Story: Jordan Thomas
Art: Clark Bint
Graphics: Daniel Gruitt
Frank Cross is coming home. With three years of the horrors of trench warfare behind him, Frank is looking forward to reuniting with his family on their farm. However, when he returns he finds the place deserted. Enquiries in the local village lead Frank to believe there is some sinister and malignant conspiracy at work, and what follows is a descent into madness and pure horror.
What I have in my hands is not just the collected edition of the series, it’s not even the incredibly beautifully curated and designed Hardcover collection, it’s the Glenn Fabry (limited to 225 prints) hard cover edition, and it’s simply a thing of beauty.
I will enthuse about the story that Thomas and Bint have created shortly, but I really do think that we should take a moment to appreciate the fantastic job that has been made of putting this book together. The presentation and thought that has gone into making this the best version possible of the book is brilliant, and once again CPUK have proven themselves to be an indispensable asset to the indie comic world. This is how you make a Hardcover Edition, and it’s a lesson that some of the bigger publishers could learn something valuable from.
I’ll freely admit that I made a huge mistake when this series came out. I didn’t jump on to it when I should have and missed out on reading past the first two issues, so it wasn’t until yesterday when my Kickstarter reward arrived that I had chance to read the second half of the series… but holy crap, it was so worth the wait!
This, for me at least, is a story that you should go into with as little prior information as is humanly possible, so I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers. However, I would say that the best way to think of this book as you approach it as a new reader, is as something between Animal Farm and Jacob’s Ladder (The good one with Tim Robbins, not the remake.)
Jordan Thomas delivers a very, very well written story. It’s a taut psychological horror which really plays on paranoia and fear, drawing Frank into a suffocating isolation that builds page after page, until we get to the final denouement which will have you right on the edge of your seat, hairs standing on the back of your neck. There is a lot of Cronenberg and Lynch in the influences of this story, outside of the obvious comparison with Orwell’s Animal Farm, and boy is that a combination that nails you to your chair until you’ve turned the last page.
Having read the first two issues when they first came out, I thought I had an idea where this story was going, but I really wasn’t prepared for the horror show that would take me to the end. There are some pages that are so gloriously horrific that I had to stop and admire what was in front of me before moving on. Clark Bint’s artwork throughout Frank At Home On The Farm is superb, but he is never better than when he’s going full Cronenberg with some truly traumatising, nightmare fuel, body horror scenes. Again, I don’t want to enter spoiler territory, and I want new readers to go in as blind as possible, but the deeper Frank slips into madness, the more horrifying Bint’s artwork becomes and it is absolutely glorious.
This is a superb story from start to finish. The Hadrcover edition was put forward as the best edition of the story the team could produce and they absolutely achieved that. If you get the opportunity, grab yourself a copy, you will not be disappointed.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek