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Grass Kings #1

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

With its beautifully rendered pastel images and rich world-building, Grass Kings is the kind of comic that hooks readers from the beginning. Though the plot is fairly limited in this first issue, creators Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins still kick their rural mystery series off on a high note.

Opening the issue with a brief history of the town in which the story takes place, Kindt and Jenkins then shift to the present where we meet three brothers. The Grass Kings, as they call themselves, rule over a mysterious trailer park kingdom. Much like their own tragic lives, this town is filled with hopelessness and despair. Yet when a newcomer arrives, the eldest brother’s decision to take her in may prove dangerous for the kingdom he’s helped build.

I’ve mostly read Kindt’s Valiant and DC work, so it’s quite fascinating to see him take on an entirely original story. Though the text is mostly comprised of narration, with dialogue here and there, he nonetheless does a fantastic job of immersing us into this overtly grim world. Yet what really makes this such an invigorating read is Jenkins’ illustrations. Perfectly juxtaposing tight frames with gorgeously detailed splash pages, he provides an electrifying and cinematic experience. If you appreciate the brutality and neo-noir aesthetic of books like Southern Bastards and The Fade Out, this is the book for you.

– Kevin Schaefer for Ultimate Comics