Rock Candy Mountain #8 Review

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Posted February 7, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Kyle Starks

Art By: Kyle Starks

Published By: Image

And here we are, with issue 8 of 8 of Rock Candy Mountain, that glorious hobo book with magic, the devil, and more cursing than you can shake a magic spear at. If you’ve listened to Comics Dash, you know I’m a fan of this one. I haven’t reviewed the issues as diligently as I’d have liked, but man, this is a good book. I’m sad to see it end.

Endings are hard. You have to battle your climax with final character moments and those bits of chaos that worm their way into the final pages. Rock Candy Mountain comes out ahead of the game in that its cast isn’t huge, the magical realism means anything can happen and not seem too crazy, and because it’s a short series, a more open-ended ending will fit just fine. Does it hit every character and every plot point? No. But it doesn’t need to. It’s a novella in comic book form, and Kyle Starks knows what to focus on and what to leave up to the imagination.

What issue 8 nails is the pacing. The book is split between a few goings-on that eventually intersect and split again. Action and tension are awash in some parts, but not all. As the story weaves between each point, we get a nice mix of running, fighting, and peace. It’s all done with a light touch to be sure, but it helps cram a lot of story into a small space without feeling overwhelming or cluttered. There’s room to breathe.

I honestly really appreciate everything his story has managed to do. I know I’m supposed to be reviewing this issue, but I can’t help reflect on the series as a whole. It’s magic hobos exploring a world we’ve never seen before, one right below our noses. It reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere in a way, though with more cursing than London Below. There’s something amazingly charming about the cast, from the heroes to the villains to everyone in between.

Even the devil himself is whimsical.

As with the other seven issues, what sells everything in this final installment is the artwork. Rock Candy Mountain is the perfect cartoon. The action and panel layouts emphasis the goofy, and the sound effects elevate punching and kicking to tremendous heights. This is a book where “fuck you” isn’t a war cry, it’s an actual sound.

Rock Candy Mountain has been a truly special series, a Cartoon Network show put to page. I’m happy to have read it, and overall, I’m happy with how it ended. It’s heartfelt, adorable, full of cursing, and three hobos get into a fistfight with the devil. What more could you want?

9

Final Score


9.0/10

Pros

  • Witty, charming, whimsical
  • Well paced
  • Artwork is great
  • Solid ending to a solid series



About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.