Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eddy Current

by Ted McKeever

It's hard to talk about Eddy Current.  This is a book that defies description on many levels.  It's easy to explain the premise - Eddy is a lunatic, locked up in an asylum until the 'dynamic fusion' suit that he ordered out of an issue of The Amazing Broccoli arrives, and Eddy blows out the power for the institution trying to charge it, allowing him to escape, and save the world.  Except he has to be back in twelve hours, before his absence is noted.

Eddy starts small, trying to help a bum getting beaten up by some local thugs.  This results in his getting tossed off a building, where he is found by a nun who believes him to be the second coming.  He gets taken to their storefront atomic science facility (see, not easy to explain), although later on, Eddy and the nun (named Nun) look up Eddy's old girlfriend, and have to stop a group of elderly and overweight women from broadcasting some sort of radio signal that will make all men docile and easy to control.

Sounds crazy, right?  And it is, but in a glorious way.  McKeever's art, which is such an acquired taste as to be in the same category as oysters, is terrifically abstract and toothy.  This comic was originally published in the 80s, and that era of sartorial excess shows, although the story stands up remarkably well.

To be honest, I feel as if there is a deeper social or religious commentary that has passed over my head.  The book is peppered with biblical quotes, but I'm not wired to extract any great significance from them.  I know that the follow-up series to this, Metropol (which I loved when it originally came out and would really like to read again) was very biblical in its approach to things (and at some point featured Eddy again).

I'm thankful to Heidi MacDonald and The Beat for giving me the opportunity to read this excellent new collection of these stories (I won the book in an on-line contest).  If you are reading Meta 4, McKeever's new Image series, it's worth checking out his roots.

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