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Review Brew: Harrow County #1

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook

“Tales of Harrow County” Artist: Owen Gieni


Reviewed by: Brett Israel

While many of the books I review for the site are chosen almost on a whim, this week I got the chance to look at the first issue of a series I’ve been looking forward to for months. Harrow County was built up to be one of the best upcoming horror series, and in no way did it disappoint.

Cullen Bunn tells a horror story in a style I’ve never seen in comics. It almost feels prose like, with every panel being narrated beautifully in captions, but not in a redundant way we sometimes see. The story centers on a girl named Emmy, who lives in a town where a Witch was burned at the stake years before and vows revenge. She lives on a farm with her father, where strange occurrences are happening with the livestock, and we come to discover that Emmy may be a cause or related to it. This first issue really nails an establishment of world and character. At every page I wanted to know more about the characters, and the subtle drops from Bunn about the world are masterful. Bunn appears to deal with race in this clearly Southern locale, but in no way is it overt or draws from the main story. On top of this, the dialogue puts us right into the Southern setting. Each character speaks so naturally here, almost in a way we don’t see in comics, that it seems much more like a movie or even real life. With a truly chilling final sequence, Bunn is really flexing his muscles with this one.

There really isn’t a way I could describe Tyler Crook’s art in a way that would do it justice. The linework is minimal, but incredible powerful and meaningful, like we see in the work of Matt Kindt. Crook nails the small moments, the moments of fear in a character’s face, just as beautifully as he does the truly horrific and monster designs. I knew he had excellent pacing chops, as I thoroughly enjoyed his stuff on Petrograd, but this is so much more evolved, with color work placing us square into a horror story, with bright reds and earthy tones. I can keep rambling, but this is truly something you should seek out.

Along this line, the backup story with art from Owen Gieni is also very solid. We only got a page of it, but Gieni worked very well with Crooks style and palette, and the short one pager was just as masterful as the main story. I was left frantically flipping for more.

While we are in the thick of events at the big publishers, this horror tale is a very fun departure from that. If you love horror, GET IT; if you love comics, GET IT. Really, just go BUY THIS.

5 trees out of 5

About Brett I (152 Articles)
Born in Philadelphia and currently residing in Portland OR, Brett has been reading and collecting comics in some capacity since 2008 and is now fully immersed. Also, Brett is an avid follower of Professional Wrestling since the crumbling of The Alliance. Philadelphia/Chicago Sports consumed here.
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