The fourth and final chapter in the first story arc of Tales from Harrow County is haunting and beautiful.
It’s World War II, and Bernice (a supporting character in the first epic story of Harrow County) has taken over protecting the people of Harrow County. A strange music has called back the dead (many being young soldiers that were lost in battle), but it also started calling back darker things. Spirits – haints – that did not have a deal to live side by side with humans. Bernice has spent the last three issues trying to find the source of the magic while also juggling her personal life; she is a lesbian during a time when being gay was, for the most part, not accepted and incredibly dangerous, especially in small communities like Harrow County.
Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook have tapped into a universal emotion of loss and grief, and with Fanbase Press’ #StoriesMatter initiative, this is one of the most important things about storytelling. It can take difficult emotions and ideas that are relevant to our personals lives and sometimes feelings that are too big to tangle with, like war – and find fantastical ways to help us focus down and process them. Kudos to the creators of this series for, in four issues’ time, tackling a still-relevant (unfortunately) issue that plagues our world. They also open up the story with the promise of digging into who Bernice is with the possibility of a returning character.
Bunn’s words are poetic. The opening image of a war-torn beach with paired his words is beautiful and heartbreaking.
Speaking of opening images, Naomi Franquiz does a stellar job with the art. She follows the road map that Crook laid out from the previous series and brings her own voice. The characters in her hands are tender, fragile, and incredibly human; her style is incredibly intimate.
I love this world and look forward to it continuing.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (creators), Cullen Bunn (script), Naomi Franquiz (art), Tyler Crook (letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor), Keith Wood (designer), Josie Christensen (Digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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