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Indie Comic Review: Grim Reefer #1

One of the biggest problems I tend to see with indie comics is pacing. Writers try to create a grand story from beginning to end that they often forget comic stories are told in issues, which need to have their own beginning, middle, and end. Without focusing on an issue at a time, a story can meander, and the reader won't move on to issue two.

Fortunately, Grim Reefer doesn't have that problem. It starts out in media res, which is a fancy way of saying the middle of the action. Right away, the reader is introduced to supposedly the two main characters. One is a guy simply trying to get by. The other is his cousin, who is a stone cold, murdering maniac. The plot focuses on a strain of marijuana that brings the homicidal cousin back to life, possessing whoever smokes it.

Supernatural weed is a great story trope that unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) isn't utilized often enough. Combining it with over the top, gratuitous horror is a great match. Weed, murder, and comedy go together surprisingly well, as orchestrated in the issue’s closing scene. There's a lot of possibilities left to explore with this premise, and the issue ends on just the right note that leaves you wanting to go on.

Still, the book has a lot of issues typical of an indie comic. There are a couple crossbar I's that were missed with the lettering and some of the dialogue felt a little clunky, especially when it came to cursing. Plus, there's a lull in middle of the story as the characters were fleshed out. But a lot of that can be overlooked by the book delivering on its premise. It's certainly not for everyone, but not every book is. However, for those intrigue by its title alone, you won't be disappointed.

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