Friday, April 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: The Trip (Action Lab: Danger Zone Comics)

The Trip
THE TRIP - cover image - From Action Lab: Danger Zone Comics

Written by Jesse Grillo
Illustrated by David Brame
Colors by Heather Breckel

A group of college students looking for a good time while on a getaway dose themselves with demon weed, a bitter root ingested by Native Americans in coming-of-age ceremonies. The hallucinations they each experience are based on their deepest fears, and if they can't bring themselves to face them, they die a violent and real-life death. Kind of like A Nightmare on Psilocybin Street.

Most of the characters are stock horror tropes--jocks, sluts, burnouts and assholes--and serve mostly as slaughter fodder. Our heroine here is Karen, a cute goth chick with a dark past whose hallucinatory nightmare is her abusive father...who just so happens to also be coming for her in real life. Facing her fear is going to be a lesson with definite real-life applications.

THE TRIP - Daddy's home - From Action Lab: Danger Zone Comics

This could easily be turned into a low-budget indie horror flick, which would be passable but easily forgotten. Truth be told, the graphic novel might suffer the same fate. The characters and situations are all fairly standard, and the plotting feels rushed. The real star of the show here, though, is the artwork.

The art is cartoonish, sketchy, and slightly exaggerated. It works decently enough for the scenes that are actually happening, but truly excels when depicting the hallucinations. These scenes are all impossible angles, vibrant colors and twisted depictions that are simultaneously frightening and gorgeous--what I imagine dating a stripper would be like.

THE TRIP - Tripping balls - From Action Lab: Danger Zone Comics

So The Trip is like a stripper. Fun to look at, but you don't really care about her story.

Special thanks to ACTION LAB COMICS for the review copy!


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