Hillbilly: The Lizard of Rusty Creek Cave Review - Folksy Goodness
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I usually don't review the freebies given during the annual "Free Comic Book Day" events but after reading Hillbilly: The Lizard of Rusty Creek Cave I was enamored by the setting and thought it was worth discussing here.
Hillbilly is written by Eric Powell. He's most notable from his work on "The Goon". I've never read The Goon or any of Eric's other work prior to this comic but I've seen his name floated in indie circles for decades at this point. Based on this issue I'm probably gonna check out Goon and some of Eric's other Hillbilly projects. This issue is amazing and I recommend that everyone pick up the free copy if its still available at your Local Comic Shop.
The Lizard of Rusty Creek Cave is essentially a very simple folk tale. The story focuses on a village tasked with the horrifying burden of sacrificing one of their children to a dragon every year. By feeding the dragon the hope is that it won't destroy their village. The villagers have done this for decades. One of the children is fed up with the complacency and lack of protection in the adults and heads out with the Old wise possum that also resides in the village.
The two come across James Stoneturner who is in the midst of his own adventure. He can't help but he recommends that the pair seek Rondell, The Wondering Hillbilly. The two continue their journey and eventually locate the Rondell, who is a bit of an asshole. Rondell denies the request until the child mentions Stoneturner. At that point, Rondell picks up his weapon. The trio heads off to kill the dragon. Unfortunately, the situation isn't as cut and dry as it seems.
The Lizard of the Rusty Creek Cave is the sort of short story I would have loved reading when I was a kid and I really enjoyed reading it a couple of weeks ago. The art is great and the message is easy to digest. Its also a nice story featuring a child protagonist that isn't preachy or condescending.
The comic is also really funny. I always find it funny in these old stories where the hero tells the antagonist to hold out a limb so that it can be cut off. There are some dark elements in the story but none of it is particularly intense or frightening. The themes are worth considering but the humor deflates the material before it gets too heavy for younger readers.
The comic ends with a stinger for further adventures which is great because this is a world that I'm very excited to dive into further.