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“FILTHY FUCKING HOBOS!”
That sentence above is the opening line in Rock Candy Mountain, written and drawn by Kyle Starks (of Sexcastle and the Rick and Morty comic on ONI press). Not only is that the first sentence, but it is being by screamed by Satan himself in the year 1948, as he punches through the heads of classic looking hobos. If that's not an amazing way to start a series off, then I no longer know what amazing means. That's only a taste of what Rock Candy Mountain has to offer the readers. Sadly, we only get a few pages of Satan before the focus shifts over to the man The Devil is looking for, the mysterious Jackson, who is searching for the infamous “Rock Candy Mountain” of folk song lore. Jackson is riding the rails when he comes across another, albeit vastly different wayward soul (who we come to know as Pomona) and helps him out of a bind, and then the two have to face down the hobo mafia.
This first issue is a tremendous introduction to this world. The art is as cartoon-ish as can be, which is brilliantly contrasted with some of the most hilarious use of cursing I've seen ion a comic (Suit clad Pomona running along side a train calling it a “Metal Cocksucker” comes to mind), as well as just hysterical dialogue all around. The constant scoldings of Johnny Dean by Boss Flimbo (Obviously head of the hobo mob) may be the highlight of this book. There's no kind of slang like 1940's hobo slang, and it feels like Kyle Starks knows this.
On top of the primo joke laden dialogue, there is a ton more action then you'd ever expect from a comic such as this one. As I mentioned before, the book opens up with Satan taking on a gang of Hobos , punching and kicking through limbs and heads, but of course that's incredible. But one of the best moments of action comes towards the end of the book during an all out hobo train car brawl. The action is highlighted by the use of smaller panels to get all of the hobo punching action that makes Rock Candy Mountain what it is. Also, the coloring of this scene is brought to life by the use of dark blues to mimic the fight by moonlight feel that is going on.
All in all, Rock Candy Mountain is a fresh, funny, and wonderfully entertaining comicbook going back to a bleak time and turning it to a heartfelt journey. I have no idea whats to come, but I will fight for my place on the Rock Candy Mountain train car.
Favorite Line: “Stop trying to feed me beans, you moron!”
Rating : 10/10