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Collective Consciousness Rock Candy Mountain #1

by stephengervais on April 04, 2017

Welcome back to Collective Consciousness, our weekly article where the staff takes one comic and puts it under the microscope. This allows us, and you, faithful reader, to get a good idea of how the comic fares against a variety of opinions. This week we're taking a look at new series from Image Comics, Rock Candy Mountain #1.
 
Image solicit: “KYLE STARKS, would like to invite you to enter the magical world of hobos. The world's toughest hobo is searching through post-World War II America for the mythological Rock Candy Mountain, and he's going to have to fight his way to get there. Lots of hobo fights. So many hobo fights.”
 
 
Written by: Kyle Starks
Art by: Kyle Starks
Publisher: Image Comics
 
 
Hussein Al-Wasiti
This was such a fun time. The story was so wacky and the script was wicked fast. The dialogue was hilarious and the time period felt so unexpected. Why the hell is Satan himself chasing this guy Jackson? What did Jackson do to piss of Satan? I don't know, but he sure knows how to dole out a beating.
 
Most of the story takes place in this train car, and writer/artist Kyle Starks makes full use of this with inventive dialogue and situations. The art was pretty cartoony, in a way that strangely fit the story. The colouring by Chris Schweizer was just grimy enough to dial back the cartoon-style of the artwork, and grounded the story as much as it could.
 
I might be wrong, but this could be the only comic book about train-hopping hobos ever made. Research as you will. 
 
Forrest Hollingsworth
This is a surprisingly honed first issue. An issue I found myself liking more than I went in expecting to.
 
Riding the line between real word song, fantastical hobo-world, and something approximating historical fiction between the two, the characters here are believable dramatizations, the writing is a slam dunk of humor and intrigue and the art is effectively simple but engaging. 
 
One thing that I especially liked, that I found myself really admiring was the deft use of language. Oftentimes, in other historical fiction books, I find the constant adhesion to lingo or “time correct” vernacular ostentatious, like I’m being beat over the head with it. Here? It’s effortless. Maybe not entirely period-accurate but fun, breezy and key in conveying a specific mood that heightens the story. It’s well written, welcoming but unique. 
 
The rest of the issue, too, is good. Save for the overuse of this slightly varying blue color palette that I found a little same-y. I’m more than excited for the next issue, I have high hopes that it will deliver on the same folksy, engaging highs that are here. 
 

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside