Echidna Dirigible follows the adventures of Geronimo St. Gerome, a bounty hunter and soldier of fortune who happens to be an echidna. He travels the world in search of adventure and money in his dirigible crafted from a balloon and a top hat. Given that he is a spiny creature, this des not seem like the most practical means of transportation, but he manages to make it work.
In this issue, Geronimo St. James is transporting his prisoner, the captured war criminal Lionel Maplethorpe (a large green lizard) to the mysterious Tribunal. However, while high above the Australian landscape, the dirigible is pierced by an arrow and St. James, Maplethorpe, and the dirigible come crashing to the ground. Maplethrope escapes and St. James is forced to strike a deal with a local rabbit to rescue her imprisoned husband in exchange for her repairing the dirigible.
Echidna Dirigible is the brainchild of Aaron Scott Humphry. He handles both the art and writing chores with equal skill. Both are charming and work on several levels. The art is simple and colorful, inviting readers of all ages to come in and check out the story. Even without words, the story would be more or less understandable (some of the nuance would be lost, but the broad plot would be clear).
Speaking of plot, Humphry has written a story which works for both kids and adults. Kids will enjoy the basic story while adults will chuckle at some of the more subtle pieces which sail above kids’ heads. St. James employs a variety to steampunk inspired gadgets which would make James Bond jealous. And, when those fail, he uses his natural echidna-ness to great effect. Echidna Dirigible truly is an all-ages comic!
We often hear about books which invite multiple readings or further exploration. Echidna Dirigible takes that to a new level. What first seems like a hand-mande and slightly clumsy dust-jacket is actually designed to be removed and explored as a piece on its own. It becomes a piece which enhances the experience and can be enjoyed as a piece of art on its own.
Echidna dirigible is a comic chock full of fun for the entire family. While the issue tells a complete story, once ou get to the end there is no doubt you will be begging for more!