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Indie Comic Corner: Man vs. Rock Volume 4 Review

It has been nine or so months since the last volume of this wackadoo series which probably means we’ll get more offensive material than ever! Why do I think this? Because it takes nine months to gestate a human baby and coincidentally the same amount of time for the human brain to forget the reasons why they loved and hated a thing. So lets remind ourselves…is it good?

Man vs. Rock Vol. 4

I must say, writers Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy outdo themselves in this issue. Partly because the story takes a surprising turn I did not see coming and also because it gets pretty offensive. Instead of the story moving forward as the Rocks destroy all of society, we get a big chunk of backstory on our protagonist. It’s a clever little respite from the insanity of the plot and allows us to see the insane childhood of a man who just wants to kill those damn rocks. The fact that they’ve been able to have such a simplistically stupid idea—that rocks are humanity’s worst enemy and have been plotting to rise up and kill us all for hundreds of years—and keep it interesting is a testament to the amount of jokes they stick into this comic.

Nailed it.

This issue opens with Buck Stone living in a world where rocks rule. TV shows star rocks, barkeeps are rocks and even strippers are rocks. It’s odd, surreal and cooky as hell. Eventually it turns out this insanity has an explanation. It’s nicely over the top and fun and once it’s over it makes some sense. Then Bieber and DeTroy take things on an even more insanely impossible and weird route via Buck’s backstory. They’re clearly having fun going nuts with a logically impossible story and it’s fun to see how far they go. British royalty, nuns and orphans are all in their crosshairs as they make fun of each in a variety of ways.

One might say they go a bit too far (because really, how much of this makes any sense at all?), but it’s all in good fun and worth the jokes. Which is probably the only argument you could make against this series. It’s all so loopy and not tethered to any sort of logic. It’s just trying to top itself at every turn no matter what. That can tend to get a bit tiresome. But then you get a silly joke about New Zealanders that’s so over the top you have to laugh.

Nice Kubrick.

The art by Jared Lamp continues to be detailed and organic in its sketchy tone. He draws Buck always detailed with his scruff and squinting eyes very well and many of the jokes just wouldn’t land without Lamp’s ability to draw the perfect expression. His drawings of real life people go without a hitch too, as they look like spot-on caricatures. Heck, he even sticks a decent Stanley Kubrick in one panel.

To say the art is ‘indie’ is an understatement, and it suits the humor and storytelling going on here. I really couldn’t imagine this comic drawn by anybody else and adding color would make it too cartoony. Instead it’s all black and white pen with very little inking which helps it feel somehow realistic.

Well that’s hilarious.

Is It Good?

This volume is filled with jokes, many of which are offensive, but it’s all so over the top you can’t help but laugh. It’s also the most insane ride you’ll take all year as it tops itself over and over with weird twists and turns.

MvR Vol 4 can be bought on their online store, and the LCS if you’re in Southern California.


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