Interview: Kyle Starks on Rock Candy Mountain, Rick and Morty, ProStars, and more.

Rock Candy Mountain is a book by Kyle Starks from Image Comics. Kyle carries the duties as both writer and artist, as he shows us the world of an ass kicking hobo named Jackson. This new series has action, humor and an appearance from….. Satan? With Issue #2 of Rock Candy Mountain hitting the stands today, I thought I would reach out to Kyle Starks, and ask him about the hobo book everyone should be reading.

Jonathan Aravich: What were some of your influences when coming up with the idea for Rock Candy Mountain?
Kyle Starks: The short version is that I wanted to make what I thought would be the American version of a wuxia film – which are these sort of softly fantastical martial arts stories. I had actually been reading about hobos at the time and it all sort of fell together.
Aravich: Without giving too much away, what can readers expect from their favorite homeless hero in issue #2?
Starks: In issue 2 we get a little bit of a hint on Jackson’s backstory as he and Pomona Slim go to a….UNDERGROUND FIGHT CLUB. So you expect a bunch of Jackson fighting some fight boys! I introduce two new characters that are going to be super important to the story and are, IMO, super great characters in general.
Aravich: I believe this is your first time back at image since Sexcastle. If so, how does it feel to be back?
Starks: I love Image. It’s great to be on such a big stage and for so many people to be aware of and get the chance to read a book I’m really proud of.
Aravich: Having worked on a few comic books based off cartoons such as Invader Zim, and Rick and Morty. What is your personal all time favorite cartoon, and would you like to one day write those characters in a comic?
Starks: Man, honestly, and this isn’t lip service, but I do REALLY love Rick and Morty. It’s one of the smartest things I’ve seen on TV in a very long time – it’s clever, it’s hilarious, and it has those moments of real emotional weight to give it all gravitas. I was thinking the other day about how I think the world needs a modernized version of ProStars – which was the cartoon where Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzy and Bo Jackson teamed up to fight crime. I have a forever soft spot in my heart for the Herculoids. I bet there’s an answer to this I just haven’t thought of in years.
Aravich: If Rock Candy Mountain was to be made into a feature film, who would you choose to direct and star in it?
Starks: Aw man, this is always the type of stuff I’m not good at. You know, I make my comics as comics and I hope that they have a cinematic quality to them and I hope honestly someone wants to make that happen so that even more people can experience my characters and story but when that time comes it’s going to be their thing then, not my thing.
Aravich: What other new stuff do you have going on?
Starks: Outside of Rick and Morty and Rock Candy Mountain, I’ve got a couple other pretty exciting things due out in 2017. I have an original graphic novel that is sort of the emotional follow-up to Sexcastle, a love letter to 90s action movies called KILL THEM ALL.  Which is about an ex-cop, and the world greatest assassin teaming up to seek bloody revenge in what I call a “reverse Die Hard.” And in August I have DEAD OF WINTER which is based on a popular tabletop game – which is amazing that I love. You don’t need to know ANYTHING about the game to enjoy the book. All you need to know is that it’s basically Air Bud Vs. The Zombie Apocalypse. A dog fighting zombies! Both are from ONI and are going to be super good, I promise.

Makes sure to pick up Rock Candy Mountain #2 out today! Also stay on the lookout for KILL THEM ALL, and DEAD OF WINTER from Oni Press.