Jessica Farm: January 2000-December 2007
The creator of "House" embarks on a life-spanning epic.
Hot on the heels of his first graphic novel, "House," Josh Simmons' "Jessica Farm" fuses serialized adventure, fantasy and psychological horror and stamps it with his signature macabre sensibility in this atmospheric new graphic novel. Like a Lynchian take on "Alice in Wonderland, Jessica Farm" opens with an exterior of what could be any Midwestern farmhouse. Once inside, we track our titular heroine as she bounds out of bed on Christmas and goes about her morning routine, eventually breakfasting with her grandparents. The banality of the situation is subverted by a ratcheting sense of dread, however, as we discover that Jessica's increasingly nightmarish house is filled with creatures around every corner: some whimsical, some sexual, some despairing and some malevolent. Most terrifying of all is Jessica's father, whose promise of presents under the tree is loaded with the threat of violence. As in Simmons' debut graphic novel, "House," a large portion of the tension in this book is generated not only by the sudden acts of brutality and the fear of the unknown, but by the dynamics of Jessica's relationships.
"Jessica Farm" is an ambitious experiment in world-building as conceived by Simmons. This book is the first volume of a life-spanning comics project in which he drew one page every month for the past seven years, starting in January 2000--and will continue this project for 50 years in total, making up the story as he goes and releasing 96-page increments every 8 years until he amasses a 600-page body of work.
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