When someone messages you via Twitter asking if you’d like a free copy of their comic too review, the first two thoughts that run through your mind are:
- Woohoo! Free comics!
- Oh no! What happens if it’s rubbish?
The opening page sets up the New World by telling us the story that one day the world's lights went off and nobody knew why. People guessed at attacks from North Korea or Iran and then after three weeks the governments brought the power back up and proclaimed it too be a domestic terrorist incident and everyone who didn’t report to the major cities would be classed as a terrorist.
One year passes and we are introduced, in this issue, to The Resistance. We meet Jeep (a member of the Resistance) as he rescues a couple of new-age hippies who are attempting to sneak off the grid (leave the major cities). Through every couple of pages the introductions continue. Carefully peeping open stories to come, from zipping sky drones, to heavily armed four legged tanks (called Big Dogs), we are shown that perhaps a human government isn’t in total control anymore. I want to know more of what’s to come and what happened in the year before.
Plaid Klaus seems to have created all of this comic on his own for Mind Comics, taking on both story and art, which is no mean feat and could have easily gone wrong at any point, but he didn’t. I don’t want to cause any offence to PK, but I couldn’t help but think of Ren and Stimpy mashed together with Borderlands when it came to his artwork. The characters in the comic may not be human form perfect with their extra-long necks and square bulging muscles appearing on certain bodies throughout the story. When a well-drawn deer appears it gives a muscle bound knife wielding hulk even more of a cartoon look.
The story echoes the 2000 AD stories from long back when the writers were more freelance, kicking out at the system and feeding you back the media sludge you’ve being masticating on, but with more of a satirical twist. Granted, Off-Grid hasn’t hit the feeding back stage, but I’m sure it will. My only bit of negative criticism? Not much, other than this issue all feels a little rushed. Yes the pace is hectic, but the introduction of people requires a re-read of a panel or the full comic.
Those wanting to buy Off-Grid can do so here and you can find Plaid on Twitter here.
Villordsutch is married with kids and pets. He looks like a tubby Viking and enjoys science fiction. Follow him on Twitter.