The incredible dynamic of this artistic team is working at full force with their series, Manor Black. I was a really big fan of Bunn and Crook’s Harrow County and of Bunn and Hurtt’s The Damned. The three together make a really fantastic team.
In the world of Manor Black, magic exists, and there are families that control different schools of magic. In this lore, magic is a living thing that needs to be contained, and these families contain it. In Manor Black, patriarch Roman Black is at a quickly approaching crossroads and needs to pick his predecessor, which in turn creates friction with the rest of his family. Meanwhile, there are three mysteries introduced in the small town near which he resides: people are exploding into flames; a young woman (Ari – who also uses magic) shows up on his doorstep; and a group of wild magic users have shown up near the edge of town. They all fit together in a really satisfying way.
Bunn and Hurtt expertly lay out these interweaving plots, layering character development and world building while never losing sight of the fact that this is, essentially, a gothic horror story.
I’m so happy to have Crook’s artwork in front of me again. He is a master. With his character portrayals, you can see the fear, pain, anguish and joy in their faces. His use of color creates rich moods and atmospheres, and his depiction of evil is creative and frightening. His images stick in my mind long after I’ve finished reading.
I’m always on the lookout for new series from Cullen Bunn, because it’s clear that #StoriesMatter to him. You can feel the textures of his worlds and the cadence of his characters; everything springs to life. He genuinely cares about what he’s producing, and, as a reader, it pays off.
This is the first collection of the ongoing series, and I would recommend to anyone to buy it.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn and Briant Hartt (writers), Tyler Crook (art, lettering), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor), Brennan Thome (designer)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.