Grass Kings Volume 3
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Colourist: Hilary Jenkins
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Review by Josh Rose
The Grass Kingdom is a place where people live free to keep their secrets. The people living there have been called squatters and have been at “war” with the sheriffs of Cargill for years. And a serial killer has been living among them. Grass Kings Volume 3 is about a small community just trying to solve their problems and survive outsiders trying to destroy them.
Matt Kindt has written a wonderful character-driven story. All the threads from previous volumes are tied up. The mystery of the “Thin-air Killer” has been solved, and how all the murders were committed has been explained. How the feud between Cargill and the Grass Kingdom began was shown. But there is one thread left loose for another volume concerning Barko, the ex-military millionaire who lives on his own island near the Grass Kingdom.
I still love Hilary Jenkins’ watercolours. Her colours make everything look incredibly real, from skies and smoke to the rusty reinforcing steel within concrete walls. Tyler Jenkins’ characters look very distinct from each another and full of emotion. One of my favourite panels is when Barko and his black ops team disappear into the trees. In one panel they’re clearly visible, and in the next they are almost completely gone. Another page I love is from Sheriff Humert Sr.’s journal when he describes the Thin-air Killer as a demon. Tyler Jenkins proceeds to draw the killer as an incredibly scary demon and Hilary Jenkins uses red watercolours to reinforce that image of evilness.
Jim Campbell’s lettering gives so much character to the book. There are distinct differences between the typed words of Hemingway’s novel, sketched words in Humbert Sr.’s journal, the sound effects, and spoken words. But none of the various ways distract from the story; rather they work to enhance and display to the reader what is happening.
The Verdict: Check it out.
Grass Kings Volume 3 is an enjoyable read and really easy to get into, but it’s building on what happened in the first two books. If you’re already a fan, this is a must read. If you aren’t, you really need to know the backstory in order to understand the actions and motivations of several characters. If you haven’t read Grass Kings yet, I recommend you go and read the previous volumes.