August 9, 2018

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Fan Expo Boston Preview: Chew on Rob Guillory's Comics

Rob Guillory, courtesy of Image Comics
When you head to Fan Expo Boston, make sure you stop by and see Rob Guillory, co-creator of the long-running series Chew and of the new comic, Farmhand, which I highly recommend.

Rob's art is extremely distinctive--his characters are, as I wrote about issue 1 of Farmhand--kinda smooshed together, and that will either work for you or not, depending on your taste. His lines are loose, but they hold a strong consistency from panel to panel, page in and page out. The exaggerations that we see in his work all serve a purpose, whether it's to gross out the reader or just punctuate a joke. Here's a few examples:

A page from Chew
As you can see here, the characters aren't strictly proportional, but they hold whatever shape Guillory's chosen for them from image to image. That takes time and effort, and the work shows, especially in some of the weird stuff in both Chew and Farmhand.

A page from Farmhand
In this example, from the opening sequence of Farmhand, we get a good example of the figure work in action again, along with some strong panel sequencing, with the horror building right up to that awesomely disgusting visual of the hands--well, I'm not sure what to call what they're doing in that panel, honestly!

While not an outright horror creator in the vein of, say, Kelley Jones, Guillory does a great job of shifting between things that look normal--well, as normal as his offbeat characters can be--and shifting into straight-on horror. It works well for Chew, when you learn just how the premise is going to be executed, and it works extremely well on Farmhand, where the strange but good-natured plan to grow body parts has to lead to really bad shit. (And trust me, it does!)

I'm sure Rob will have copies of Farmhand available at the show, and anyone who digs sci-fi horror should definitely check it out. Rob also does commissions in his style, though I don't know his rates. If you want more information, Rob's website is here.