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Review: Grass Kings #1

IMG_0491MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

“Welcome to Grass Kingdom”

One of my most anticipated series coming this year from any publisher is finally here. Grass Kings #1 tells the tale of generations of people living off the land. This idea is similar to other series that follow this theme lately, like Briggs Land. This area, called The Grass Kingdom has been taken and retaken by people for years. We start the story in a narration, showing Native Americans and one tribe taking it from another, along with the women and children. We then see the land throughout time, all the way until now. It has changed owners over the years, but as the narrator says, the ones who have paid for it with their blood, sweat, and tears aren’t about to give it up, and it has been in this family for multiple generations. This opening right here sets the tone for the series. Matt Kindt is building a slow burn of a story that I am sure will eventually explode like firecrackers on a hot Virginia day.

IMG_0495In the Grass Kingdom, trespassers may be shot, and outsiders snooping around aren’t welcome. The community seems to be run as a self-sufficient group not needing any outside influence or help from the government. Obviously, this is the first issue, so we know we will find out just how true all of that is soon enough. But for the time being, we are led to believe that with their own law, their own airport, food supply, and more, the Grass Kingdom is serving its citizens just fine. Even if their “King” seems like he doesn’t want to be bothered by much of anything, unless it’s a drink.

Speaking of their King, Robert, well, he’s a drunk. He sits on his porch when we do see him, which isn’t until near the end of the book, and he doesn’t look to be doing much. While this issue only teased what is on the surface of this place, there’s definitely trouble brewing, and their King doesn’t look like he’s too ready to lead. The King’s brother, Bruce, who is the law in this kingdom, seems much more organized as the story shows him apprehending Lo, an outsider who is asking too many questions and giving him a final warning. We also see different members of the community talk to Bruce, and you can see there is a trust they have in him.

The art by Tyler Jenkins is done in both pencils and watercolor, but different to the style that Matt and Sharlene Kindt do on another one of their books, Dept. H. The style gives me a very old western or Appalachian feeling, which is perfect for the story, because Grass Kings and the Grass Kingdom has a very Southern feel to it. Much like stepping into the mountains of Virginia, though the community is welcoming to its members, it may not be as welcoming to a stranger. The Southern hospitality is present in this story, but so is the distrusting and protective style of neighboring communities who don’t like each other much.

By the end of the book, we realize there is a reason the outsider from Cargill came to Grass Kingdom, he’s looking for a missing girl. We see King Robert, and then a quick chain of events that was confusing, but very intriguing that I won’t spoil. I cannot wait to read more Grass Kings. I want to see why the girl has come to the Grass Kingdom, or what brought her there. I would recommend this series to fans of Twin Peaks, Briggs Land, and any fans of stories with small towns filled with wild characters, mystery, and chaos. This story seems like it will be packed with characters that shoot first and ask questions later characters, and I will be right there grabbing each issue to read more of it.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tyler Jenkins
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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