Aliens vs. Predator. Terminator vs. RoboCop. Avengers vs. X-Men. The comic book world is full of face-offs, and the “vs.” title is an age-old staple of the genre. Well, another “vs.” book has emerged to stand amongst its peers in the industry, and perhaps even in front of some of them. (I’m looking at you, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice . . . at least these guys are grammatically correct.) The book I speak of is the indie title Man vs. Rock: Volume 1, and it is an off-the-wall battle for the ages with some laugh-out-loud moments that are sure to crack up the average geek.
Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 tells the history of the epic and age-old conflict that has taken place between man and rocks since the dawn of mankind. This first volume takes readers through history of this vicious and hilarious war, touching on man’s hateful persecution of naturally occurring solid aggregates of one or more minerals or mineraloids (That’s how Wikipedia defines them, baby!) during the Crucifixion, the landing at Plymouth rock, and even the War on Terror. The first issue also introduces what one assumes will be the lead cast of characters, including the heroically stupid (or heroically genius?) Professor Buck Stone, the “somebody who gives a #$%@ about rocks.” Writers Victor DeTroy and Kevin Bieber layout a solidly humorous story that is sure to be easily accessible by new readers at any level of experience with the comic book medium. Smacking of Mel Brooks-inspired laughs, Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 does contain some harsh language, sexual situations, and mild nudity, so while it might not be something to share with the younger ones, it is sure to be a quick, enjoyable, and chuckle-inducing read for nearly everyone else.
I’d be remiss to not mention Jared Lamp’s clean and detailed artwork on the book. Lamp has the deck stacked against him. Black and white can be a tough medium for an indie artist to master and humorous plot lines always require a more skilled ability at storytelling, but Lamp excels at his job. Sure, the book could benefit from a color interior, but it still works perfectly in its current form, and a lot of that is owed to Lamp’s excellent visual adaptation of DeTroy and Bieber’s solid script.
FINAL VERDICT: I definitely recommend Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 for any fan of zany, absurd-type comedies. If you like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spaceballs, or the shows that run on Cartoon Network’s AdultSwim, then this book is right up your alley. (Get it? Right up your alley? *snicker*). Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 is also one of those rare gems you sometimes find walking the small press/artist alley section of a comic convention, so I’d also encourage supporters of indie comics to nab a copy and help the indie comic scene keep the wheels turning for one more day.
Find out more about Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 and its creators, and check out some free previews of the book by visiting the official website at www.manvsrock.com. Man vs. Rock: Volume 1 is currently available for purchase on Amazon.com.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! And, remember . . . Don’t trust those @#$%ing rocks!
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer