Void Trip, by writer Ryan O’Sullivan and artist Plaid Klaus, is collected by Image and on stands next Wednesday, the 30th of May, and as a series that got away from me, I was glad to take this opportunity to read the whole shebang. And, I’m glad I did as it’s the kind of comic that really appeals to me as one that doesn’t take itself too seriously even when it explores some pretty big ideas!
What starts off as a humourous jaunt through space, off their boxes on the galaxy’s greatest recreational drug of choice, Froot, in search of the trippy-hippy spaced out planet of Euphoria, turns into something far more epic than either of our two main protagonists, star child Ana and old time hippy, Gabe, had anticipated. Seems like time and tide wait for no-one and the legend of Euphoria is a far cry from the reality.
As a man-child of the 90’s, when alternative philosophies came back into vogue with the rave scene and mind-expanding recreational drugs were all the norm, Ana and her cod philosophical outlook on the universe was something I could get onboard with. A kinda space socialist who’s not too fussed about appropriation of goods from others. Be they bourgeois or proletariat. Seems Ana and Gabe don’t discriminate when pilfering.
But, they’ve got bigger problems than where their next high can be found. Not when a mysterious masked assassin with god-like power level is hot on their trail. This spaceman with no name is a stone-cold killer and even by the end of this first arc, there are questions that remain unanswered. For now.
Plaid Klaus’s artwork is a real fit for this story. A sci-fi saga that’s equal parts conflict as it is laughs. And Klaus’s artistic style lends itself extremely well to this. A well-designed looking galaxy but with the odd looking alien, no more so than Hitch, a Cthulhu-faced, scruffy, business-suited infiltrator who doesn’t even look like he poses a threat. Especially when he’s tripping his balls off too! Him, and the ever-changing holographic ship’s AI, were stand out characters for me in a book full of great and zany characters.
But its not all sunshine and happiness and there is tragedy too, and the revelation that Ana, our carefree hero, is more than she thinks. Add these elements into the mix, plus some funny looking alien dudes and you have a great looking and fun read of a comic that does a good act of not being too deep when it is deep. Religion, narrative theory and straight up discussions on drugs and their status as either legal or illegal, depending on where you are, are all included, often presented through breezy, stoner conversation. Its a neat trick that O’Sullivan and Klaus pull off effortlessly, too. A sci-fi space comedy with some philosophical depth. On drugs! Space drugs at that.
Void Trip by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus is out Wednesday, the 30th of May, 2018 from Image Comics.