I just got chills as I read the final line in issue twelve of Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crooks’ Harrow County, with Hannah Christensen taking artistic duties from Crook in this issue. Let me begin by saying Harrow County is one of my favorite comics currently on the stands. It’s a dark fairy tale that takes the horror tropes of today and rips them to shreds, then gives us something both spectacularly old and incredibly fresh. This is the type of horror that exists in scribbles on parchment, evils that feel like they’ve been lurking just out of our sight from days long before us, before concrete buildings and digital landscapes. This is the stuff that slowly digs its way under your skin.
It also takes place in a world as real as our own. One that you can imagine finding if you drive into the countryside, far enough away from lights that fill the sky over a city.
For the last two issues, we’ve been following one of Emmy’s only real friends as she finds herself on an incredibly interesting journey, learning to fight evil in her own way. In this issue, we follow Emmy to a possibly haunted house. Watch as Cullen Bunn takes your expectations and doesn’t care. The only thing he cares about giving you is something both different and excellent, frightening with an emotional through line, all of which he hits here, some more subtle than others.
While I miss the lightness of Crook’s art in this issue, Christensen brings her own version of the children’s book feel that makes Harrow County as resonating as it is. After all, the scariest things were those that haunted our imaginations as children, and that’s what Bunn taps into more than anything else – his childlike innocence, his unfettered imaginations – and by doing so, he takes us with him. From issue to issue, it really is thrilling.