Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Cook
Release Date: 8th July, 2015
This has been an excellent year for horror comics, with the likes of Rat God, Wyches and Colder really raising the bar. Is there room for another? Are there really that many new stories to tell? On the contrary – Harrow County shows that there are OLD stories to tell, and does so with magnificent, malign menace.
Emmy is about to turn 18 on a depression-era farm fears the terrible tree in the yard, where her father and the other locals killed the witch that was blighting their small community. Rumours, whispers still abide, as 6-legged calves struggle to be born and strange Haints, or ghostly things, lurk at the edge of vision.
And to prevent it ever returning, the people decide that they have to kill young Emmy, before she becomes the witch herself.
The pallid, watercolour tones evoke early photographs of the dustbowl and the 30s. With sweeping landscape and deceptively simple figures, Cook evokes childhood innocence and fear against a backdrop of sinister normality. Empty skies and lurking forests are rendered with equal parts beauty and menace.
As Emmy and her sole friend, Bernice, scramble through the woods to escape Emmy’s fate, they find themselves running from the very ghosts that are trying to protect them – nothing is quite what it seems in the shadows of night, stalked by vengeful father and skinless boy.
This is wonderful, soulful storytelling from Bunn. It’s Steinbeck reimagined by Lovecraft. It’s Dorothy’s Kansas by Night. Get in now, and enjoyed the feeling of being harrowed by this twisted fairy tale.
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The Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
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