Rock Candy Mountain

Vol. 1. Image. Oct. 2017. 104p. ISBN 9781534303171. pap. $9.99. F
Hobos, bums, tramps, vagrants—the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" promises enticements such as "cigarette trees" and a "soda water fountain" to these downtrodden itinerants. Yes, it's only a song, but Jackson the hobo believes it's real, and he's going to find it. Impediments include a middle-class, down-on-his-luck sidekick; the hobo mafia; the FBI (notably, kickass assistant director Babs Bardoux); and even the devil. But Jackson hacks and punches his way toward his dream by laying low whole squads of attackers, jumping freight cars, and getting himself and "Pomona Slim" in and out of trouble. Getting back to his family is at the root of his journey. Starks's (Rick and Morty; Sexcastle) chunky art is perfect for this two-volume caper, with Chris Schweizer (The Crogan Adventures) bringing out the dirt and malevolence of Jackson's world through dusty coloring leavened with fighting reds and nighttime blues.
VERDICT An entertaining blend of martial arts action and oddball humor, Jackson's epic quest will appeal to readers of American tall tales in comics or prose. Rated Mature for amusingly uninhibited language and graphic if cartoony violence.
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