The Ghoul Next Door Author: Cullen Bunn Illustrator: Cat Farris Imprint: HarperAlley (Harper Collins Publishing On Sale: July 13, 2021
ISBN: 9780062896094 Trimsize: 6″ X 9″ Pages: 200 Price: $12.99 Ages: 8 to 12
ARevenge of Spooky SundayPost
I’ve been following the work of writer Cullen Bunn since encountering the Dark Horse Comics’ Harrow County tales several years ago. That story cycle ticked all the boxes for my tastes in supernatural fiction, and has been featured here on the SkeletonPete site in the past. So, I’m excited to share the news of the New York Times best selling author’s newest creepy chronicle called The Ghoul Next Door.
Well, I’ve already seen Halloween decorations displayed at Lowes Home Center, so I guess an October surprise preview from the folks at Dark Horse Comics isn’t too early to report.
If you are a horror fan and haven’t been following their Harrow County series it’s time to get on board. I think you’ll fall in love with it, and I tell you why in this post reviewing Harrow County #1. TeeVee Geebies…
Dark Horse recently announced that the ongoing graphic novel is one of several of the company’s titles being developed by Universal Cable Productions for episodic television, “with direct involvement from the comics creators.” That’s good news because writer Cullen Bunn and artist Tyler Crook‘s work is top notch and I would love to see their aesthetic translated to the screen.
Here’s a sneak peek at what autumn has in store with Harrow County issue #6.
What It Is…
With no spoilers given, I can say that Dark Horse Comics’ newest horror fantasy called Harrow County is like tucking into a good Ray Bradbury tale. It’s a coming of age story about rural farm girl Emmy and a community with some secrets.
The opening pages, worthy of Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, immediately draw us in as “healer” Hester Beck loses her life at the hands of the titular town’s folks. Her dying words threaten that there will to be hell to pay and her murderers can only wait for the other shoe to drop.
County Crows… Harrow County is an excellent pairing of prose and art that truly compliment each other. Cullen Bunn’s (Deadpool) script is thoroughly attentive to sense and natural surroundings (“Her earliest memories were those of the taste of freshly turned earth and the bleating of goats.”) as well as the progress of the narrative. The work is peppered with colloquialisms like “haints” (ghosts) and “snake doctors” (dragon flies) that ground us in the locale. There is also a one page strip “Tales of Harrow County,” drawn by Owen Gieni, that gives us an additional glimpse of the supernatural events plaguing the residents.
Tyler Crook’s (B.R.P.D.) renderings of Emmy and her circumscribed world are embellished with a palette of watercolor washes of muted autumnal green and burnt orange. The children’s book look of the art balances the descriptive gravity of the text and makes the gorier visuals all the more impactful.
Issue #1 is a fine set-up for this new ongoing series with just enough of a creepy cliff-hanger to make you wait breathlessly for answers. Look for it at your favorite comic shoppe on May 13th.