Review: Grind (Joe Palmer Comics)

From the opening scenes involving a row over a cup of tea in the workplace, you can’t help but be drawn into Joe Palmer’s scintilating sci-fi one shot Grind. The workplace banter is instantly familliar, but the world it is set in is one of a kind and it’s this perfect combination of the fresh and the familliar which make Grind such a fantastic read.

Publisher: Joe Palmer Comics
Writer: Joe Palmer
Artist: Joe Palmers
Price: £1 from Gumroad

Set in a futuristic courier company Tony and Joy are two rival agents – one human and one a robot – who deliver packages on roller blades and are competing to be the quickest on two blades. But as they compete over one delivery, things get a bit more heated when the law gets called on them and they are hunted down before they can arrive at their destination.

This quirky tale feels like it could have come straight from the pages of a 2000 AD Futureshock which is no surprise seeing as Palmer is a veteran of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. It has that perfect blend of science fiction and humour and because it is released in its own right, it doesn’t get lost in the crowd of an anthology – so is much better as a result. But it’s more than just a 2000 AD after thought, as it also has that Image Comics slickness to it, reminding us of books like D4VE and even the recent Death Or Glory in it’s glossy presentation.

The story itself is relatively simple but made to fizz thanks to a pair of fantastic lead characters and their sparkling dialogue. They are the ultimate odd couple, and the dynamic of human vs. robot is both classically cliched, but also feels really fresh at the same time.

Palmer’s stylish artwork also helps make the most of the all-action, high energy concept as well as making it feel like a really premium product. The action leaps out of every panel, while the colours are both muted and earthy and also slick and modern. Palmer’s character design is exceptional and gives each character a unique look that feels both instantly familliar to the world of sci-fi (especially Tony) but also really unique. It’s also noteworthy that Joy is a woman of colour, which shouldn’t feel as original as it does, but it again makes for a different perspective for what could have been a very run of the mill story.

Grind, is a high energy, high concept delight, which is anything but a grind to read. So get over to Joe’s Gumroad store now and pick it up for just £1 and you’ll make sure this is one package, that doesn’t get lost in the post – in fact Grind is a really special delivery!