Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artwork: Emily Schnaal
Lettering: Tyler Crook
Release Date: 21st July 2021
Mourning the disappearance of her friend Priscilla, Bernice must weigh her duties as protector of Harrow County against the need to search for her Goblin friend in the realm of The Fair Folk. Bernice however seems to have forgotten that the Fair Folk are first and foremost tricksters and that there are always dark and dangerous things lurking in the shadows of Harrow County, nowhere more so than beneath its roots.
Continuing on from the recent arc (Death’s Choir), Fair Folk continues to develop Bernice as the protector of Harrow County, and as a young woman trying to find her place in the world. Bernice is strong and powerful in her own right, and she has achieved much of this on her own. It’s touching to see that at her heart, all she really wants is love, the love of her friends, Emmy and Priscilla, and the love of Georgia. Having explained the works she has achieved to bury the memory of Hester Beck once and for all, Bernice does the only thing she can, she goes looking for her friends and hopes that Georgia will join her.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m writing this review. Harrow County is a series that certainly doesn’t need a signal boost. This is a series that from the outset has captured such a wide audience with its superbly written folk horror and utterly beautiful watercolour artwork, and it remains one of my favourite re-reads today.
Reading the press statement from Dark Horse, this looks like it’s going to be another fantastic instalment in the series, with more of the darker, more disturbing edge that I really enjoyed in the first arc. Thankfully, it also looks like it will still have that charm that elevated Harrow County to something really, really special.
In the last arc we saw Naomi Franquiz take the reins in producing the art for the series, and I thought she did a fantastic job of following on from Tyler Crook (who if I’m honest can do no wrong), and this time we see Emily Schnall illustrating. Hand on heart I’ve never seen any of Emily Schnall’s other work but I do really like what I’ve seen in this first issue. First and foremost, this is easily recognisable as the world of Harrow County. The woods, the countryside, and the characters are all immediately identifiable and this is so important in immersing you straight into the new arc.
The new elements that Schnall brings to the story are really well done. I love her character designs for the fair folk, there’s something a little Mike Mignola and a little Guillermo Del Toro about the creatures we meet. I also like the ease with which she transitions from the bright, sun soaked world that Bernice has created in Harrow County, to the increasingly dark world that she finds herself in as she enters the realm of the Fair Folk.
Whether you’re already a fan of Harrow County or not, picking this one up is a no-brainer, just add it to your pull list, (and if you don’t have the rest of the series now’s your opportunity), then buy the trade when it comes out and then triple up and get the Library Edition when that finally arrives (no, I haven’t done this at all myself…honest… *cough*)
Another great start to another arc in the series.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek