Comic Review: Harrow County #1 is Horror GoldApril 16, 2015
Being a lifelong horror fan, one of the things I always look for is if the medium, whether it’s a novel, comics, television or movies, has been able to in some way give off the feeling of dread. It is a tricky thing to pull off and granted, not all horror is after that type of atmosphere. Still, when it’s done right it is a great experience. Harrow County not only manages to provide a great slice of dread but does so in both a written and visual way that will leave you with more than a few disturbing images running around in your head long after you have finished this first issue.
Set in and around Harrow County, the simplicity of the story is part of its charm. The residents of this little community have committed an act of violence that they think, or hope, will bring back the natural order of things. Emmy, who is now approaching her 18th birthday, hears whispers and senses dark and evil things from the same old oak tree where the communal act of violence was committed. Now Emmy and some in Harrow County feel the change in the air and that something dark and sinister is on the way.
The simplistic yet eerie dialogue and the depressingly desolate and creepy setting make for an amazing combination and where you can find dread almost everywhere you look. Writer Cullen Bunn makes the characters very believable, not to mention their feelings of unease and trepidation. You can almost feel what they feel, a sense of foreboding that lies heavy in the air.
Bunn also makes Emmy a very real character, demanding your attention with her courage and fear while dealing with a strange and complex relationship with her father. It is this combination that makes her such a wonderful centerpiece to the story.
Artist Tyler Crook meanwhile, creates such a bleak and yet frightfully vivid look to the comic that you can’t help but think this would be a perfect getaway for all things that are evil and go bump in the night, or in this case the forest. The town setting itself is bleak enough but forest surrounds it with what seems to be an army of imposing trees and thorns, as if set up to make sure no one gets out.
Everything in this comic is so well done, so well thought out and crafted, that it should really be a template for horror writers and artists everywhere on how to do something like this and do it right. Bunn and Crook have created one of the most eerie and dread filled comics that I have ever read. You get the sense that nothing good lies ahead for Emmy and Harrow County as a whole, as if something is coming to swallow them all hole into some pit of darkness.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this comic, then without hesitation go and tell all of your friends. However, be sure to warn them that they are about to enter a world of never ending creepiness and that whispers are coming for them in their sleep.