MONEY SHOT Volume 1 by Tim Seeley, writer and Rebekah Isaacs, artist. (Vault Comics, April 2020) Trade paperback, 160 pages. ISBN # 1939424607 / 9781939424600.
If you’re offended by explicit material, don’t pick this one up. Mature, adult readers only.
The blurb on the back cover tells a lot, but not all: “A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind – and money.”
MONEY SHOT is written by Tim Seeley, and his stories always have a secondary theme or meaning for those who want to probe and penetrate further to look for it. Rebekah Isaacs’ art style is appealing, a little bit Arthur Adams, a little bit Dan Parent.
Seeley sets up the premise in a text page in Issue #1:
“In 2027 an advanced alien civilization made contact, and the people of Earth discovered they were not alone. An offer to join the civilized universe was made. But then the aliens saw what a total shitshow Earth was. Engaged in hundreds of wars, led by greedy politicians, and fumbling to advance technologically, humanity was deemed not worth the effort. The offer was withdrawn. Unable to build space ships capable of efficient interstellar travel, and distracted by petting bickering and pop entertainment, humans eventually lost interest in the stars.”
The story begins five years later, as in 2027:
“Amid an anti-science presidential administration and public apathy, scientists in an economically crippled America struggle to fund innovative projects.”
A group of five scientists, led by Christine Ocampo, have developed a Space Shot teleportation method for interstellar travel. However, lacking grant money to bring their projects to fruition, Ocampo comes up with the idea of a new form of pornography to entertain the jaded masses and generate the funds they need.
Even though the nature of this story is pornographic, it is not exploitative. The sex scenes are tasteful and funny, despite the ribald material and improbable situations. In the first volume, the trailblazers encounter an alien society that is manipulative and suppressive, and as a result help liberate the populace. Sex plays a big role, especially with two major players competing for power.
Despite this, Seeley displays great restraint and sensitivity in his story-telling. There is even some romance that is not necessarily motivated by lust.
I was amused and entertained, and given reason to reflect on the secondary meaning of the story after finishing it. Well done. In spite of the clever premise, this could easily have been a hot mess in the wrong hands. I look forward to Volume Two.