Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jessica Farm - Volume 2

WTF?  Honestly, there is just no other way of putting it.  I've read some off-beat comics in my time, and the first volume of Jessica Farm was definitely unusual and not at all what I was expecting.  It was part fantasy, part thriller, part mystery.  Volume 2, however, while picking up right where Volume 1 left off, goes so far beyond the realm of absurd that I really don't know what to think or say about it.

Jessica Farm and her newfound companion, Mr. Sugar Cock (don't ask), have now met "the Smiths" - Papa Smith, Funny Uncle Smith, and Baby Smith. Only, the Smiths are not people.  They appear to be some type of fox/goat-types who happen to live within the barn on the Farm property.  And they are going to help Jessica and Sugar fight the Crangleshitters and Skrats that are tearing up the farm.  So, they leave the safety of the barn and confront the two Skrats that are outside.  Only, once defeated, they find out those aren't the only Skrats - there is a whole army of them - and on the other side, coming quickly, are the Crangleshitters!  Then, for the next thirty-five or so pages, there is nothing but fighting - and since none of these creatures are even human, it becomes a hodge-podge of a mess that is so difficult to figure out exactly what's going on, that I pretty much skimmed over the pages, saying to myself, "a page of fighting...another page of fighting...and another page of fighting," and so on, until I finally got back to Jessica and Sugar, who are searching for the secret door that will take them underground to safety of a cavern where they meet three humans - Frikk, Frank, and Fred (who, for no apparent reason, seems to be trapped inside of a dead human carcass nailed to the cave wall).  And they send Jessica on a journey to fulfill her destiny, the first place of which is a cave called The Rainbow Chamber that will allow you to hover through the air if you completely clear your mind and forget yourself.  Yeah, okay....

I won't even talk about what happens when Jessica and Sugar go into the Rainbow Room, as (a) it is not really necessary to be as graphic as it is and (b) it doesn't really serve any purpose in the story (unless Jessica is going to later become pregnant in the next book).

After reading this book, I can honestly say I have no intention of picking up Volume 3, which, by the way, is said at the end of this book to be coming out in 2024 - definitely NOT worth the wait or the read.

Don't know how long it has been since I have been completely and utterly disappointed in a comic that I've bought and read.  Sure, some may not be to my liking, and some may not measure up to my expectations.  But Volume 2 of Jessica Farm is just so completely jumbled by the art (when you try to draw that many creatures fighting each other all at once, it becomes hard to separate one from another in the melee - of course, though, now that I think about it, perhaps that was Simmons' idea in doing it), and the story has gotten so far off the beaten path that I can't say that I understand, or even want to understand, what is going on with it and in what direction it is really headed.  The oddity of it may have been intriguing in the first book, but it's just way too out there in this one to be understood.

Oh well, you never know until you try it, right?

RATING:  3 Grokk-flokkers out of 10 just for remaining faithful to his one page of story and art per month (this second volume having been created from January 2008 through December 2015).

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