CerealCereal TP

Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Peter Snejbjerg
Colorists: Snejbjerg, Angelica Ingio, and Ole Comoll
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: AHOY Comics

In AHOY Comics new Cereal TP, breakfast makes for serious and heartrending business, played out by parodies of famous cereal mascots. These mascots — which cover basically anyone or anything that ever looked back at you from the front of a cereal box when you were a kid — are put through tragic, Victorian story arcs. And the book plays them all with almost cold sincerity, making the book’s core joke even funnier.

This book collects a series of shorts by Mark Russell and Peter Snejbjerg that first appeared in AHOY’s excellent (and missed) Edgar Allan Poe anthologies. It takes those, and adds to them a brand-new three-part conclusion that wraps up the plots the earlier stories put into motion. In addition, the book also features a new introduction by cartoonist Shannon Wheeler and a nice collection of backmatter, including Russell’s original typed pitch for the first short, a quick note from Snejbjerg about how he reacted to being asked to draw all this, and a fantastic set of his pencils for the first story.

All those extras are, of course, a really nice addition, but what you’re really coming for here is the story, which I feel confident in describing as the definitive take on America’s (bygone?) cereal box cartoon mascot ecosystem, all of which are played for deep human tragedy (somehow). Essentially, in this book readers will find a set of heartbreaking monster tragedy stories…wherein the most devastating moments are often punctuated by people eating cereal.

I keep calling it sad or tragic, and, to be sure, it is…the creative team really puts these parodies of beloved childhood characters through some things. But the book is also deeply funny on a core level. Some of the biggest laughs for me are when some of the least gothic cereal mascots are sort of crowbarred into this world, always in ways that make sense. There is Duke Antonio, the tiger; there is the freakish toucan-looking thing; and there is a frog digging graves, who remarks, “Two graves? Diggem. Diggem.”

There’s a lot of great lines like that courtesy of Russell — “General Mills grows stronger by the day” — and great cartooning courtesy of Snejbjerg, who mostly plays everything straight, emphasizing just how absurd this entire concept really is. 


In the end, I think this book has a lot to offer anyone who enjoys absurdist comics, but it also functions surprisingly well as a straightforward gothic horror tale. What we get from Cereal is a set of true, poignant tragedies…wherein a spoon or a bowl shows up on a family crest, or a devious actor punctuates their latest misdeed by loudly slurping their milk.

Verdict: BUY

The Cereal TP is available now.

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