Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: Off Road

Sean Murphy brings us the story of a group of friends that need to overcome some recent bad luck and personal issues.

Trent the art student that's never had much luck in the love department, Greg the rich boy of the group but with a empty life and Brad the tough guy with family problems reunite after Trent is dumped again.

When they get together what better way to lift their spirits than to go off-roading in Greg's brand new yellow Jeep?

And this will be a day they will never forget.

How good is it?

Off Road is all about healing emotional wounds, growing up and making friends. Sean Murphy does an excellent job in putting this book together. He tells us a story about these three high school friends that reunite when Trent gets dumped again.

Murphy keeps away from the most common plot pits and cliches, and the book profits from that. The story is always fresh and original from the beginning to end. Sure, there are a few predictable events in it, but nothing big and nothing that will take you out of the story.

I'm always suspicious of books where the author does everything. Usually we only get one good aspect, but in this case my suspicions were proven unfounded. Sean Murphy did a excellent work on the art department, as could be expected, and on the writing department he did a very good job. The book is very dynamic. The art conveys very well the speed and bumpiness of the off road bits and the dialog is a delight to read.

If I had to point out something I didn't enjoy as much, it had to be the backgrounds, or lack of them for the most part. Even for a B&W book they're to lacking, but this is a minor thing, mostly unnoticeable.

In the end, you'll enjoy Trent's journey into self-esteem, Brad's leaning to deal with his Dad and Greg's lesson on enjoy life beyond the family money. And they do earn the mud on that yellow Jeep.

On a personal note, the last guy that tried to sell me a house was, right to the soul patch, exactly equal to the car salesman that sold Greg his yellow Jeep.

But... Who is Larry?
Beat your Jeep!

Would I recommend it?

I highly recommend this graphic novel. There really isn't any truly negative point to this book. I'm not saying its perfect, of course not, but it is very enjoyable on all levels. The plot is a simple, straightforward and engaging story, the art is very good and conveys the story pace very well, and both combined build a great reading experience.
Either you're a fan of Sean Murphy, black and white art, simple stories or not, you will find something here to enjoy.
Also it will make for a great gift (not for me, I already have one).

Publisher: IDW
Year: 2011
Authors: Sean Murphy

This book is also available in Portuguese

Publisher: Kingpin Books
Year: 2012
Authors: Sean Murphy


  1. I love Sean Murphy. I was only familiar with him as an artist until I read Punk Rock Jesus and I was surprised to see how good a writer he is. It's great to hear that Off Road is also good. I don't know why I never heard of it before. A group of young friends on a road trip. Love the premise. Even in black and white I'm sure I'd love this. Love the cover. I'd like to think Greg is the blonde one, Trent is the one standing up looking to the horizon and Brad the only one sitting on the jeep.

    As you can, see I can't stop saying "love".

    1. You got them right.

      After Joe the Barbarian, I did an Amazon search for Sean Murphy and this was one of the books I ended up buying because it had great reviews. And I'm glad I did.

      I have one more book of his, but it will have to wait :)

  2. Rui, esse livro está publicado em português...
    É sempre bom pelo menos mencionar isso! A não ser que estejas a escrever apenas para o EUA!


    1. Viva Nuno,

      Não sabia. Obrigado pela info.

      Decidi escrever o blog em inglês só porque as comunidades em que participo comunicam em inglês, não porque escreva para o EUA.

      Obrigado pelo comentário :)