Matt Kindt took his time to lay the framework in this world of the Grass Kingdom, and it’s starting to pay off. It took me a little longer to fall under the spell of this series than most. Maybe Kindt thought the war that took place in the first several issues would be the thing that drew people in, but that always seemed like a distraction to what’s happening now. He has nailed something I’ve been thinking, something that’s been annoying me about the people of the Grass Kingdom: that they’re no different than anyone anywhere else. They have just as many secrets, and it’s those secrets I’m most interested in.
In the last couple of issues, the murder of a woman and the disappearance of a child have come to the forefront, as well-intentioned characters start to dig around for clues as to what might have happened, and if the murderer is still around. As we get to know the characters that inhabit the Grass Kingdom, friction begins to occur, and having someone who is fresh and new to this community is finally starting to pay off, as we get to see the world through her eyes. When conflict starts to grow between characters, so, too, does the tension, and the end of this issue turns up the heat a little bit more. Baby steps.
I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of Tyler Jenkins’ art at first. I’m not sure what it was, and I’m not sure exactly what changed, but holy crap, I am a fan now. It’s just beautiful. From every issue, I take two or three images away with me. Jenkins visually choreographs everything to create a sense of wonder and magic. What’s happening now is something that’s happened before, for centuries. More than anything, Grass Kings is a drama, and you have to know how to create tension in the images when people are just standing around. A more than helpful hand with that is Hillary Jenkins on colors. Everything feels rustic and glowing, until it’s not – until red and shadows start to bleed into the images. Like blood from a wound, the secrets of the Grass Kingdom are spilling forth.