Phew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks! The orders have been rolling in thanks to everybody’s kind support, and I have been busy packing up the books. It turns out that packing, labeling and sending books takes a lot more time than I had expected, but it’s been happy work
In addition, two weeks ago I was out in San Fransisco for the 2013 Alternative Press Expo (APE). I managed to get a table at the last minute, which was awesome, considering that I already had tickets to be in the city that weekend.
The convention was a great time, and I was so excited to meet so many people who were so passionate about both their projects and mine. Brian Soriano, a local artist who does beautiful work, was across the aisle from me. I was lucky enough to stumble over this entirely too cool sketch that he did of the Oracle. Check out his Tumblr page here: wrathcomics.tumblr.com. We also got a great shout out from Clifton Thammavongsa who was working the booth at Rise and Wreck Comics.
There were too many cool people to name them all here (but special shout outs to Trista Musco, Kai Stewart, and BuyIndieComics.com, and Comic Book of the Month Podcast crews), but I did want to bring special attention to one project I stumbled onto at the convention:
I was lucky enough to meet some of the team behind this comic at the pre-expo party/badge sign in, and the exchange went a little something like this:
Me: So what are you guys here promoting.
Victor/Troy: Our new comic, Man vs. Rocks!
Me: Oh, sweet! What’s it about?
Victor/Troy: It’s about man… vs. rocks… You know? Like, F**K ROCKS!
Me: Uh huh…
Victor/Troy: F**K ROCKS!
So, needless to say I wasn’t entirely impressed with the sales pitch. Oh how little I understood! Later that night, over some beers with Miles and Luke (some total homies who helped me out that weekend), I brought up this bizarre project in an… unflattering light. This meant that when he had some free time the next day, Miles made a bee-line for the Man vs. Rock booth, and promptly bought me a copy so I could enjoy it.
I opened the pages, ready to start laughing (not in a friendly way), when the real scope and point of the project struck me. And now, I somewhat reluctantly admit, I think it’s pretty brilliant.
It is crude, juvenile, silly, one-dimensional, repetitive and gratuitous. The first page opens up on a pair of cavemen having sex, and the next two pages are dominated by a naked caveman (his improbable erection hidden behind a black bar) holding a rock aloft while screaming profanity. And yet, what this absurdity hides is that the underlying premise is a brilliant, absurd commentary on humanity.
The plot summary from the website reads as follows: Rocks are plotting to annihilate the human race. If we don’t act soon, those filthy rocks will kill us all during their surprise attack! Only one man has the rocks to stand up to these villains: Buck Stone. Join Buck in his quest to save us from the evils of those granite goblins!
What this plot summary doesn’t reveal is that the whole set up is a satire. At no point in the story are rocks conscious, or active, or actually doing anything. Instead they exist entirely as an outlet for human blame and aggression. While I’m not sure how long the concept will hold up (Volume 1 covers most of human history, but very little of the main story), it proved to be amazingly entertaining for one issue. I don’t want to give away too many of the jokes, especially since they rely largely on shock value and absurdity to land their punches, but I really think that anyone with a stomach for gratuitous nudity and profanity, and an interest in absurdist commentary will really enjoy this.
Man vs. Rock Volume 1 is currently available for free download on their website.