Chowing Down On A New Breakfast Of Champions: Reviewing `Cereal’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


When cereal mascots are in danger of being killed (by a cereal killer, get it???) a food scientist comes to their rescue. With a clever script and artwork well suited to the subject matter, this premiere issue never takes itself too seriously – which is a good thing.


Tracey Colorado is into breakfast cereal. Really into cereal. Like so into it, if the colors aren’t lined up perfectly, she can’t perform. Sexually.

Talk about Lucky Charms.

That is the opening scene in Cereal #1, an independent comic book from Boink Comix. It’s certainly a memorable one. Not so much for Tracey though. She spends half the night trying to perfect the perfect color for her Sugar Balls aphrodisiac (insert joke here) and doesn’t even realize that her would-be lover has left her. His goodbye note is appropriately spelled out thanks to the letters in A-B-Cee’s cereal.

Beyond her obvious affinity for the breakfast of champions, Tracey is a real food scientist who has created the best tasting cereal in history. But her former employer, InGrain Corp. – maker of Haulin’ Oats, Captain Withaspoon and Berry Confetty cereals – has cornered the breakfast market. InGrain, though is facing troubles of its own and about to kill off most of its popular brands as well as the familiar mascots with them. That’s right, there’s a cereal killer on the loose.

In the story written by Donnie Steinberg, Tracey has a connection to these characters, who seem to be reached out for her to save them. It’s an original idea – and one that most former kids can relate to. In our youth – heck, even in some dinners as adults – cereals played a big role. And Steinberg is playing off of that nostalgia. Seeing Doodad, the mascot for Sugar Balls, lose his head is traumatic. (Don’t worry. Instead of blood pouring out, we’re treated to a rainbow pouring out of his happy-go-lucky torso.)

Artist Richard A. Harrington brings a Mad Magazine-esque style to book. That fact works well, given that the entire storyline is essentially a satire on the industry. Harrington wisely adapts his style to something more cartoonish when depicting the cereal mascots. That world is even more over-the-top than real life, if that’s possible.

With tough firmly planted in a cereal-stuff cheek, this creative team knows enough not to take itself too seriously. Like the cereal it is celebrating, it an amusing distraction before it’s time for a larger meal.

Cereal #1 is available now from Boink Comix.

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