The Kingdom in Grass Kings is a self-sustaining, self-governing, self-policing community headed by Robert (a grieving father who has lived his life on the drink) and Bruce (once an officer of the law on the outside world). Their community is on the brink of all-out war with Sheriff Humbert, just outside the Kingdom. Let’s take note that the name Humbert infamously was the name of the lead character from Nabokov’s Lolita. Here, Humbert isn’t the greatest guy either. His wife has taken refuge in the Kingdom, and Humbert has brought his full police force to the battlefield.
All of the characters have felt somewhat incidental to the situation as a whole, so I was quite surprised to be gracefully drawn into this sixth issue as I was. True conflict has finally brought out who these characters are and who they are to each other. As the issue comes to a close, I get the feeling that this first six-issue story arc was somewhat incidental to what’s about to happen next.
With each issue, Tyler Jenkins' artwork becomes stronger. He finds the moments of dream-like symbolism, much like an Andrei Tarkovsky film, that somehow has managed to temper the moments in the book that have felt either slightly over the top or somewhat underdeveloped. Either way, as the book continues, I’m being drawn in a bit at a time.