The end of the first arc was a tad rough, convoluting itself with backstories, political intrigue, and flat pacing. But this second arc has found a way to improve itself and come back stronger than ever — y’know, like a weed (uh, that didn’t come out as positively as I wanted).
What grounds us (get it?) in this wacky, Cronenbergian tale is the family at the center of it. Guillory knows you need an emotional line and he’s let the complicated relationship between the Jenkins clan take root (OK, I’ll stop now). Ezekiel finds himself arguing with his wife and kids but having to help save his father, and we feel the strain it puts on our protagonist. To break up the misery are some killer comedic beats, especially with Gumbo, the darn cutest dog ever.
Guillory’s art is not pretty…but it’s enjoyably cartoony. At times his art can come across as lazy, shirking on too many details. Fortunately he’s now found his groove with this series and firmly places us in the locations and mood. Although, let’s not forget that Taylor Wells’ colors have a large hand in building mood as well.
Without spoiling anything, this issue gives us just as much horror as domestic troubles. While lots of this book has relied on gross-out gags, #8 has a chilling scene between Jedediah and a transplant where we hear about the frightening effects of being corrupted by plants. Even the first scene, which is mostly comprised of all-black panels, is used to chilling effect.
Rob Guillory has overcome some of Farmhand‘s initial problems and in issue #8 has stuck to what makes it great: a wacky blend of body-horror macabre, absurdist comedy, and family drama.