“Ehmm Theory #1” (Comic Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
EHMM THEORY is one of those comics that just starts off right. It takes everything that is great about the world – such as kittens, zombies and wise-cracking – and smashes it all together into what is arguably the best three opening pages of the year so far.
As Action Labs’ flagship title for their new mature imprint, Danger Zone, EHMM THEORY marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the horror world. Though the company has been considered as one of the underdogs of the comic industry, it’s never shied away from taking chances and has slowly been making waves with its sci-fi and fantasy titles such as PRINCELESS and THE ORDER OF DAGONET. With the addition of the Danger Zone imprint, it has also become the place to be for tales of the macabre as well.
EHMM THEORY, like all good stories, begins with a gentleman by the name of Gabriel Ehmm kicking in the heads of a midget/clown/zombie while exchanging jokes with a kitten. Before the reader can react, the comic pans out to display Gabe’s body sprawled out with a gunshot wound to the head. It’s here we learn the unfortunate beginnings of our hero: a good guy with bad luck. Shot dead by his (now) ex-girlfriend after a false accusation concerning his fidelity, he wakes up find himself in halfway spot between Heaven and Hell. It’s here that he and his new talking kitten are greeted by the cigar-chomping, suit-wearing Saint Peter himself, and they learn that there is more planned for them than a just a simple death. Suddenly things get weird, as zombies, gypsy fortune readers and the search for Gabe’s biological father spearhead his pathway back to Heaven.
This title is a fantastic work of black humor that will surely have fans coming back for more. The story has the perfect balance of absurdity and gore, without one overpowering the other. Author Brockton McKinney – who makes his comic writing debut with EHMM THEORY – is better known for directing the horror movie THE SICK AND THE DEAD and the short film THE FAMILY. With his experience behind the camera, he carries over that same cinematic energy to the pages of his newest project, bringing to life the diverse characters that make up the series. Illustrator Larkin Ford, adds a touch of indie magic to the script, but unfortunately struggles between pop art playfulness and a small-press, heavy-inking style that never quite goes one way or another. While it serves the purpose of bolstering McKinney’s words, it’s a bit unremarkable on its own. But aesthetics aside, it’s easy to see why this title was chosen to launch the new Danger Zone line. EHMM THEORY has all the makings of a heavy hitter in an already blood-and-guts saturated market, while carving its own niche one issue at a time.