Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
With the recent mass exposure of horror in comics, the industry has been rife with wonderfully unique takes that grasp the reader and ensure a haunting sensation after the book is done. No other example of this occurs more powerfully than in Frank At Home On the Farm. This book finds a returned World War 1 veteran coming back home after surviving the ordeal, to learn not all is right with the town he left behind. His family farm is gone, with the exception of the animals, vacant from where he knew it to be in the town. Reeling from this revelation, Frank begins to suffer from horrific visions and gruesome sights that converge his suspicions into outright paranoia. Penned by Jordan Thomas and artist Clark Bint, this series is a juggernaut when it comes to approaching horror.
Solidified in four issues, Thomas displays clarity and mastery of building up the level of dread and suspense in this book from the first to the last panel. Continuing through the narrative really brings about an Orwellian visage through the traumas of a soldier suffering from PTSD. Thomas, himself an independent writer, has really established how to layer in mood and allegory into the potency of horror narratives.
Continuing this, Clark Bint really pulls the book together. Despite not having the most traditional comic book style, the little cartoonist aesthetics that he brings really make this book sing. The discomfort that comes from the images is from the clear refusal for this book to look like anything but itself, never maintaining a regular style that is found in a big two publisher. It’s a cool aesthetic that manages to be punk-rock, but still subversive. The colors themselves are almost offset with everything and creates a wonderful juxtaposition between everything occurring. While the art can be hit or miss for some, it definitely adds to the tone of this book. Alongside the writer and artist, letterer LetterSquids really puts in some cool intonation for this book that adds discomfort throughout the reading.
Overall, this book is a perfect treat for the Halloween season or for anyone that wants to get a little uncomfortable. Especially with everything going on in our politics, it’s nice to take a look at a horror version of George Orwell through Jordan Thomas’ masterful storytelling.
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