Peace of Mind #1
Written by: Callum Fraser
Art by: Emiliano Correa
Published by: Grym Comics


Back in 1999 I saw an interview with Joe Pantoliano talking about his upcoming film The Matrix. He was saying something akin to, “The Matrix will be phenomenal and will totally blow (the then upcoming) new Star Wars movie away.” Now I always liked Joey Pants as an actor but really doubted his words. I sat down in the theater on March 31, 1999 and was……..COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY BY THE MATRIX. I left the theater and called every single person that I knew – telling them, “You need to get to the movie theater right now. You HAVE to see this movie.” By the way Joey Pants was right. The Matrix blew The Phantom Menace out of the water. The film won 4 Academy Awards, had two sequels, an anthology anime, books, comic books, video games, and more imitators then you could shake a stick at. Nothing was as great as that first film, especially when you look at the bloated sequels.

Why do I mention all of this in reviewing a comic book that has zero relationship to The Matrix? The reason is themes as in the theme of Peace of Mind, the technology, and the feeling you have when reading this first issue. This is a book that deals with computers, with “jacking in”, with technologic advancement, and incorporating a human into that world. The book is a pretty breathtaking achievements. It only has the themes of The Matrix but it FEELS like a natural extension of that universe. More so than any other actual Matrix comics I’ve ever read.

Peace of Mind stars a young woman living a wonderful life in a beautiful home. Except this young woman doesn’t have a beautiful home. Her wonderful life is fake. She’s been living in a computer simulation and that has come to an end. Why? Because the company who put her in the VR doesn’t do it for free and this woman has just run out of money. Bringing her out of the VR puts her into shock. Workers cut her wires and throw her into a pit with countless other dead bodies. Broke, no family, and left to die on a pile of rotting corpses. This….pretty much sounds like the future of our race anyway.

A scavenger named Mickey roams these lands looking for useful materials to bring back to his group of computer scavenger peoples. He comes across the girl’s body and goes to rip the equipment out of her head. Except it shocks the shit out of him. Mickey is taken back. The girl’s not dead. Not only is she not dead but she’s special. Mickey knows she’s special. He picks up the body and takes her back to scavenger base of operations.

The scavenger brings the girl back to his scavenger friends who are amazed at this (still looking pretty dead) special young woman. And this is where the last third of the first issue takes us though I don’t want to delve too deeply into the plot here. I will say that the reason this girl is special is because it seems she will be able to communicate with machines that these scavengers aren’t able to do. The thought process here is hook her up and see what happens. That is thinking that usually gets everyone into trouble. And for the brave souls attempting this? They are about to find out what happens when they do something that they don’t understand.

I really dug this book. The first issue has a great Matrix meets Ghost in the Shell vibe – with some possibility of The Terminator coming down the pipe. It’s not super expansive and I really wish that the book dug more into the storyline then it did. Now is what on the page bad? NO NOT AT ALL. I really think this book is incredibly well written and has a story that hooked me from the start. I just know that indy books tend to take a bit longer to reach fans then your average Marvel, DC, Image, or Valiant comic. I’m sure while issue one of Peace of Mind is available, number two isn’t coming one month from now. There’s going to be a wait. And me? I’m impatient. I’m very, very, very impatient.

The book’s artwork is done by Emiliano Correa who I actually just covered in one of my artist spotlights. The man is AMAZING. I call him the next Terry Dodson and I think the comparison is quite apt. The man has a gift for art and it is quite evident here on Peace of Mind. Now if you look at this art and say that Correa’s characters don’t look as sexy as Dodson’s I would say that is a correct assessment. Peace of Mind is not that kind of book. There’s no sexy superhero in tight clothing here to save the day. This is a sci-fi book in a technological wasteland. It is meant to look dingy, dirty, polluted, and invoke a feeling of no hope. Correa pulls this off beautifully. We can save the sexy superheroes for his next comic.

As for Piece of Mind #1 I’ll reiterate that the story and art both captivated me right from the start. It doesn’t take too long to get into the plot and the reader is thrown right in following the body of this poor woman and what happens to her next. Will she be assimilated back into a VR world? Throw the world into chaos? End up being some amalgam of The Matrix and Weekend at Bernies? I’m not certain. But what I will say is that this book is an excellent kickoff from Grym Comics and one must read independent comic. It is stunning and outstanding.


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