Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mondo #1

by Ted McKeever

There is no one who makes comics like Ted McKeever.  I've considered myself a fan since I bought the first issue of Metropol back when it was being published as part of Marvel's Epic line. I was immediately caught up in his utterly bizarre and Biblical vision of future urbanity.  In his most recent work, META 4, McKeever had moved away from religious matters to begin to explore other topics, although a lot of that series was right over my head, so I don't feel too confident talking about it.

Now he's started Mondo, a three issue mini-series being published in Image's 'Golden Age' format, which makes it somewhat oversized when compared to other modern-day comics.  This first issue has something like 33 pages of story, which makes it a nice satisfying chunk of comics goodness.

It appears that McKeever is playing around with superhero tropes this time around.  Catfish Mandu is a strange guy.  He works at a chicken factory, where his job is irradiating freshly-butchered meat so that it triples in size.  He never talks to anyone, and is notable in his apartment building for being absolutely silent at all times.  He has no friends, and is often the target of his co-workers' mean-spirited jokes.  One night, Catfish is visited at his home by a mysterious chicken, who leaves an egg outside his door.  The next day, Catfish falls onto the conveyer belt that takes chicken carcasses to the be irradiated, and after the dust from the subsequent explosion clears, Catfish is now super-strong and over-sized (looking a little like Guido in X-Factor).

McKeever also lays the groundwork for a couple of other plot elements - there is a young violent woman named Kitten Kaboodle who shows up, and it is made clear that there is some sort of disagreement between the mayor of Santa Monica and the people who use the beach.  I'm not sure where either of these elements will lead us, but I trust McKeever to find some strange use for both.

As with any McKeever production, his art is the biggest draw.  His work is a little less abstract than it can often be here, and definitely benefits from having larger pages to fill. This is an intriguing comic. 

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