Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Comics On A Bench: Harrow County


Harrow County; Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Tyler Crook
This week Harrow County #6 hits stands and if you're a fan of horror and the Southern Gothic, you should ready it.  Writer Cullen Bunn weaves the tale of Esther,a who finds out her family, town, and life have all been a lie, and her role as inheritor of their collective guilt on the eve of her 18th birthday.  She discovers she is the rebirth of a lynched midwife/wise woman/witch named Hester, and some of the town's population were creatures of Hester's creation.  With the veil is lifted from her eyes, Esther must grapple with the misdeeds of her predecessor and the expectations of the community.  Fearing that she will follow in Hester's footsteps, the citizens take up arms to re-enact their past misdeeds and get her dead first.  This is just the first few issues, it gets darker as it goes.

Like most Southern Gothics, the themes of generational guilt and Caledonian Antisyzygy (two warring polarities of spirit in one person) are prominent, and you can tell that the writer is intimately familiar with this genre.  The passion and craft Bunn has put into the narrative will draw you in, even if you've read similar narratives before.  Tyler Crook's art pulls the whole work together, illuminating this tale of haunts and dark things in the wood with vivid terror and disquiet.  A wonderful work of modern horror dwelling in the past, that man is a monster, hands dyed black with past sins.