Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated & Lettered by Tyler Crook
Tales of Harrow County
Written & Illustrated by Tyler Crook
Coloured by Ma’at Crook
Pinup by Jok
Something about the way this issue opened had me singing Garth Brooks and the Thunder Rolls. It seemed apropos what with the storm there and the narration not to mention Emmy’s sister unexpectedly showing up like she has as some bad portent. Then there’s Tyler’s interior pages and somehow if this were to have a soundtrack it would start with that for sure. I love that about this series it has this life of it’s own and really gets the reader involved in the most unusual ways.
Pa downstairs having no luck in engaging the driver to sit down as the storm rages on outside and the lightning strikes is wonderful. Tyler’s watercolour style here shines as you have this feeling of the house being waterlogged as if the wallpaper itself were retaining moisture. It all adds to this incredible feeling of unease that the series needs.
This issue really focuses on Emmy and her mirror image Kammi. We saw Kammi at the end of an issue in New York City and personally at that time I just thought it was an older version of Emmy. One that had embraced her dark side. Turns out last issue she showed up at the farm and this issue is all about the two of them getting to know each other. Bernice was there when she pulled up so the three have a slumber party that first night and boy can you cut the tension with a butter knife.
The contrast between the girls thanks to their upbringing is startling. Kammi is one you immediately don’t trust. There’s just something about her, her mannerisms and the way she styles herself that puts you off. As if she’s trying to present more of an air of superiority it’s just too fake for me but Emmy is blind to it. Bernice isn’t though and that might just be a problem for someone we’ll have to see.
That Emmy is more in touch with the land and how they were born is something Kammi is jealous of that’s easy enough to see. So is the fact that she relishes in her powers, yeah what we see her do here tells us more than we need to know about that,and when the subject of how they were born and their “mother” comes well that’s something. There’s a definite difference in them as one was raised in a loving home and the other well we aren’t quite sure about that yet but the city hasn’t done her any favours.
It’s easy enough to have the cosmetic differences in them to tell them apart but this issue goes deeper than that in a short amount of time to really showcase that. It’s like night and day or i’ll dare say good vs. evil and it’s going to be one heck of a ride if what I think is going to happen will. Emmy has her support group and not just Pa and Bernice but the skinless boy and his skin and that makes her powerful than Kammi realizes. I also like that Emmy doesn’t share everything with as well. It’s like some instinct to stay guarded while embracing the sister she never knew she had is instinctual.
Cullen has a full plate right now and it amazes that he can continue to write so diverse and interesting stories and keep them all going. The way his brain works is something i’m jealous of and the way he keeps giving us more and simultaneously holding back here feels the like the tug of war of a fisherman and a fish.
This is one of my favorite Dark Horse books right now because not only does it stay creepy as all get out but you never know what’s going to happen next.