Void Trip #2
By Ryan O’Sullivan, Plaid Klaus
Void Trip is potentially one of the most aptly named series of 2017. Issue #2 continues the misadventures of Gabe and Ana as they struggle (or thrive?) with their love of the psychedelic substance known as froot. The arc of this issue mirrors the ups and downs of an extreme high, keeping the reader guessing as to what is and isn’t real. This task becomes even more difficult when considering the world that Void Trip takes place in. It’s filled with aliens, robots, and scenes that often look like a beautiful, hippie sci-fi dream come true.
Klaus’ pencil provides a playful take on the realistic art style that keeps readers guessing when it comes to tone. It works perfectly for this issue as the story’s conflict forces drugs and personal relationships to knock against one another. That being said, emotions are constantly high in this issue, whether that’s because of an argument or a stimulant, and Klaus succeeds again with his ability to portray that in human and non-human figures. He uses body language as well as facial expressions to show everything a character is feeling throughout the trip.
Even through all the seemingly nonsensical stops in Void Trip #2, everything that happens to Ana and Gabe carries weight. Some of the most thoughtful character moments occur during trips, while rousing from one provides comic juxtaposition. O’Sullivan isn’t afraid of laughing at himself or the situations that he puts his characters in, and that attitude manifests itself as a delightfully zaney issue. One particular conversation between two characters with a significant dissonance in intelligence is both wildly interesting and unabashedly funny.
It’s this duality that defines the series. The creators keep readers guessing and as they upend all expectations of what might happen next. Void Trip embraces every moment as important in some way, and constantly pulls off either to make a worthwhile joke, or add to the inner conflict of Ana, Gabe, and even the villain of the story. This character in particular becomes infinitely more mysterious as more questions about him are raised and even more are left unanswered.
This mindset towards the building of a series has its flaws, though, and that comes most often from transitions between scenes. The idea that anything can happen is fun, but it leaves holes, albeit small ones, in the narrative. Wondering about plot points sucks the reader out of the world of Void Trip, and plops them back into our own for a few moments. Questions about how characters arrived at a few points are never large enough to damage the rest of the story, however.
Void Trip #2 is honest, fun, and spontaneous. It sticks closely to the central premise of a few drug users on their space journey to Euphoria, taking time to explore themes and moments as they arrive. The characters’ nuance peaks through their froot juice drenched exterior, hinting at growth to come. O’Sullivan and Klaus’ partnership in this series is rewarding and comical.