Meta 4

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Meta 4
Cover of issue #1
Publication information
Publisher ShadowLine
Publication date June 2010
No. of issues 5
Creative team
Created by Ted McKeever

Meta 4 is a five-issue comic book series by Ted McKeever published by ShadowLine. The first issue was released on June 9, 2010 and the second issue was released on July 7, 2010.


Meta 4 begins with an astronaut waking on a beach with amnesia—he is unable to recall how he got there. The astronaut meets a large muscular woman named "Gasolina" who is dressed in a costume resembling that of Santa Claus. The astronaut notices a number of scars on his body that he can not explain. Author Ted McKeever has called the significance of these scars twofold: "They are both evidence of a mystery that will unfold as the story progresses, as well as a textured map that has meaning to it because of where they are on his body".[1]


McKeever began actively producing Meta 4 after doing a series of black-and-white short story comics for publisher Marvel. It is based on notes he had compiled over previous years. McKeever has described the work as "a journey of self-discovery on a road trip of bizarre nightmares, twisted romance and scientific comedic insanity, spanning from Coney Island to the desolate Midwest".[2] He has also described the main two characters as representing two different mysteries: the astronaut being the mystery of physicality, and Gasolina being the mystery of language.[2]

McKeever initially planned to create Meta 4 as a graphic novel of a hundred or more pages, but was deterred by Jim Valentino of Shadowline. Valentino said of the idea: "With a graphic novel, you only have one opportunity to promote and sell a work".[2]

As inspiration for the series, McKeever points to classic science fiction films that he watched as a child, particularly Planet of the Apes. "Hands down, that movie changed my life" McKeever said. Other influences include Andromeda Strain, THX-1138, Soylent Green and Omega Man.[2]


Dean Stell of the Weekly Comic Book Review gave the first issue a "B-", saying that he found it confusing and slow. He did, however, praise the art—commenting that the simple black-and-white line art worked well for the subject.[3] Chris Arrant of Newsarama said that the style of the series is difficult to describe, but that it is "more identifiable than 99% of comics’ artists out there".[4]


  1. ^ Josh Wigler (June 9, 2010). "Exploring Ted McKeever's "Meta 4"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Michael Aushenker (June 15, 2010). "McKeever Makes Mega Return with META 4". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Dean Stell (June 14, 2010). "Meta 4 #1 – Review". Weekly Comic Book Review. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ Chris Arrant (May 20, 2010). "Ted McKeever's Meta4: Self-Discovery on Coney Island". Newsarama. Retrieved June 22, 2010.