When a writer opens with a quote from one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s featured essays in “The Conduct of Life”, expecting anything less than a convoluted and provocative journey is unrealistic. Given that the writer in question is the brilliant Ted McKeever, his disorienting and thought-provoking approach to storytelling supports the complexity of the narrative, and challenges readers on an intellectual level. With one more issue set for release next month, the author has no problem keeping the intrigue alive in “Miniature Jesus” #4. How he plans to end the series is still anyone’s guess.
WRITTEN BY: Ted McKeever
ART BY: Ted McKeever
PUBLISHER: Shadowline/Image Comics
RELEASE: August 7, 2013
As far as literary devices go, McKeever’s take on the Good Angel, Bad Angel trope is refreshingly unconventional, considering the lack of ‘good’ which has yet to challenge the archetypal devil on Chomsky’s shoulder. But with the release of issue #4, readers will see a more traditional handling of this aspect, as the eight-inch Jesus finally interacts with the series’ protagonist. What’s interesting about the interplay between these two characters is the fact that Chomsky’s disillusionment with faith does not stop him from feeling slightly chagrined upon realizing he has met the miniature messiah and unknowingly called him a douche-bag.
It’s a hilarious and authentic commentary on the hypocrisy of modern society, and links back to Emerson’s quote concerning the power of uncovering and obeying human thought, in hopes of harmonizing them [to appease the mind]. Chomsky clearly has his embittered opinions on the shallow excuse of a higher power, but the marginal change of behaviour he exhibits as he engages with the second coming, seems to neglect them, in a way. It’s funny how a tiny broken Jesus can do that to a faithless wanderer.
In terms of plot development and writing, the fourth installment sees the recovering alcoholic succumb to his addiction thanks to the forceful persuasion of demons at the end of issue #3. In his drunken state, McKeever makes it mildly difficult for readers to distinguish between Chomsky’s reality and his hallucinations. Not that many pages are devoted to dialogue in this month’s issue, as the author lets his writing take a backseat to his artistic vision. He continues to produce an intense and raw atmosphere by highlighting the relationship between light and dark. Some of his best panels feature his use of contrasting light to achieve a sense of volume in Chomsky’s body. And all while forgoing a colour palette.
The final page of this installment is as bizarre and confusing as one would expect, considering McKeever’s established universe. Readers will definitely be scratching their heads, wondering what the last issue has in store for the tormented protagonist.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd