is a love letter to eighties kids who grew up drinking out of brown paper bags on the beach, watching horror films, and skateboarding to underground punk rawk shows. Miner, McCormack, Garbark, and Esposito take a nostalgic satirical look at the films, music, and subculture that shaped a generation of punks.
Back in 2018, Matt Miner, Clayton McCormack, Doug Garbark, and Taylor Esposito treated us to Poser, a punk rawk horror film wrapped up in a four issue comic miniseries. The individual floppies could be purchased by themselves, or with cool swirly 7” vinyl records. Unfortunately, after the series wrapped, publisher Waxwork Records missed out on a huge opportunity to put out the trade paperback and a complete soundtrack album.
Finally, four years later, the gang has hooked up with A Wave Blue World to drop the complete series in trade, and I could not be happier.
Poser kicks off with a scene all too familiar to anyone growing up anywhere near a beach city during the early eighties. A bunch of punks are pre-gaming on the beach before the Circle Jerks show.
Awkward outsider Otto tries to join them, and he’s brutally rebuffed. Some pretty cutting verbal jabs and a few mild threats later, Otto snaps and finally gets his licks in. This kid they called “poser” turns out to be the most hardcore kid on the boardwalk. Probably should have left that dude alone.
Next time we see the two kids that strolled off with Otto, they’re strung up by the neck, eviscerated, with “Poser” written in their blood on the boardwalk under their dangling feet. Otto meets swift justice, as the remaining kids chase down, stab, and apparently drown the crazed loner. No way he could have survived, right?
Except…a few decades later, another brutal murder bears uncanny similarities to the first crime. And then there’s another one. And another…
There’s definitely a formula at play here. Matt Miner pays homage to 80s horror film tropes, in some really fun ways. The biggest two are the urban legend based on a horrific event from the past, and your seemingly resurrected villain that has to be the original killer or a copycat who’s eerily familiar with every detail of the original crimes.
As familiar as this all sounds, the script is surprisingly fresh. Nostalgic, sure, but never stale or outdated. Miner’s clearly drawing on some personal experience here. He nails down punk rock culture from both time periods and nods at eighties horror without coming off cheesy at any point. He also throws a nod to his homies GWAR.
Clay McCormack treads a fine line between shocking and gratuitous with the gore. The violence is brutal and quick. We don’t catch the killer in the act until late in the book, which plays beautifully into the mystery, and Poser’s character design really makes it hard to tell who exactly is doing the deed. It could be ANYONE, male or female, in that hoodie, behind that mask.
If you grew up in the eighties listening to punk music and watching horror films, this is an awesome, nostalgic look back at the music and cinema that shaped a generation. Clichéd? Absolutely! But also wildly fun and clever.