That little phrase is both a fairly self-evident fact and the title of an iconic children’s educational book originating in Japan. So iconic is the US translation in fact, that it has often found its way into that barometer of American culture – the sitcom.
So yes – everybody needs to attend the call of nature. Even, apparently, the Devil. How do we know this? Well, he has a toilet.
But not just any toilet.
The Devil’s Toilet #1, created by Rob Lisle (aka ‘Spedsy’), begins with a very quick depiction of the origin of our title character. In this, an ordinary, functional toilet sitting in Hell’s punishment room gains brains, eyes and arms in a distinctly hellish way. The story then shifts immediately to two characters who will become the focus of the action to come.
Mugs (or Mugslarg to give him his full name) is a demon. A disgruntled demon. He no longer finds joy in the simple pleasure of perpetually torturing the inmates and confides as much to his friend, Meatsack Jack. Jack is a fallen angel who has been flayed for whatever wrong he committed and has parts of his now skinless body wrapped in bandages.
Overhearing their conversation, the toilet reveals himself to Mugs and Jack, telling them that he can get them out of hell. How? With Hell guns, of course! Unfortunately, between our heroes and said Hell guns is Beak, a demon who – for reasons unstated – is green, instead of the dark reddish pink of his fellows. A brief skirmish sees off this threat and our trio must then fight their way past the demon hordes, as well as a few added obstacles. One past these, however, they then find their path out of Hell to be surprisingly easy.
There’s a reason for that.
After fighting through the last of the obstacles in their way – including a rather graphical reminder that, yes indeed, everyone (or every living creature) poops – our heroes reach Earth. And this is where we learn why their escape was so apparently easy. A revelation by the Devil to Beak of the Toilet’s true nature paves the way for a climactic cliffhanger, whetting the appetite for the next issue.
Art and Story
A comic that definitely doesn’t take itself seriously, The Devil’s Toilet #1 is nevertheless a well crafted product. The art, in a cartoony style, suits the tone of the quirky script perfectly. At the same time, it flows well and is dynamic when it needs to be. Layouts show a good understanding of cinematic technique as well as the special needs of graphic storytelling.
Given the subject of this comic, one question may well be “is it loaded with toilet jokes?” Well, yes it is. But generally, these are not the obvious ones. They are generally witty and occasionally outright funny. Even the fart jokes are delivered in a laconic, offhand manner that just seems right – for a toilet.
When you grab this book, be sure to read all the ads. House ads and others alike. They deliver.
If you’re looking for a comic that addresses the world’s ills or ponders the great questions, don’t come here. However, if you want a light read that is quirky, lighthearted, self-deprecating and just plain fun, The Devil’s Toilet #1 may just be the book for you.
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