Title: Farmhand #1
Script & Art: Rob Guillory
Colors: Taylor Wells
Letters: Kody Chamberlain
Publication Date: July 11, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: Jedidiah Jenkins is a farmer—but his cash crop isn’t corn or soy. Jed grows fast-healing, plug-and-play human organs. Lose a finger? Need a new liver? He’s got you covered. Unfortunately, strange produce isn’t the only thing Jed’s got buried. Deep in the soil of the Jenkins Family Farm, something dark has taken root, and it’s beginning to bloom. From ROB GUILLORY, Eisner-winning co-creator and artist of Image Comics’ CHEW, comes a new dark comedy about science gone sinister and agriculture gone apocalyptic. Nature is a Mother.
Farmhand #1 is the beginnings of a unique tale that is both playful and creepy. The Jenkins Family Farmaceutical Institute seems a lovely place. Jedidiah Elias Jenkings was the owner of a simple family farm when he made the scientific discovery of the century. With this discovery, his farm was soon turned into a state of the art bio-engineering facility that grows human organs for transplant to those in need. Sounds totally benign right? Along comes Jedidiah’s estranged son, Zeke, and his wife and two children to visit the farm.
Rob Guillory does an admirable job creating a sense of wonder combined with the underlying idea that something dark is brewing. It has a very Jurassic Park feel to it. There is a high-tech tour, hands on visit with the product, a security breach, and higher-ups whose motives are in question. Also, add in some budding family drama and this issue grows the roots for what appears to be the next must read creation for Rob Guillory.
This original tale is pretty much a one man show with Rob Guillory both writing and illustrating. As a result, he is able to put together a very unified piece with art that is complementary to the narrative being told. While the story is quite dark, there are quite a few lighthearted moments. Guillory uses Zeke’s children to present genuine reactions to this unusual place. One is absolutely amazed and thinks nearly everything is just amazing and cool, he literally wants to arm wrestle one of the trees arms, and the other is totally creeped out by what he is experiencing. Their opposing views brings a wonderment and humor to the story that is a great counterbalance to the more nefarious elements. The art has a playful style that plays to both of these sides. If you are familiar with Guillory’s other brainchild, Chew, then you know what to expect from Farmhand. Characters are very expressive while also having some exaggerated features that are a staple of his characters. It are these distinctive looks that is are able to capture all the drama, horror, humor, and playfulness encompassed throughout the story.
The Bottom Line:
Rob Guillory’s Farmhand is a intriguing venture that sets the stage for what looks like it will be a fun ride. Guillroy uses his remarkable pencils to draw you into his humorous yet sometimes intense and dark world.