If it’s cold where you are and you want a good, long comic to curl up with while you enjoy a hot beverage of your choice, I have the perfect recommendation for you. Ghost Junk Sickness is an action-packed, dystopian, queer, sci-fi comic created by Cartridge, a collaboration between two sisters based out of Kingston, Ontario. Due to subject matter and scenes containing violence, gore, and references to trauma and abuse, the story is recommended for mature readers.
Ghost Junk Sickness is currently in its 12th chapter; the story follows protagonists Trigger and Vahn, as well as their friends, “colleagues,” and acquaintances, as they attempt to navigate life on the ravaged planet June 7 and the surrounding galaxy, as well as deeply flawed political and military systems and some scary villains. Cartridge weave everything together beautifully to create a truly robust, fleshed-out world where seemingly anything could happen — which ratchets up the tension significantly.
Here’s the full synopsis:
Trigger Elliot is a bounty hunter who travels around the galaxy with his not-so-fully-licensed-and-technically-illegal-hunting-partner Vahn Gavotte. They’re lousy at what they do and often resort to petty tactics just to get a bounty. This is their life.
Their home planet, June 7, is a world rebuilding itself from an inexplicable catastrophic phenomenon that destroyed 75% of the planet’s surface. It has been 5 years since the destruction of June 7 and the planet now thrives on the transient and growing population of bounty hunters. Trigger and Vahn’s routine changes when an ambiguous huge bounty surfaces; an alleged bounty hunter killer named ‘the Ghost’ with frightening abilities and an unknown motive.
When Trigger’s past catches up with him, there begins a strain on his and Vahn’s hunting dynamic, forcing them to become further involved in chasing the elusive and unpredictable ghost.
From the jump, Ghost Junk Sickness is a truly action-packed and wild ride. The art is incredibly dynamic, even once the full-color pages are replaced with black-and-white panels that feature just splashes of color. Each character has a distinctive look and their voices come through clearly each time they speak, no matter the circumstance. Cyberpunk elements play off of a story and character dynamic that can only be described as “Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Star Wars,” for a comic that is notably fresh, engaging, and fun. Cartridge handle moments of utmost seriousness with the same aplomb as fight scenes gone hilariously awry, and the balance is paramount to what makes this story so darn good.
Ghost Junk Sickness updates Mondays and Fridays at ghostjunksickness.com, where you can also check out character bios, supplemental materials, and more. You can even buy merch! If you want to keep up with the comic on social media, follow along on Tumblr or Twitter.