Grass Kings Volume 2
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Colourist: Hilary Jenkins
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Review by Josh Rose
Welcome back to the Grass Kingdom, the land of the outsider and disillusioned. After a war with the neighbouring town of Cargill, the leaders of the Grass Kingdom, Bruce and Robert, chase down rumours of a possible serial killer in their midst. Along the way we meet the different members of this little community and learn more about them. Grass Kings Vol. 1 was an introduction to a new world and a new way of living. Grass Kings Volume 2 is an introduction to the people who live there.
The opening page is very similar to a page that appears in Vol. 1. Its a picturesque, postcard-type aerial view of the Grass Kingdom, but this time there are Polaroids of all the characters with short biographies. All the pictures makes it feel kind of like a police investigation of all the suspects.
I really like how Kindt sets up each issue to focus on a certain character or a group of them. Each one tells their backstory or tries to provide some clues as to what really happened to the school teacher, Jen Handel.
I also enjoy the imagery in Grass Kings Volume 2. As Bruce and Robert are rebuilding a stone wall, and discussing the possibility of a serial killer in their midst, they find a snake hiding underneath one of the rocks. Later we get to see a hawk from the aviary attacking a snake. By the end of that issue both snake and hawk are dead. Then a nest of snakes are living in the skull of a deceased cow. What started out as a hunt for a serial killer revealed that there are plenty of snakes in the Grass Kingdom.
In comparison to the last volume, Tyler Jenkins’ art is much more defined. His figures have a little more depth to them. Part of that might be due to Hilary Jenkins’ colours. She continues the watercolour style, but it’s also much more defined. The colours are full and fill the inks much more tightly. The flashback scenes use a similar colour palette as the rest of the book, but they’re much more vibrant. One of my favourite panels is the one of a starry night. The white stars really pop out against the green and dark purple sky.
The Verdict: Buy it.
Grass Kings Volume 2 is a great character-driven story with beautiful artwork. Volume 1 drew me into the Grass Kingdom, and the characters are keeping me here. I look forward to seeing how Kindt and Jenkins reveal the Thin-Air Killer.