There are a lot of comics out there, but some just stand out head and shoulders above the pack. With “Don’t Miss This” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, we look at “Void Trip,” a retro-futuristic road trip that wrestles with deep philosophical questions. Or maybe just cracks wise.
Who Is This By?
Writer Ryan O’Sullivan (“Warhammer 40,000”) and artist Plaid Klaus (“Glimmer Society,” “Psychonauts”) continue the transatlantic partnership they began on “Turn Coat” with their first creator owned series from Image Comics. Klaus does it all, from pencils to colors to covers, with letters by Aditya Bidikar.
What’s It All About?
Intergalactic vagabonds Gabe and Ana, two self-described “crazy cats on the road to Euphoria,” are the last human beings left in the universe. Naturally, they each embody vastly different philosophies and hold conflicting world views. Gabe, the older and wiser of the two, is more restrained and introspective, often wrestling with the moral implications of the duo’s actions. Ana, on the other hand, is utterly carefree and impulsive, rarely stopping to question her decisions, much less bother to examine their moral significance. Of course, none of this would be a problem if they weren’t running low on food and fuel as they constantly travel the stars in search of more space froot, the psychedelic drug that unites them in their perpetual quest to find ever more mind-bending highs. “That’s real freedom right there,” says Ana. “To feel how you want, when you want, and no one telling you it’s not okay.”
What Makes It So Great?
The show starts on the cover with Klaus’s synchronistic, stylish designs. View all five images together and the clean, uncluttered tableau slyly hints at the story within. Once inside, the color palette alone is almost worth the price of admission. The incredible purples, magentas and cotton candy pinks of the cover – accented brilliantly by blinding, high tech whites and interstellar blacks – wind their way through the story at strategic intervals, subtly tying everything together in a totally trippy but unified aesthetic.
Klaus’s anachronistic, retro-futuristic details also hit the spot, adding a snarky layer of visual commentary to the road trip narrative. Whether it’s a pay phone, 18 wheel tanker truck or interstellar Winnebago, Klaus infuses the story with visual elements that are simultaneously iconic yet wildly out of place in any straightforward sci-fi universe.
Narratively, whether you choose to frame it as a stoner buddy-comedy that occasionally touches on deep philosophical questions or turn it around and view it as a philosophical discussion that isn’t afraid isn’t afraid to crack wise, the story will grab and hold your attention. O’Sullivan’s dialogue is key. Often, the visuals carry the story, but the dialogue gives it punch. One minute we’re laughing, the next we’re wrestling with a philosophical conundrum, wondering what it all means.
Sprinkle heavily with drug-addled visions in which things may or may not be what they seem and the result is a book that you’ll want to spend time with, savoring the artwork while you’re wondering if you’re reading too much into the text, or not enough.
How Can You Read It?
This series started strong, but continues to build momentum. With the third issue of five hitting stores today, it’s the perfect time to get on board and join this misadventure. I have no idea how the last two issues will wrap everything up, but it’s sure to be a blast. Pick up the first three issues and get the last two on your pull list before you miss out.