Ted McKeever returns with another disorienting and bizarre installment of “Miniature Jesus” for Shadowline and Image Comics. Ripe with religious overtones and grotesque imagery, issue #3 strikes an even balance between dark humor and blasphemy; all the while maintain itself as one of the most thought-provoking books on the market today.
WRITTEN BY: Ted McKeever
ART BY: Ted McKeever
PUBLISHER: Shadowline/Image Comics
RELEASE: June 19th, 2013
Ted McKeever delivers a visually captivating cover for issue #3, featuring rabid beasts protruding out of Chomsky’s head, an image that’s most telling of our protagonist’s journey in this series. Particularly in this installment, as the recovering alcoholic discovers that the relentless intrusions of screaming voices in his head aren’t all figments of his imagination.
Part Three continues in and outside of the demolished church where the miniature Jesus was resurrected. Divided into two intertwining storylines, the first half of the issue follows Chomsky’s own conjured up, rotting cat corpse companion, who’s set its sights on the newly awakened 8 inch Christ. McKeever does a great job illustrating the talking feline to look as decayed as possible, while still making it distinguishable.
To say this character is a source of comic relief seems to be almost too buoyantly inaccurate in such a bleak and depressing book. But it jeers and antagonizes the miniature Jesus in a way that’s dark and hilarious. Plus, it breeds blasphemous imagery of the silent Messiah flipping the bird with his detached arm. Definitely something not many people (if anyone) have seen before, and McKeever depicts it well.
The second half of the issue sees Chomsky dealing with a visually grotesque demon who butchers a condemned woman in front of him, just to demonstrate some cold hard truths about repentance, sin, and vindication. McKeever doesn’t shy away from repulsive imagery during these panels. Not when taking into account the sexually explicit “seed of repercussion” facial the woman receives via the demon’s mouth. McKeever’s probably one of only a few writers and artists who can get away with that kind of symbolism.
There are only two more issues left in the series, and because this installment meanders its way to the final pages, it’s hard to say where the narrative is potentially going. Hopefully, Chomsky will be able to find some redemption in the end, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point. The story is too unpredictable and bizarre for anyone to really know what’s going to happen; which is great in the grand scheme of things. But by issue #3 there should be some semblance of an idea, right?
McKeever’s artwork is as solid as ever. From stunning cover to compelling final panel, there’s plenty to love, though admittedly, it’s an acquired taste. What’s interesting about his style for this series is that technically, he’s using black ink on paper, yet visually, some panels give the impression of pyrography (the controlled application of a heat to an object). This can definitely be attributed to the details in his line work and his shading techniques. His heavy inks fit the dark style of the series perfectly.
Final thoughts: Buy the single issue for McKeever’s amazing cover art, and wait until the series is collected in a trade to read it in all its bizarre glory. It will probably make for a better reading and visual experience.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd