Horror Comics: Farmhand

By: Kia McClain


Story and Art by: Rob Guillory

Colors by: Taylor Wells

Letterer: Kody Chamberlain

Publisher: Image Comics

So, here’s a fun story.  Craig and I live together in a nice house in one of those neighborhoods where people are really, really into their yards – which is fine with me because it makes the neighborhood look great.  Well, awhile back we had this really interesting-looking plant growing in our front yard. It grew tall and strong, and we thought it looked amazing – like a plant from another world! We looked on it with awe and pride.  Until our next door neighbor came up to Craig and said, “You know that’s a weed, right?” Nope. We did not. Well, I’m happy to report that the weed is gone, but I still don’t have a green thumb. And I’m okay with that. Gardening and growing things from the earth never really appealed to me (which doesn’t bode well for my apocalypse survival skills), and thanks to Farmhand that probably won’t change anytime soon.


For the podcast listeners, I’ve recommended Farmhand before.  It’s written and drawn by Rob Guillory, whose artwork you might be familiar with from Chew.  Well, Guillory doesn’t disappoint with his own comic creation.  Farmhand tells the tale of Ezekial Jenkins who returns to his hometown with his wife and two kids only to discover that his father has discovered a seed, called the Jedidiah Seed, that allows for the harvesting of some very interesting crops – body parts to be exact.  If you need a new nose, new boobs, or a kidney transplant, well this seed can just grow it for you. And there will definitely and absolutely be no horrible side effects whatsoever. Right? Farmhand starts off as a fun story of a man returning to his childhood home and finding that…things are different.  But then it evolves into just straight body horror with some great artwork from Guillory showing, unsurprisingly, just how horrific and disgusting body parts grown in dirt can be.  And an added bonus with Guillory’s art is that his drawings have little Easter eggs, so it pays to take a minute to stop and enjoy the scenery. But more than the artwork, Guillory has also created a very interesting cast of characters that really brings Farmhand to life.  We have the drama of the Jenkins family, but we also have spies, a psycho politician who has some not-so-good ulterior motives for the Jedidiah Seed or the Jenkins family, and a host of body part recipients that are less than enthusiastic about their results.


Finally, an extra, extra bonus is that if you keep up with the single-issue comics, you’ll notice on the back of each one a calendar schedule letting you know when the next issue will be released.  Guillory mentioned (I believe in the first issue) how aggravating it is for him as a reader when comics are not released on a consistent schedule, and I couldn’t agree more. A good example of this for me is Bitch Planet, a comic that started out strong in my opinion but that I quickly lost interest in because of the extremely inconsistent release dates.  So Guillory’s calendar is a breath of fresh air!


Happy Reading!

Kia is a cohost of the Half Assed Horror Cast. Her favorite horror novel is Scott Smith’s ‘The Ruins,’ fave slasher is Freddy Krueger, and her favorite TV show of all time is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’

Horror Comics: Ice Cream Man


By: Kia McClain


Story by: W. Maxwell Prince

Art by: Martín Morazzo

Colors by: Chris O’Halloran

Publisher: Image Comics

Rocky Road.  Cherry Garcia.  Mint Chocolate Chip.  Moose Tracks. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Delicious right? Well, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had any of these.  My ice cream of choice will forever be Cookies & Cream (preferably the Mayfield brand).  But whatever your personal favorite is, ice cream is a wonderful treat! Or is it? Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite comics – Ice Cream Man.

Ice Cream Man, written by W. Maxwell Prince with art by Martín Morazzo, immediately made me think of The Twilight Zone.  From the Image Comics website, Ice Cream Man is a “genre-defying comic book series featuring disparate ‘one-shot’ tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption.”  Except unlike The Twilight Zone, the stories in Ice Cream Man are connected  by a sinister being, the friendly neighborhood ice cream man who doles out sweet, sugary treats with heaping sides of mischief and misery.  The stories also seem to be focused in one place, the town of St. Generous, and there’s some recurring characters, including a detective who’s investigating some of the strange happenings.  So while the stories in Ice Cream Man are described as one-shots, there’s definitely a sense that there’s an overall story here.  And without spoiling too much, this sense is further pushed by the ice cream man’s own personal boogeyman – a man named Caleb who reminds me of the Saint of Killers character from the Preacher comic.


Also, I must mention the colorist for Ice Cream ManChris O’Halloran.  Usually what attracts me to a comic is the coloring before the pencils and inks, and I love the colors in Ice Cream Man.  Fittingly for the title, they’re nice and bright but also in a way muted – basically they look like ice cream.  The colors aren’t glaring, and I didn’t notice any super rich or saturated tones. Rather, the colors are varying and soft.  One of my favorite stories in Ice Cream Man, “Strange Neapolitan,” makes great use of coloring.  The story begins with a man who buys Neapolitan ice cream and then proceeds to show three different paths his life choices take him.  There’s no dialogue. Instead, the three story lines are told through three vertical strips spanning several pages and each colored to represent chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla – the three flavors of Neapolitan ice cream – with each flavor representing a different path!  It’s very cleverly done and was definitely a standout for me! So if you like a little bit of creepiness with your ice cream, you can’t go wrong with Ice Cream Man.

Happy Reading!

Kia is a cohost of the Half Assed Horror Cast. Her favorite horror novel is Scott Smith’s ‘The Ruins,’ fave slasher is Freddy Krueger, and her favorite TV show of all time is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’



A Tale of Two Sabrinas

A Tale of Two Sabrinas: Kia takes a look at Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the new Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics.

Hello readers and welcome back!  I’ve been doing these blog posts for awhile.  I’ve written about and recommended (or not recommended) several books, and it’s all been fun, games, and good times!  But now it’s time to stop being polite and start getting real. This is a story of heartbreak, abandonment, and feeling like you’re just not good enough.  It’s that age-old story – girl meets boy, boy woos girl, girl falls in love, boy meets prettier and more exciting girl, boy dumps first girl. It happens all the time.  Some girls bounce back. Others fall to pieces. Well, this is my story of how I bounced back. This is the story of how I loved and lost Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.


A few years back, I discovered that Sabrina, the teenage witch we all know and love, was getting a makeover.  Her story was going to be much darker than the earlier comics and 90’s TV show, and that was evident right off the bat with the new title of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  It was to be written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Robert Hack.  Admittedly, when I first saw the artwork, I wasn’t sure that I liked it. However, once I started reading the comic and saw just how dark it was, I realized that the artwork was a perfect fit.  I loved this comic! I loved that it was so unlike the TV show I had watched as a kid; that Sabrina’s aunts weren’t just spinsters that happened to know a few spells; that Sabrina’s high school experience and social life were more Buffy the Vampire Slayer (especially the later seasons) and less Sweet Valley High.  Sidenote: I’m not shading Sweet Valley High.  I read Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley University, and yep I watched the TV show.  But I prefer my supernatural entertainment to fall a bit on the darker side.  So after reading the first trade of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I was very excited to see how the story would continue.  I waited and waited and waited patiently, and then I waited and waited and waited not so patiently.  Until I saw that there were new single issues that had come out but then had prematurely stopped. And then I learned that Netflix was doing a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina show.  “Okay, that could be cool” I thought.  I wasn’t threatened – the comic and the show could both exist at the same time and the comic would obviously be the source material for the show.  But no – that’s not what happened. Instead, the comic was basically abandoned. I saw social media messages from readers asking when the next comic issue would come out only to be completely ignored.  And then during a run to my local comics shop, I learned that a new Sabrina comic was coming out.  And there it was. I, along with other fellow readers, had been dumped for a much more attractive love interest – a television audience.

Now don’t get me wrong – I really enjoyed the first season of the Netflix show and, I’m looking forward to checking out the second season (I’m a little late, I know).  But I definitely watch the show with a bit of bitterness in my heart because I don’t understand why the show and the comic can’t both exist in the same universe. I don’t think it’s been officially stated that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is done, but I would imagine that it is, especially since a new Sabrina comic has already hit the shelves.  So let’s talk about that.


The new comic is under the Archie Forever banner and is simply called Sabrina the Teenage Witch – back to the basics.  It’s written by Kelly Thompson, who brought us the very entertaining Jem and the Holograms comic, with artwork by husband-and-wife team Veronica Fish and Andy Fish.  I’m not familiar with Andy’s work, but I like the work Veronica did for the relaunched Archie comic.  When I heard who would be writing and drawing the new Sabrina comic I was looking forward to it, but I also knew that it would probably be a much more light-hearted take.  And after reading the first issue I see that I was right. The artwork is much brighter. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is very dark – a lot of blacks and oranges.  It just screams Halloween. The new Sabrina is very bright and colorful, which is a style I actually really like, but it lets me know that this comic is going in a different direction.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is rated “Teen+” for violence and mature content.  The new Sabrina is just rated “Teen.”  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was done under the Archie Horror imprint, while the new Sabrina is not.  That being said, I enjoyed Sabrina #1 and look forward to checking out where the series goes.  I even added it to my subscription box at my local comics shop.  It’s a fun read with great artwork, and the potential is definitely there for it to go to some dark (or at least shadowy) places.  But Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will always be the comic that got away, and I would’ve loved to see where the story went.  Maybe I’ll get some answers on the Netflix show, but us comic readers know that there’s a whole lot you can get away with in a comic that just won’t fly on a television show.  But, despite my bitterness, I’ll still watch the Netflix show because it’s really good. And I’ll still read the new Sabrina comic because it’s really good.  But I’ll miss reading Chilling Adventures of Sabrina because it was really great.  Until next time!

Kia is a co-host of the Half Assed Horror Cast. Her favorite horror novel is Scott Smith’s ‘The Ruins,’ fave slasher is Freddy Krueger, and her favorite TV show of all time is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’