Ever wanted to learn the life of hobos? Ever wanted to see them fight to the death? Ever enjoyed laugh out loud comic books? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you just might be a good fit for this crazy-town series.
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer
Publisher: Image Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Mysterious, tough-as-hell hobo Jackson continues his search for the mythical Rock Candy Mountain in the most obvious place: an underground fight club. Yup, that’s right, this issue includes a veritable crap-ton of hobo fights. Did you think we were going to lay off the hobo fights? Nope! EVEN MORE HOBO FIGHTS! Also: the Literal Devil, a guy named Hundred Cat, and poor Pomona Slim continuing to be drug in the wake of an adventure he is woefully unprepared for. Did you hear? HOBO FIGHT CLUB.
Why does this book matter?
Kyle Starks (the writer and artist) is a swell guy and had some interesting thoughts about this series when we spoke about it a few months ago. He’s also a top notch artist when it comes to visual comedy.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I wanna see more of her!
After an action packed first issue Starks brings this issue down to a more calm level as we integrate amongst the hobos. Bask in their off color fashion and sickly smell! In a lot of ways this issue serves as a better introduction because Starks introduces a threat to both Jackson and Pomona (by association) in the opening pages which gives the book a tinge more tension. We also get a bit more indirect character work for Jackson via the hobos who take care of Pomona in the opening pages, and later in the hobo fight club. That’s right, the calming opening switches to a certifiable action fest to end the book.
That action continues the hobo fighting fun. This time there’s an interesting element of the fight club for Starks to explore, but also plenty of hobo fighting. That includes humorous fights, off color dialogue, and some surprising matchups. The action is well choreographed and suits the cartoony nature of Starks’ style. Chris Schweizer’s colors help add a bit of life to the characters, though it’s somewhat subdued which gives the book an old timey feel. Though the art style is simplistic, there’s still an attention of detail that makes–say a geysering nosebleed–work quite well. There’s a good use of smoke and dust to convey a punch to the face too. While most characters are dressed in common clothing, much props goes to Starks for the design of the fight club ringleader.
Something should be said of the layouts which tend to push a lot of panels onto a single page. By the end of the issue I felt like I got my money’s worth and then some due to how many panels Starks fits into this book. For $3.99 it feels like a steal.
Isn’t the bearded one lovable?
It can’t be perfect can it?
The fighting continues to be the funniest element of the book. There are humorous moments throughout, but I did find the opening pages–particularly with Pomona talking to the hobos–more exposition worthy than funny. So far this series hasn’t been as funny as Kyle Starks’ fantastic Sexcastle, which might be an unfair comparison, but I can’t shake the feeling this should be funnier than it is.
Is It Good?
This is a hobo education you never knew you needed. The fight scenes are excellent and the premise just ridiculous enough to make you want more.