By Ryan O’Sullivan, Plaid Klaus, Aditya Bidikar

Void Trip #4 is back again with a fun issue about the repercussions of narcotics use, which is an odd sentence that captures the series fairly well. Ana, now the last human alive after the results of issue #3, spends some time grieving her lost friend and discovering more about their relationship. Meanwhile, the series’ villain looms over her, stalking ever closer. Plaid Klaus absolutely shines in Void Trip. He has a lot of artistic freedom thanks to the characters’ recurring inebriation, and his panels have a wonderful ability to take advantage of scenes without dialogue, especially given the issue’s themes of unspoken emotions. From a narrative standpoint, the issue follows a similar structure from its preceding three; hard-hitting emotional beats meet with irreverent jokes, almost dismissing the weight of the moment.

Interestingly enough, this structure is fitting for the characters as well as what themes the series might be pointing towards. Ana and Gabe have struggled to address their feelings about one another as friends since the beginning. Their relationship involved making jokes and getting into hijinx together. Gabe telling Ana that their friendship was appreciated would seem out of place and odd, even uncomfortable. So, when a serious conversation was approached, Ana typically deflected and avoided. It’s this knee jerk reaction from her that reflects the narrative of the entire series. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always come across, and this opinion depends greatly on the reader and what kind of story you’re looking for.

When those emotional moments are drawn out, though, the series is bright. The issue’s final few pages are mostly quiet in a last moment of reverence and cooperation between writer, O’Sullivan and artist, Klaus. Ana allows herself to be vulnerable, and the gags step off the gas. Klaus lets the scene get dark and somber by juxtaposing a single light on the scene. His strengths are clear throughout. Klaus shows the emotion of a scene without needing to put expression on a character’s face. He establishes the issue’s tone consistently and differentiates the humor from the realism well. Overall, Klaus’ layouts and colors stand out. He explores interesting layering and leans into the narcotic sci-fi adventure that Void Trip finds its roots in with purples, pinks, and bright blues. The holographic character, AI, for example, is consistently interesting to look at on a page because of the bright effect surrounding it.

Void Trip #4 is a good issue for fans of irreverent comedy mixed with emotional character moments, sci-fi, and, of course, themes of drug usage. O’Sullivan and Klaus are two talented creators with a story to tell. Its quirks, though potentially off putting to some, are seemingly rooted in the themes and characters, meaning that readers who appreciate the main character, Ana, and understand where her drive comes from will love the comic, while those who disagree with her primarily less than serious attitude might find that the story beats are diminished by some of the gags.

About The Author Former Contributor

Former Contributor

%d bloggers like this: