Jessica Farm Vol. 1

May 19, 2008 | Comics


Jessica Farm Vol. 1
John Simmons
Fantagraphics Books
$14.95 US (Paperback)
**** (out of five)

Comic book creators truly are vagabonds nowadays.
More and more in recent years, they work on a series for six or 12 months and then scurry off to the next book. This leaves readers to deal with either the end of a favourite monthly release or a new direction under a different writer and/or artist.
Fewer and fewer creators are willing to spend a few years really developing a book and its characters, like Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso and their 100 issues of 100 Bullets or Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man.
So to hear that Josh Simmons plans to work on his book, Jessica Farm, for the next 50 years is pretty shocking.
Simmons, who enjoyed some critical success with his recent debut graphic novel, House, began Jessica Farm in January 2000 with a single page. Since then he has written and drawn one page a month and he plans to continue this pace for 50 years in total, releasing 96-page volumes every eight years until he completes a 600-page story.
As for the content of this first volume, Jessica Farm is a very nice girl who lives in a very odd place. Her wonderfully quirky house is filled with secret spaces and hidden residents — from a friendly talking monkey to an angry nipple-twisting old man — and this first book follows Jessica’s adventures on a not-so-simple trip downstairs on Christmas morning.
Jessica Farm is ambitious and entertaining and it might just have you thinking ahead to the spring of 2016 for volume 2.

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