INDIE COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Man Vs. Rock Volume 1 – When Rocks Attack | FanboysInc

INDIE COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Man Vs. Rock Volume 1 – When Rocks Attack

By Jeff Ayers

INDIE REVIEW: Man Vs. Rock Volume 1 - When Rocks Attack

Writer: Victor DeTroy and Kevin Beiber

Artist: Jared Lamp


In A World……..where rocks are oppressed, and ready to revolt! One man is willing to care enough to do something about it! Most likely, that first sentence could be the trailer tag line to this comic book, if it ever gets made into a movie. It reads just like a movie script, a fast-paced disaster movie, and that is only one of it’s greatest strengths. True satire can be tripped up immediately if it takes itself too seriously, and Man Vs. Rock never even toes that line.

Victor DeTroy and Kevin Beiber do their upmost to prepare us all of the inevitability that rocks will one day attack. Their writing style brings the aforementioned disaster flick to mind, as well as dialogue that is very Beavis and Butthead; in which I mean it’s crude, rude, and bitingly funny. The art is just as raunchy, done by Jared Lamp, and fits the over the top premise quite nicely with manic black and grey pencil work. Large sequences, like the looks into the past of our mistreatment of rocks, work really well in such a stark and unforgiving artistic style, and that is truly what sets independent comics apart from the mainstream.

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Man Vs. Rock Volume 1 is all about setting up the most dir, and inherently crazy premise ever known: Since the dawn of time, mankind has been abusing and enslaving rocks, and one day they will rise up and revolt against us. That day has come, and we are all doomed, unless the only man who even cares about the problem can save us. A professor named Buck Stone knows that the attack is imminent and tries in vain to warn the world, and his students, of the oncoming rock-mageddon. Seriously, this plot is so far out there, this comic book scheme is so harebrained, that it Just. Might. Work!

Actually, it does work in a big way, because of the vast ridiculousness it gives you from panel to panel. Before we meet Buck Stone, the reader is privy to many different times throughout history we have just treated rocks badly, and used them for ill gains. Watching an ancient Egyptian crack a whip and scream “I’m talking to these good for nothing, lazy rocks!” is a sentence, and a panel of a comic book, you never thought you needed to see, until now. Also, finding out at the volume’s end that Buck Stone not only has knowledge of this rock attack, but has a fail safe plan in place to try and counter attack the rocks, only adds to the sweet lunacy of this hilarious tale.

INDIE REVIEW: Man Vs. Rock Volume 1 - When Rocks Attack

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The “Best There Is”: Independent comics at their core should be fun, exploratory and fearless. Man Vs. Rock is all three, and doesn’t try to sugar coat it at all. While a crazy story idea like this might not be published in a big three publisher setting, that doesn’t cheapen the appeal of the idea. Pairing funny-for-the-satire writing style with a no nonsense artistic style is a great choice for this book, and really helps bring the epic B-movie( or maybe C. Or H?) feeling of the comic to the forefront. Bleeding Cool named it one of it’s 15 Best Indie Comics of 2014, and with good purpose, because it shows off the spirit of independent comics while also going to a place that is completely bonkers.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: Even though the art works well, it does feel rushed in some pages, and slightly unfinished. By no means am I an artist on any level, so my criticism is only based on my perceptions. I love the early 1900’s feel to it, coupled with the Rob Zombie type inflections, but once or twice I was drawn away from the page too quick because of lack of detail. Lamp has talent, and should strive to infuse the larger splash pages with more things to appreciate. It will be interesting to see his designs, in the next volumes, of the ominous rocks that are about to strike. That only adds to the allure of this book.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10.

Fans of the fast, satirical humor of the last decade shown in late night cartoons and stoner comedies will love Man Vs. Rock. At the end of the day, independent comics should be nothing but: independent from everything else. Who would have ever been prepared for the unstoppable uprising of rocks? Not I, and most likely, you would be doomed right along with me. Unless you read this book.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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