The Past is Prologue: Should You Be Reading ‘Harrow County’?
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An idea comic for those interested in witches, haints, and the darkness of small Southern towns, Harrow County tells the story of a young witch who died and was born again, and all the creatures she can command, and all the darkness she can --- but chooses not to --- unleash.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Once, there was a witch. She had great power and helped the people of her town, but with all the good she did, darkness had to come. She performed spells to heal, but balanced it out with darkness and death. She could summon creatures --- ghosts, goblins, fairies -- that she called Haints, and eventually, she created her own. Some of them, for all intents and purposes, were normal humans being. And these children killed her.
Years later, a girl is born to one of the witch’s children. On her eighteenth birthday, she realizes the truth; she is the witch reborn, the leader of the Haints, and the creator of most of the people she knows. Some want to kill her, some hate her, and most of the Haints follow her. She has almost unlimited power, and a vow to uphold to take vengeance on those that killed her. But she wants to choose a different path, a path that lets humans and Haints live together in peace. And that’s not going to be easy...
WHO’S IT BY?
The comic was created by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Tyler Crook, launching in 2015 ---- more or less. Bunn actually began the story of Harrow County long before Crook came on the scene, as Bunn serialized his story, Countless Haints, on his blog. Later it was turned into the first four issues of Harrow County.
In addition to his work on Harrow County, Bunn has written dozens of similarly dark comics, including Marvel’s Magneto and Deadpool Kills Deadpool, and his indies The Damned and The Sixth Gun. Crook has worked on such Dark Horse comics as Abe Sapien and co-creator Cullen Bunn’s The Sixth Gun.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
This comic could not be more of a spectacular love letter to Halloween. Dripping with every single spooky thing you can imagine --- haunted trees, witch’s curse, dark things hiding in deep shadows --- yet it somehow manages not to drown in darkness.
Rather, it seems almost hopeful; a story about how we can make peace and accept the things that terrify us, that we live in fear of. Instead of a story about overcoming and destroying the monsters, Harrow County teaches us to live with --- and even respect and help --- the monsters in the darkness.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
Anyone out for a spooky tale on Halloween. Those who feel they were something more in a past life. If you live in a small town, a community where everyone knows everyone, yet you still feel an undercurrent of darkness, you should check it out, as should any wannabe witch or monster, or anyone who has seen something in the dark, something you could not describe, and felt curiosity rather than fear.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
You can find issues at better comic stores and Comixology. You can find the first three collected volumes on Amazon and at better book stores. You can also check out the first issue for free on io9.
Additionally, you can check out some of Tyler Crook's art process videos for the series below!