By Daniel Vlasaty
Rock Candy Mountain is back in all it’s awesome punch diarrhea goodness. Issue #2 takes us back into the hobo camps and rail cars with our boys, Jackson and Slim. They are still making their way to the mythical Rock Candy Mountain, and really, Slim is realizing that he is in over his head out in the world like this. He doesn’t understand hobo-speak, he’s traveling with a man who is probably a little crazy. And there’s still the thing with Satan, whatever it is. I’m going to get this out of the way early on in my review so I can forgo all formalities. I loved this issue. I loved the first issue too. Rock Mountain Candy is great and fun and I just love it.
So, what was so good about this book? Well, everything kind of. It’s a refreshing and unique book in a world full of so many doom-and-gloom, world destroying, heavy-handed books. Rock Mountain Candy is light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too serious. It’s a ridiculous adventure story set in a world that not many people are familiar with. A world of the forgotten, but a world with its own language and laws and history.
Issue #2 finds Jackson and Slim attending an underground bareknuckle fight. Here we are introduced to fighters like Hundred Cat, so named because fighting him is like fighting one hundred cats, and Klanimal, and Jack Fire, and Dog Nuts. Dog Nuts is actually just Jackson in disguise because he’s been banned from the fights. This whole scene is very cinematic and over-the-top bloody and actiony. Jackson is here to enlist the help of the best damn cat burglar in America, Hundred Cat, and Slim is just along for the ride.
This part, Jackson and Slim hiring on Hundred Cat, leaves me very excited to see where the story is going to go. Hundred Cat is a great character, and the fact that Jackson calls him the best cat burglar in the country, leads me to believe Rock Candy Mountain is about to get even more over-the-top and actiony. I cannot even begin to imagine the hijinks these three are going to get into.
The writing in issue #2 is fast-paced and solid. Much like issue #1, this issue is breezy but still manages to tell an engaging story. There are great bits of dialogue and each of the characters seem to have their own voice and style of speech. There is also the hobo-speak, which is basically a language of its own. All in all, Kyle Sparks does an excellent job creating a strange and surreal and entirely interesting world to play around with. And his equally strange and quirky and simple art only adds to this.
If I had to describe the art in only a few words I would say that it’s quirky and simple while still being bold and inviting. I really enjoyed his fights scenes, which were both playful and violent. Watching Jackson dance around and even kiss one of Hundred Cat’s tried and true punches was an exciting spread to experience. And again, just like in the first issue, Chris Schweizer’s colors were top-notch. I feel like the color work in Rock Candy Mountain really does a great job of capturing the environment, the lifestyle. Where in the first issue the colors were more blues and grays, in issue #2 they tend to lean more to the grays and brown. I would say this issue had a dusty and dirty quality to it, much like you’d get rolling around in the dirt at an illegal underground bareknuckle boxing match.
Seriously though, Rock Candy Mountain is just great. I was so excited to see it coming out this week and I already can’t wait for the next issue. If you enjoyed the first issue, which I’m sure you did, then you know what you’re getting into here. I read a lot of comics, like an insane amount, really, and this one might just be one of the most fun books right now. And let’s be honest here, part of me is hoping that Hundred Cat is the best damn cat burglar in the county because he secretly works with an army of one hundred cats to pulls off his heists.
Rock Candy Mountain #2