Apocalypse Taco

Writer / Artist
Apocalypse Taco
Apocalypse Taco review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Amulet Books - 978-1-4197-3373-4
  • Release date: 2019
  • UPC: 9781419733734
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Horror, Young Adult

Although known for his Hazardous Tales series of biographies, every once in a while Nathan Hale has the creative urge to try something completely different, and in 2019 that was Apocalypse Taco.

It’s silly. Very silly, but there’s no pretence of it being anything other than a fun variation on the movie horror template of kids facing the terrifying unknown. As he’s drawing it, though, rather than trying to find a film budget, Hale can be more expansive with the premise, including items that would never make it to the movie screen.

When sixteen year old Sid and eleven year old twins Axl and Ivan make a food run late at night they come across a taco franchise they’ve never seen before. It’s the beginning of a nightmare of gooey shapeshifting monsters constantly squirming and reforming as approximations of people, cars and buildings.

Hale creates such naturally cheerful people that even experiencing unimaginable terrors they exude a veneer of normalcy, and the the squidgy monsters are also somewhat tempered by the cartooning. All in all, that’s probably a good thing, but there’s no skimping on complex designs just to make the drawing easier. When Hale begins the disclosures he provides sense to what’s seemed random, and his clever idea explains odd-looking creatures and how things ran out of control. It’s a variation on ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, but technologically based rather than magic.

With the problem explained, finding a solution is the next stage, and that returns Apocalypse Taco to more conventional horror territory, although not without twists. It remains silly throughout, and it’s fun, but the concept is the strongest aspect.