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Farmhand 6 Main

"Farmhand #6" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

Farmhand 6 00

Written and illustrated by Rob Guillory
Colored by Taylor Wells
Lettered by Kody Chamberlain
2019, 36 pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 20th, 2019

Review:

Farmhand enters its second story arc as the beneficiaries of the plant-based organ and limb transplants start to go a little green. They start to descend upon Freetown just as a new mayor takes office. Jedidiah Jenkins, the man behind this mysterious and creepy new technique, turns his attention to something he can control: fishing. Even that is not safe, as there's a spy nearby.

There are many narratives at work in Farmhand, each working together in a spiral of sorts to tell this larger, more complex story. It's impressive to see how each one can operate independently to tell a compelling tale, but when you pull back and see everything as a whole, it reveals so much more. Writer / artist Rob Guillory is juggling all of these different threads very well.

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Jedidiah is definitely not completely innocent in all this, but since we're seeing the story primarily through the eyes of his family, there's a cognitive dissonance in there. How can this lovable old grandpa be responsible for something as creepy and unsettling as this? He clearly knows more than he lets on and I'm eager to see how Guillory digs into this character down the line.

There's a nice balance between horror and humor in Farmhand. You can't shake this uneasy feeling, like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop, but then you see something like Billy the Kidney, a new potential mascot for the Jenkins Farm, and you can't help but laugh. Guillory creates this quirky world where both of these elements can exist side by side, seamlessly moving from terror to laughter in the blink of an eye.

Sometimes the dread can come from an unexpected source. For example, Jedidiah's daughter-in-law, Mae, receives a letter from the new mayor, hand-delivered by someone from her office. He's shown in shadow for the most part, until he turns around as he's leaving. He has this sinister grin and beady eyes. Everything about him is disturbing. We only see him for three panels, but that's enough to send a shiver down your spine.

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Colorist Taylor Wells aids in this balance too. Most of Farmhand looks like your average small town with bright colors and sunny skies. This can flip at a moment's notice to something far more menacing, like a quick memory flash shown in a sepia tone or a literal fire filling the background to show the rage on display from the characters involved.

Speaking of these quick changes, letterer Kody Chamberlain plays into it as well. There are moments of quiet, normal speech and then it can explode with text that can't be contained in normal word balloons. There's also a presumably Russian spy in the mix and when he breaks his cover for a moment, he speaks in his native tongue, which is shown in a different, more foreign font. This is a subtle touch that works wonders.

Farmhand is so perfectly weird. It's filled with the best kinds of dark humor with horror weaved into every element of the story. With the basics of this world established in the first arc, it's off to the races with the second one. Things are only getting crazier and I can't wait to see how they all play out.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Farmhand 6 Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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