By: Ted McKeever (writing, art, lettering)

The Story: It’s hard to say…something about an amnesiac astronaut staggering around in his space-suit while running into hookers, pimps and a muscle woman in a Santa Claus suit in a public restroom.

What’s Good: It’s right there in the title…the word “meta”.  It also says right on the cover “A 5-issue allegorical series in Black and White”.  So, if you bought this because it had a spaceman on the cover and you thought he would be fighting aliens and there would be ray-guns…you can’t complain too much.

If you like comics that are different, this might be something for you.  Nothing is shoveled in front of you on a silver platter in this issue.  You’ve gotta work for it.  But, how can you not at least enjoy a little bit a fight between a crazy guy in a space-suit, a large pimp and Santa Claus in this bathroom in what appears to be a town that was abandoned after a 1940’s nuclear bomb test?

I guess my point is that even if you are confused as hell, I want to know where they are?  Why is there a huge muscle woman in the Santa suit?  If it is a nuclear test site, why is Santa there?  And, why are prostitutes and pimps in a place where there aren’t likely to be many customers?  Why is this guy staggering around in a space suit?  When does this take place?

This whole story is told with a very minimal amount of dialog.  In some places, McKeever goes for mere symbols in place of actual text to indicate what the character is saying or emoting.  It’s all very clever.  The art is very simple and straightforward, black and white line work.  It works very well for this subject matter.

What’s Not So Good: It’s a lot confusing.  If you just like comics with straight up superhero fights, you’re going to hate this.  Or even if you don’t mind a little “meta” in your comics, you might be a little put off at how little happens in this first issue.  There isn’t much here to gauge whether you want to keep going with this series to figure out the answer.

It is also the type of comic that could make you say, “You know, maybe I’m just not smart enough to be reading this.”

Conclusion: I enjoyed this and will be back for issue #2.  I would like to see what’s going on with these characters.  At the very least, if you buy this you’ll probably impress the folks behind the counter of the LCS.  They’ll think you’re very hip.

Grade: B-

– Dean Stell