View From The Den
The first ever VIEW FROM THE DEN features VOID TRIP from Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus. I was extremely lucky to be given the chance to receive a digital copy of this trade and I’m really glad I took the chance and reached out. First of all a HUGE THANK YOU for allowing me to read this over and offer up my take. Now, off we go on one hell of a trip … – Right off the bat we get the prevailing attitude of ANA (our lead and one of only two humans left in the galaxy) painted picture perfectly. When you’re the last of something you find yourself in a pretty liberated state. Seriously, with literally nothing to live for and nothing to lose … what’s the point AND what’s the consequence? Even with an emptiness burning both ends of the candle of their lives they at least find some kind of purpose. Find Euphoria, and no it’s not just the search for the high of eating FROOT. It’s a fabled long lost planet. An epic quest for an epic end of human kind eh?
– ANA gives us a stoner/hippie-esque approach to the end of our race while her partner for the trip (and only other human in existence), Gabe, doesn’t quite share the same ‘fuck it’ viewpoint. Despite having the exact coordinates the trip just wouldn’t be worth it if you hoed a straight line, now would it? The bickering between the two is VERY realistic and conjugates the much deeper than they let on story that unfolds in this book. Subtle humor (such as Ana stating she can’t feel her face after eating some FROOT, Gabe stating he can’t either, and Ana asking why Gabe should be able to feel her face) makes conversation and transition very smooth. Natural flow from a character isn’t always easy to pull through but O’Sullivan does a great job.
Oh and yes, BUSIEKhini DOES taste like the best food you’ve ever had (or read, if I imposed a nod that isn’t there I apologize, but if not … spot on). This little nugget is in a scene where our two humans are essentially pushing drugs (the FROOT) on someone.
… the book is written very, very well. Each character has their own tone and they all come off. Whether it’s an Owl-esque creature in a woe-is-me final moment or the callous, nameless hunter that’s after our humans, everyone is distinct. This gives an even bigger expanse to the UNIVERSE concept of the book. Then you toss in Plaid’s art. The visuals all throughout this beauty are just that, beautiful. The ‘normal’ landscapes are perfect, the universal scenes are appropriately grand, and the tripping balls ventures certainly are every bit the part. As with the writing, the artwork in this book flows the river of the narrative effortlessly. Again, with the ‘trip’ the book takes you on, in every level, the scene on every page makes the ride that much more enjoyable.
O’Sullivan himself: “VOID TRIP aims to answer the question: “how can we be free in a universe that will always course-correct to limit us?” The journey we end up taking isn’t the one you think when you first dive in. The voice of this book speaks not only about the characters within, but also directly to those that decided to come along for the ride. The questions posed throughout the trip make those that read it ponder for themselves not just for the last two humans in the universe. It smacks us all square in the jaw upon arrival to Euphoria. A pretty terse and basic summary of what we do as people is laid out to our duo … and it explains the state of Euphoria with a sad truth of our actual reality. Or is it? Perhaps what some find a sad truth, others find a happy and reassuring freedom. It’s up to you to decide. Is it the trip? The journey? The end? The after? All of it? None of it? … or is it simply what you make it? VOID TRIP asks all of these of you, gives you enough to stir it all around, but leaves it to you to make of it what you will. For that, it was a fantastic ride.