There’s a poetry to Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County. A poetry of words, images, and ideas – a sense of place and time like in no other comic today. There is a feeling that stays with you that a place like Harrow County could actually exist out there. That’s the nature of myth, and Bunn and Crook have tapped into that myth-making paradigm. I don’t think it’s something any creator specifically sets out thinking they are going to accomplish; it just sort of happens as you’re going, but it is something that they have achieved nevertheless.
In the last couple issues, we’ve seen Bunn and Crook begin some different storylines that start to thread together here. It’s like a great stew; you include some different ingredients and then watch and wait as they simmer together. Emmy’s friend Bernice Clinton has found herself becoming an apprentice to someone who is bound to keep snakes imbued with dark magic in check. Meanwhile, Emmy has been going around and helping the locals with haints, the word that describes the dark creatures that seem to live in every dark corner of Harrow County. Emmy has been clued in that her deceased sister is still around, thanks to a creepy doll. In this issue they stumble upon each other and look for a missing boy, missing in a corn field of all places. Bunn and Crook do the cornfield horror element justice, drawing us further and further, a little bit at a time, deeper and deeper into that endless maze, only to discover something that could prove very troublesome to both characters.
I love this comic book. I don’t know how many more ways to say it. I look forward to reading it every month. It’s a beautiful piece of work. Everyone working on it should be so incredibly proud of themselves. It has some of the most empathetic and complicated characters around. Characters that are bold and vulnerable all at the same time. Characters that you don’t have to work to care about, you’re simply invited to. I’ve stumbled upon a very appropriate word. Reading this book feels like an invitation into a world that’s going to continue to expand and grow in different directions while still staying personal and grounded at every turn.
I can’t believe I’ve already read this month’s issue. That means I have to wait thirty more days for the next one…