Sci-fi dystopian series Peace of Mind from Grym Comics is one that I spotted through the Comichaus app originally but when the full 3-issue series was collected I just had to get a look.
It tells the story of a future where addiction to VR has gone beyond mere escapism but instead has indoctrinated the masses into a life of poverty as they desperately try to keep themselves hooked up to the one thing that gives their lives meaning. It doesn’t seem to matter that it’s not real as the corporate behemoth behind the supply of VR as they’re focused on the money and if credit runs out then you’re dumped into the sewers as part of the full service package they provide. That brings us to the world out of view in the sewers where friends and fellow salvagers Mickey, Suzy & Leroy scavenge for food,supplies & survivors as best they can.
The latest arrival into their dark world is a recent customer who has been disconnected & dumped in a manner fitting their available credit but the shattered link she had brings with it an opportunity for them to head back to lives they had long since abandoned. A flash of their own past comes back to haunt them as that unfolds but it gives just enough extra insight into the structure the world has, the reasons behind their current predicaments and their shared beliefs that they can not only survive but also make the world a better place too – and that all starts with this new arrival.
The group of friends find themselves in the sights of those wishing to maintain the level of corporate control they currently have and with digital & physical enemies ready to pursue them the stakes just seem to get higher and higher. The lines between the virtual & real world become blurred as the end game closes in and with surprises along the way there’s a strong sense that a journey has been travelled in order to try and make a difference……the question is always going to be “is it enough?”
Callum’s story has everything you could want from a sci-fi book and just like many of the best known sci-fi tales there’s an air of truth in a number of the key elements that make things eerie from the beginning. The central characters are all honest in their depiction and with a natural connection between them it all makes sense that they’d end up working for the same cause which in turn gets you on their side before you even realise it. That’s backed up by Emiliano Correa’s art where the detail, colours and panel layouts give a dark world a depth that’s steeped in the weary traits of survival and with the real & digital worlds coexisting there’s a seamless transition between the two as they collide. Polishing off the team is Rob Jones on lettering who, yet again, manages to handle sections of heavy narration & dialogue to keep things flowing while making it just as big a part of the story in terms of the blurred landscapes things unfold in.
The glowing digital world, the grim sewer existence and everything in between has a strong sense of life to them and with real divides & risks coming to the surface the assured ability of good to overcome evil is chipped away in a story that leaves you guessing until the end. Connection with the characters is effortless and then the art/lettering combo make sure that everything that happens has the sustained level of interest it needs to carry you through a plot that’s too close for comfort on the direction things are going just now, something that all good sci-fi has a knack of doing.
You can also catch-up with each of the creators through the links below: