As many comics have done before it, The Infinite Vacation explores the concept of alternate realities. Writer Nick Spencer and Artist Christian Ward offer a rather different take of the topic than anything I have seen done in a comic book format, though several movies immediately popped to mind. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets Total Recall meets the Sims, and I have a feeling that within the next few issues we will also be meeting up with 500 days of Summer.
The idea is tempting: go anywhere. Be anything. Just buy the life you want from Infinite Vacation. The premiseof this comic book acquaints us with a world where, for a monetary fee, a person can actually become their self of an alternate reality in order to try a new life on for size. In a Choose your own Adventure kind of way, you can backtrack on life and take the road you didn’t travel. Or perhaps you just forgot to pick up milk on the way home from work. You can also be the ‘you’ that remembered. More excitingly, you can be the ‘you’ that somehow became president of the United States. (That reality costs a lot more than the milk one, by the way.) These realities are amusingly available through a smart phone app.
We are introduced to avid Infinite Vacation customer, Mark. Actually we are introduced to several Marks of various realities, but the primary Mark seems to have something of an addiction to reality hopping. He keeps track of his other selves through a Google powered RSS feed something like Twitter. When an interesting reality comes up for bid, he jumps upon the opportunity to escape. Essentially, Mark is bored and dissatisfied with reality – all of them.
Reality becomes slightly less boring and more worrisome as he begins to read through the RSS feed about himselves dying at an alarming rate. Mark isn’t sure why or how this is happening, but he knows it isn’t right. He tries to consult with some of the other reality Marks, but no one seems to know what’s going on – except one Mark who barges into his living room making startling accusations.
In a word, this book is ‘trippy.’ I’m normally not a fan of overly artistic and unrealistic artwork, but the psychedelic feel to this book really fits the tone. During an advertisement for the Infinite Vacation application, the layout of the book changes from the typical block artwork style to a series of photographic images that absolutely nail the mood of an annoyingly friendly/slightly cheesy sales pitch. While the art medium switch startled me, it was a perfect venue for the feel that the creators seemed to want to procure in their readers.
Adding to the uniqueness, a video by Kendall Bruns has been released as a sort of commercial for Infinite Vacation – the product, not the comic. (Well, really kinda both.)