The basic pitch idea for “Great Pacific” from Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo is a great one: a billionaire decides to try and settle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I was expecting a fun comic about the difficulties and unique situations that would come about from an endeavor like this. What I got last month, though, was a story about a slightly spoiled young man faking his own death. I’m glad I came back for “Great Pacific” #2, though. With this issue, I got exactly what I’d hoped the first issue would have been like.
“Great Pacific” #2 takes some necessary liberties with the real-life Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (It’s not so densely packed that you could actually walk on it, most notably.) But keeping in mind that this is a work of fiction, as soon as you take that tweak as something needed for this comic to happen, it’s a lot of fun. Chas’s opening exploration of the area around his New Texas Settlement is entertaining; it’s a strange new world and one that has much more living on and around it than one might expect.
I found myself appreciating that even though it’s early days, Chas and his friend Alex are already approaching their attempt to form a new sovereign nation as anything but easy. Unlike people in the past who have done similar things (most notably the Minerva Reef), they’re already contacting other foreign ministers and understanding that survival will be as much political as physical. But with entities lurking under the surface and the first murder in New Texas, we’re already in for a bumpy ride, and that mix of intrigue and action is exactly where I wanted “Great Pacific” to go.
Morazzo’s art is fairly good. He’s at his best when drawing the overall look of New Texas; the crests of garbage, the sea turtles pushing their way out of the trash, the dramatic appearance of the dreaded Yalafath. Where I’m not quite as convinced just yet is how he draws people; Alex at one point has a head so long and distended that it made me think it was a character from “Beavis & Butt-Head,” and in general the expressions vary from fine to blank. With characters he’s at his best when they’re confronting one another; the local and Chas first meeting is drawn in a nice tense manner, and I want to see more art from Morazzo along those lines.
If you haven’t read “Great Pacific” #1 (which has sold out at the distributor level although a second print is also hitting stores), I’d say to just start with “Great Pacific” #2 to get a better idea of what the series will hopefully be like. It’s sold me on the series much more than the actual debut; I understand why they went the way they did but this is none the less a much better comic. Based on “Great Pacific” #2, I’d say to check this series out.