Two realities, two bases for said realities: one science-based and the other magic-based. Boone Dias is a scientist who has found a way to travel to this land full of magic. It’s a land of nonsense and absurdity, one that has very little concern for logic. Boone has spent his time here using his knowledge in science to help solve mysteries. He’s almost like an Indiana Jones/Sherlock Holmes of Candyland. His Watson is a sarcastic and brutish, monkey-like creature called Glum.
Currently, Boone is on a mission to solve a new mystery, one that has led him to a confrontation with an old, copper Gollum and that will lead him to the Faerie Kingdom.
While his life in this magical world is rife with adventure and danger, his life in the real world is sobering. He appears homeless, and every flashback we see of him points to a tragedy. What is he hiding? More importantly, what is he running from? The fact that he knows that the way to enter this magical world is by throwing himself to his death is telling and sad.
Ether by Matt Kindt lives mostly in the now, throwing us haphazardly forward and letting us discover these elements bit by bit, while also letting us discover the magic as Boone comes across it. Bullets that literally scream as they fly from their gun are some of the many peculiar, but enjoyable, aspects of the book. But as silly as it can come off, this is a thinking person’s comic. Science versus magic. Fact versus fiction. These are themes very prevalent in our world today – arguments that will shape our world toward healing or self-destruction. Whether this is the direction Kindt is heading remains to be seen, but it’s difficult not to see the parallels.
David Rubín, in charge of art and lettering, draws a sharp contrast between the real and magical worlds. His line work and colors are looser in the grandiose magic world. With bright yellows and reds, it’s a place bursting with the fantastic. Light just seems to exist without the need for a sun. The real world, however, is drenched in brown and harsh lines. It always seems to be covered in rain and dreariness.
Matt Kindt is one of the best writers out there. He has several books you should go back and read or should be reading now. Ether is turning out to be one of the latter examples.