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Comic Review: Off Grid #1
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Off Grid #1Off Grid #1
Written by Plaid Klaus
Illustrated by Plaid Klaus
Colored by Plaid Klaus
Lettered by Plaid Klaus
Cover by Plaid Klaus
Mind Comics
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Cover Price: $2.50

Mind Comics, an indie comic book publisher, just released Off Grid #1. Written and illustrated by creator Plaid Klaus (Klaus Shmidheiser), Off Grid is the tale of a band of “Resistance” fighters, strategically trying to survive on the outskirts of society. With such an interesting premise, was Klaus able to follow through in his storytelling?

When all electricity failed and the country went “dark,” the frightened citizens of the United States latched onto rumors of nuclear war and attacks from outside forces. It wasn’t until the government was able to turn the grid back on that they released information to their citizens regarding the true cause of the blackout: domestic terrorism. Citizens were then forced to live in the major cities of the country and anyone who left the confines of the guarded living zones would be considered terrorists. A small group of people who refer to themselves as “The Resistance” live off the grid, avoiding the government’s militaristic rule.

When two “hippies” stroll through their territory in Wenatchee Forest, Oregon 100 miles off grid, the group is forced to take them in. Along with the discovery that the newcomers’ cell phones are being tracked, the group has no choice but to make a hasty move. To make matters more complicated, half of the group is hesitant to leave without controversial member Khaled, as he is out hunting for food. Some of the Resistance believes Khaled to be their only hope of survival and the other faction believes him to be too dangerous to keep around. Before the issue’s end, a verbal quarrel ensues and secrets are revealed about Khaled that leave the group with even more questions.

Klaus has created quite an entertaining comic in Off Grid. It incorporates just the right amount of humor in addition to suspense The realism of the situation mingles with fast paced action and the dialogue and narration blend together brilliantly. Each individual character is illustrated as a perfect fit, having almost a Venture Brothers style. The distinct character representations all look and act differently, making each character’s particular role in the Resistance believable. Sure, there are a couple of spelling errors, but given that Mind Comics is a small publishing company and that issue number one as a whole was a great read, I can easily forgive this minor detail.

In light of such terrible events as the bombing in Boston at the Boston Marathon, I have to admit that I had a hard time reading Off Grid #1 without thinking about the current crises hitting our nation. Putting those thoughts and anxieties aside, I read through the issue a second time in order to view the story as just that: a story””and I’m glad I did. It was a fun read, with equally exciting illustrations and I look forward to seeing what direction Klaus takes in Off Grid #2.

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