Story: Tim Seeley, Sara Beattie
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Kurt Michael Russell
What They Say:
In the near future, space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampos, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device with a big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage—intimately—with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in MONEY SHOT! A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind—and money.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The purity of the American comic book scene always bothers me. I grew up getting my hands on some indie comics that were raunchy back in the day but there’s never been a solid round of offerings for things of a sexual nature. A striking contrast to the world of manga, to be sure. Vault Comics looks to have some fun with sex and vulgarity here while still playing it fairly tame. But it works, oh does it work. Come from writers Tim Seeley and Sara Beattie, it’s illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs as we get a group of scientists that are going to help people alleviate their boredom by coming up with creative ways to rub one out. And the team largely pulls it off here in concept since they’re going to be wary on showing too much.
The premise is amusing in that in 2032 we’re five years past first contact with aliens who after really learning about humanity rescinded the offer because of all the violence. With an anti-science administration in place in the US, we get to focus in flashback on a group of five scientists who are having a hell of a time getting any of their projects funded. They’re very frustrated and argumentative with each other, resulting in nothing getting done but clueing us into their personalities and their situation. The main focus is on Christine Ocampo, who upon calling it a day and going home ends up having her favorite masturbatory erotic content site bought out and replaced with some weird gonzo stuff. And even that’s not doing anything to really excite the audience.
All of that inspires Christine to come up with a plan to use her “Star Shot” technology that can take them to the stars. And boff aliens live-streamed for money. It’s better than writing grant applications for the funding they need. There’s some lightly convoluted aspects to it and it’s not something all of them are on board with at first, but it doesn’t take much for them to take on porn names, haed to the starts, and screw their way into some financial success to fund their scientific adventures. That gives us a crew like Constance Planck, Supper Massive Blackhole, Kneels Bore, Trinity Spheres, and Tesla Coyle in skintight outfits working the gig. It’s definitely amusing and it works well enough if you ignore a few other aspects and just enjoy the sexy shenanigans. But things are kept minimal here overall as we get a couple of topless moments at most and those are basically bookend moments. Props for showing Christine with a vibrator at least since that’s something you don’t see in comics.
And that’s why I’ll enjoy the book.
I read a lot of smutty manga but there’s little out there to titillate and enjoy that engages with readers in an openly sexual way. Money Shot is hedging itself pretty big here by only going so far visually and instead potentially playing up the dialogue more, but it’s an opening and welcome one from the publisher. I get why it happens and why we don’t get much from the big publishers, but there’s a whole world of books and stories to explore and Money Shot is just a tiny sliver of that potential. Seeley and Beattie have fun with the characters and I’m hoping they really lean into the sex side of the premise as it goes on because that’s where you’ll really get the attention. Rebekah Isaacs has some really great panels here and gives us a great looking cast that I want to see in full action mode here rather than just the before and after with them mostly dressed. Hopefully, Vault Comics will let them really find their way.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019