By Nick Banks
Harrow County #11 Early Review
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10
Synopsis: Bernice wanders down a dark path to confront supernatural forces in her neck of the woods.
Our Thoughts: Admittedly, I was late to the Harrow County party, but I sure am glad that I eventually showed up! Harrow County is one of the most praised books of the moment, and all of the praise is justified and well-deserved. This is a fantastic series on all fronts. The dialogue is natural and believable for a period piece and the water-color style illustrations capture the beauty and horror of adolescence and the supernatural. If you have not picked up an issue yet, you have no excuse not to at this point.
The latest story arc features our heroine’s best friend Bernice in a tale that focuses on her community and their own brand of witchcraft which focuses on the local water moccasins and a lot of mason jars. While Emmy is almost always the star of the show, the supporting cast is equally engaging. Bunn is able to inject life into these characters and make the reader care about them, so a story featuring Bernice is both welcome and a nice change of pace. For a series so steeped in mythology and folklore, it was only a matter of time before Bunn detailed the supernatural history of Harrow County’s African-American community.
The artwork of Tyler Crook is unlike anything seen in modern horror comic books. Where most artists focus on creating elaborate creatures and the standard muscular and beautiful heroes that combat them, Crook’s characters all seem very “real”. And because all of his human characters are grounded in reality, it allows Crook to get very creative in his depiction of the monsters and ‘haints that populate Harrow County.
This issue, like all of the other ones in this series, offers a bonus for monthly readers. Each individual issue includes the one page ” Tales of Harrow County” back-up feature which further cements the quirkiness and oddities of this strange town and a letters page filled with “real life” ghost stories from readers. In addition, this issue includes an essay by Ma’at Crook about Black Beard the pirate. These bonuses, not available in the collected trade editions, are worth the monthly commitment.