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.’