Review: Man Vs Rock
Man Vs Rock is a comic about the greatest threat to face mankind. One that we’ve been ignoring, mistreating and abusing for millennia: rocks.
No, I didn’t stutter.
Someday very soon the rocks will tire of our constant abuse and rise up and take control of the planet – which is, more or less, where our story starts. But let’s get something out of the way before we go any further; this isn’t the kind of comic that everybody will enjoy. Man Vs Rock is at times brilliantly satirical, and often very funny, even if occasionally it touches on the offensive side of humour (indeed, for some readers Man Vs Rock may be more than almost offensive), this is a comic that takes a concept that sounds utterly foolish (because it is) and runs with it.
And it’s great.
The series revises historical events to give credence to mankind’s mistreatment of rocks, and the first issue starts out extremely strongly – there’s a certain scene involving a rock, some interrogation and some not-so-subtle inferences to a series of recent events that’s worth the cover price alone. The writing team of Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy have crafted a story that would sit alongside the best of the B-Movies (and I mean that as a complement), while simultaneously riffing on numerous action movies. The way in which Jared Lamp has illustrated this series is perfectly suited to the style of the story; the inking is at the perfect level of detail to enhance his pencils without distorting or muddying them under thick dark lines. It’s a minimalist black and white art style, but it works extremely well.
Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy evoke a very Mad Magazine-esque style of humour, and on the face of it some of the visual gags by artist Jared Lamp are pretty fantastic, but let’s be honest here; this isn’t a series that’s going to appeal to everybody, and that’s okay.
For those who do take the chance Man Vs Rock is packed to the rafters with jokes, satirical and not, and while some of them do fall flat there are just as many that succeed. The humour will be familiar to fans of South Park, Seth MacFarlane and the college-type humour that is often associated with him and his numerous television shows and movies. Although this is a comic for mature readers, it’s not always a mature comic; but despite that, or perhaps because of it, this is a comic that is worth a read.
As was previously mentioned, the first issue starts out extremely strong, and while I felt the third issue was the weakest of the three I have read, that’s not to say it’s a bad comic. Yes, I felt some of the jokes to be bordering on poor taste, but then not every joke is going to resonate with every person; and a few jokes may be more offensive to some people than others (one such comment insinuates a woman can only think for three weeks or so a month). But regardless of the humour style, this is an awesomely ridiculous concept that works when it shouldn’t.
It may not be for everyone, but if you’re fan of the kind of absurdest humour that fills this comic then you’re going to really enjoy this series.
Writers: Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy Artist: Jared Lamp
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read
The Creative Team provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy of the first three issues to review.