Ehmm Theory from Lost Story Studios (publishers of the recently reviewed Death Curse) is nuts. I just want to throw that bone out there first so you know what you’re getting into ahead of this review. If you like your comics with a side order of crazy to go then Ehmm theory will probably be your bag. If you don’t like your comics with crazy then you should buy it anyway just to make sure you’re not the one that’s crazy because it’s really quite good.
Ehmm Theory tells the story of Gabriel Ehmm, all round nice guy with a slightly bizarre surname, who starts the story coming into possession of a rather nice bullet, straight between the eyes & put there by his now ex girlfriend. He is not alone however & has company in the form of a cat named Mr Whispers. With his relationship (& his life) having now come to a rather abrupt end Gabe finds himself in Purgatory, joined by a now very vocal Mr Whispers, being offered the opportunity of entry into Heaven by Saint Peter if he returns to Earth & completes the tasks set out for him. The first of which happens to be stamping on the heads of zombie midgets, a job that throws him head first in a quest to track down his absentee father with the help of a Russian woman named Alyona.
The storytelling in Ehmm Theory is very fast paced. While most modern comic books are happy to spread the story out over a number of issues Brockton McKinney gets straight down to business throwing all kinds of crazy at his characters, from the aforementioned zombie midgets to giant cyborg Lobsters & a dimension hopping super hero team with a particularly abusive mascot. With so much focus being on the action you wouldn’t be amiss in thinking that other aspects might suffer. This is not the case however & the whip smart potty mouthed dialogue that made Death Curse so enjoyable is on top form here as well. McKinney is one of the few writers I’ve read who understands that a little swearing can be funny if used in the correct manner rather than jamming expletives between every word in an attempt to be realistic. The conversation between Mr Whispers & The Emp in issue 2 is a perfect example of this with the swearing actually adding to the funny rather than making it cruder just for the sake of it.
The art in Ehmm Theory is no slouch either & Larkin Ford (also of Death Curse fame) keeps pace with the story’s ideas admirably. Considering the book is entirely in black & white Ford gives his panels’ real depth that makes certain facets stand out beautifully. Ford it seems is just as at home drawing the normal aspects of the book as he is the more outlandish ones. Ford never feels the need to showboat however, choosing instead to deliver an incredibly consistent set of pencils & inks that elevate his panels well a lot of the art in more mainstream comics. But what makes Ford’s work really stand out though is that, like McKinney with his swearing, he understands what makes certain scenes visually funny, for example the constantly adorable Mr Whispers prancing around in the middle of a midget zombie massacre as the claret flies in abundance doesn’t stop being funny & probably won’t for a good few issues yet.
I have very few complaints with Ehmm Theory. In fact I don’t really have any. I know that midget zombies & talking animals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but then neither is tea. It’s a matter of personal taste & quite frankly the book is so crazy you can’t tell which way it’s going to go next meaning there’s every chance you might like what’s on the next page even if you don’t like what’s on the current one. Look, long story short you should go & buy this book. You’d be crazy not to.