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Harrow County #14

by Héctor A on July 13, 2016

Script: Cullen Bunn
Art and lettering: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse

 

Harrow County #14 amps up the horror from last issue. Aside from the more explicit art by Tyler Crook, getting longer narration passages by Cullen Bunn really highlights that angle. It's rare that a horror comic can do the equivalent of a jumpscare, maybe Clean Room and Revival can approach something like that feeling, but most of the time comics of the genre have to depend on build-up to be effective and the past 2 issues of this series have excelled at that.

 

The issue starts with Emmy's mother leaving her as a baby. Emmy's origin story is kind of hard to explain if you haven't read the book but long story short, her mother is disturbed because of it. After this prologue, the issue picks up where the last one ended with a Mysterious Man holding young Clinton. After a tense confrotantion between the Mysterious Man and Emmy and Bernice is resolved, Bernice and Clinton head back towards their home while the Mysterious Man leads Emmy towards a large house which Emmy remarks isn't supposed to be there. We are introduced to some intriguing new characters (I love intriguing new characters!) and the fact that we don't know what the intentions of these people keeps the issue interesting to read. It's not a dense plot but it does feel like the book is building towards something. The epilogue continues the story of Emmy's mom and it's uh.. really something. It reveals that the mother is a haint, which is something that has been abused on this book but here Bunn takes that to a new place.

 

I feel like I spend a lot of time throwing platitudes at Tyler Crook but hey, the art in Harrow County is great! Crook does a great job portraying nuanced facial expressions, and seeing the introduction of four new characters is a delight as each of them have a great and memorable design. While Bunn's dialogue and narration can be very wordy, Crook (who also does the lettering) doesn't let the speech bubbles clutter his art, making the book an easy read.

 

Speaking of the dialogue and narration in this issue, getting more of Bunn's prose is good! With Bunn's writing and Crook's art, the bookends on this issue shine a light on Harrow County's strengths. Bunn also does really well with his dialogue, the characters' accent really comes through in the book (actually since he's already on X-Men seeing Bunn write Rogue would be kind of great, someone let Marvel know about this great idea I just had). Anyway, my hang-up with last issue was a lot about how it seemed to feel a bit directionless, that's not the case here as we see new characters and some insight into Emmy's parents.

 

The four-part back-up story written by Crook with Matt Kindt and Brian Hurtt sharing art duties picks up this issue. I was a bit disappointed seeing that the one on issue #13 wasn't a one-shot but I'm starting to see that these installments work well enough on their own.

 

With this issue, Harrow County regains some momentum but regardless of what ends up happening with these characters, I really appreciate the craft that the creators put into this series. Crook and Bunn are really good at all the little details that make a good comic book.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside