Southern-Fried Horror Served Up Library Edition Style With Harrow County Volume 1

by Brendan M. Allen

The first chapter of the highly acclaimed, Eisner nominated horror-fantasy tale in deluxe, oversized hardcover format.

Emmy always knew that the woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts and monsters. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures-and to the land itself-in a way she never imagined.

Every place has a little piece of their history they’re not proud of. Something dark and twisted and evil that no one talks about. The residents of Harrow County all got together a couple decades ago for a good old fashioned witch hunt, resulting in the gruesome murder of Hester Beck. To be fair, Hester was a legit witch. She did some good work for the townsfolk, but she also blighted their livestock, lured their youth into ark arts, and stole their babies to feed her friends.

Flash forward 18 years. Emmy’s about celebrate adulthood, and she may or may not be the second coming of the most powerful presence of pure evil the town has ever seen. Hester used her last breath to prophesy her own return, “whether to tend or murder.” Now Emmy must learn to control her unusually inherited powers to survive the very same townsfolk that brutally murdered Hester all those years prior.

Cullen Bunn deftly weaves occult themes, suspense, and horror into a classic Southern coming-of-age tale. Emmy is blissfully unaware of the town’s dark secret and her own origin, yet her dreams are haunted by shadows and screams of the past. Bunn has been doing a brisk trade in horror for years, and Harrow County is some of his finest work.

Art, color, and letters by Tyler Crook bring Bunn’s script to the page in a way that is uniquely horrifying, while somehow maintaining a wholesome small town feel. It’s an odd balance, but it works so well, it’s absurd. Even in the quiet moments, there’s a presence, some awful thing cooking in the peripheral, just out of sight.

Dark Horse Books makes these Library Editions really special. The oversized format makes for a slightly different reading experience. Some of those small details that niggle at the back of your brain in the single issue format are more visible in the larger presentation. Special features include sketchbook material, essays, the ”Tales from Harrow County” bonus stories by guest creators, and more. I have all the floppies and the trade paperbacks. I still snapped this edition up.

Harrow County Library Edition Volume One HC, Dark Horse Books, releases on 14 November 2018. Written by Cullen Bunn, art and lettering by Tyler Crook.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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