Man vs. Rock Vol. 1
Story: Victor DeTroy and Kevin Bieber
Art: Jared Lamp
Letters: Jared Lamp
Publisher: Independently Published
If you’ve been keeping abreast of the news lately, online or otherwise, you’ve likely noticed a common theme, the perception that threats to your safety and freedom are everywhere. Man vs. Rock, the indie comic from creators Victor DeTroy and Kevin Bieber, takes that paranoia and raises it to an absurdly high level.
Of all the threats faced down by mankind over the ages, none has been more imminent than…rocks. Yeah, rocks. We’ve charted the stars, learned to fly and even subdued the atom, but those darn rocks have just been biding their time. That’s the premise of this book in a nutshell and if you can get past that, you might just have some fun with it.
The art in MvR is excellent, really superb stuff not just for an indie book, but for any comic that makes it to market. The black and white panels are distinctive and give the title some personality along with the comedy. The opening pages show a prehistoric man, in mid coitus, as he has his first encounter with the dastardly geologic formations.
The rest of the book spans the totality of an altered version of human civilization, a running gag that never let’s up on the need to subjugate and ultimately eliminate the rocks. Fair warning, this book is definitely not for the PC crowd, though nothing in it is necessarily offensive, the authors do straddle the line between humorous farce and crass fratboy style jokes.
The protagonist, Buck Stone is a send up of every dedicated, but academically exiled scientist character that Hollywood has thrown at us since The Core. He’s perfectly over-the-top and takes himself seriously enough to keep you laughing from his first appearance to the final page.
Besides the art, the MvR’s main strength comes from the way in which it lampoons our collective, and largely irrational fear of other humans. In essence, the question that’s being asked is, What are we really afraid of? And perhaps more importantly, why are we afraid of it? Rather than present those somewhat large concepts in a condescending way, this is accomplished through satire.
There have been two other volumes released since volume one became available, and Man vs. Rock was voted one of the top 15 indie comics of 2014 by BleedingCool.com; check it out while it’s still relatively unknown and you, too, can regale your friends with how cool and in the know you are about all things comic/graphic novel related.