This book is hot and thick with content, as it collects both Volumes 1 and 2 of the celebrated Dark Horse series, along with plenty of supplemental material to get all over your greasy, little witch hands. As is the trend with these Dark Horse Library Edition hardcovers, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck. This bone-chilling collection is a great addition to your already claustrophobic bookcase, bursting with ghoulish tales that you will look at once and then *creepy organ sound effect* NEVER AGAIN.
Would you like to know more about the vibe of this particular series? Well, to put it simply, there is one character who is just a boy’s skin...
That should get you nice and prepped for the type of adventure you are signing up for when you crack open Harrow County. It’s gross. It’s fun. It’s full of spooky-scary witch specifics that will have you wikipedia-ing for hours. You might find yourself comparing this to Wytches or event the film, The Witch (2015), and, for what it’s worth, you’re not too far off. All three of these recent-ish intellectual properties have a lot in common. The overarching metaphor in all three stories seems to stand in for a young lady coming into her own. In fact, if you have a witch story at this point, I will assume it has something to do with womanhood until you explicitly tell me otherwise. Oh! And, trees are a big deal for some reason?
Trees represent birth? Trees give life? Tree of Life? I’m just saying phrases at this point and refusing to Google this, but the imagery shown above is bone-chilling, so with that in mind, more trees, please!
The writer, Cullen Bunn, has a real knack for the post-Civil War type of slack-jawed yokel speak. I almost enjoyed being whisked away to a different time, when communities of townsfolk still got together holding torches to fight a common enemy. A different time, indeed. Unlike the other witch materials listed above, Bunn probably does the best at setting up a recurring adventure-friendly story. Volume 1 ends with an impressive call to action that feels nowhere near complete.
The art is all over the place. Sometimes, we get panels that look near photorealistic:
Then, sometimes, we get faces that look like this:
I don’t mind either one, but page to page is kind of a mixed bag.
Tyler Crook is the artist on the book, and I must say he leans into his namesake as he steals my breath away in most of the action pieces, especially those which culminate towards the end of each volume.
Harrow County is a renowned staple of the gothic-horror genre, produced by a major indie label, and acclaimed by critics and readers alike. The quotes on the sleeve indicate that it also has garnered the respect of its peers. I fully endorse this comic, and I think it has earned a place in the pantheon of titles adorning every good boy and girl's picture book collection. If you have never read this, pick it up before all of the scares dry up and we bust, full swinging, into Turkey Season.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (writer), Tyler Crook (art)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Click here to purchase.