Review – Peace of Mind #1 (Grym Comics)

Story: Callum Fraser
Artwork: Emiliano Correa
Lettering: Rob Jones
Currently available on the Comichaus App (CLICK HERE).

In the not too distant future, VR has become a major global industry. Not only that, but a global industry rife with addicts who spend their entire lives inside a world in which they can experience their wildest fantasies or relive their fondest memories. But everything comes at a cost, and when you run out of money you are disconnected, a process that, without the proper “care package”, could be fatal. When client 57762D breaches the terms of her contract she is disconnected, flatlines and is dumped unceremoniously in a disposal pit. The only problem is, she isn’t dead.

This first issue of Peace of Mind is a dystopian future-shock that has echoes of The Matrix & Johnny Mnemonic. There’s a whole culture outside of the VR industry scavenging the debris of the lives that the corporations throw away and living off the grid. There are ghosts in the machine and client 57762D has powers over the system that border on the supernatural. This immediately ticked all the boxes for me, as I’ve always been a firm believer that someday advances in technology will wipe us all out, Skynet conspiracy theories and all, so dystopia, especially sci-fi related dystopia is a genre I’ll always reach for if I see it on the shelf (or, in this case, the app).

I think Callum Fraser and Correa Kickstarter-funded story is a well written and illustrated effort that shines a light on the real cost that we face by spending too much of our lives online, not facing reality, letting the real world pass us by.

I also really enjoyed Emiliano Correa’s artwork. He has created a vivid and disturbing world with some interesting and novel details to flesh out the story that Fraser has written.

The only negative I can find is that the feel of the whole issue is very reminiscent of Black Mask’s incredibly successful 2018 hit COME INTO ME. My main worry is that the similarities may inadvertently move this towards being an homage rather than the story this has the potential to be. This isn’t quite as harsh a criticism as it sounds, Come Into Me topped my ‘Best Of’ list last year; I just really think that PEACE OF MIND has its own story to tell and I’d hate for it to lose its voice in the crowd.

I would recommend this to fans of dystopia and sci-fi. There are the seeds of a story here that has potential to become an excellent series, and I really hope Fraser & Correa manage to get the opportunity to tell the rest of their story. I’d love to see where they take this and I’ll be keeping an eye out on Kickstarter for future updates.

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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