By Nick Banks
Harrow County #12 Early Review
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Hannah Christenson
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: May 11th, 2016
Rating: 7 out of 10
Synopsis: Emmy stars in a stand-alone story featuring guest artist Hannah Christenson.
Our Thoughts: Bernice’s tale takes a back seat for the moment as Bunn welcomes guest artist Hannah Christenson to the title to focus on an atypical “house call” that Emmy makes in an attempt to help an embattled family. This tale adds to Emmy’s strange place in the community as both savoir and pariah, a difficult line to walk in Harrow County. In terms of further establishing this aspect of the title, Bunn and Christenson are successful and the addition of a very unique haunted house is also exciting.
The artwork of Tyler Crook is a major selling point for Harrow County and while Christenson is a capable artist, her art seems out-of-place on this title. Christenson is a talented illustrator, but she is new to the sequential art style and format found in a typical panel-to-panel comic book and this is where the issue suffers somewhat. Having examined some of her other work, she seems more suited to the fantasy genre (such as her recent short story in Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard volume 3 #1) than the magical, “real world” setting of Harrow County. Mouse Guard is beautifully illustrated story, but Christenson’s art in this issue offers a more stylized take on Emmy and her neighbors that is a marked departure from Crook’s established look and feel that fans are accustomed to.
This issue does offer the one page “Tales of Harrow County” back-up feature which focuses on the proper way to call one’s cows home, but there is no letters page filled with “real life” ghost stories in this issue.