Dark Horse Comics is associated with releasing gorgeous hardcover “library editions” of their comics. These oversized collections often include new material not in the original comics or trade paperbacks. The Tales from Harrow County Volume One library edition collects the trade paperbacks of the first two volumes in Tales from Harrow County: Death’s Choir and Fair Folk.
Ten years after the events in Harrow County, Death’s Choir is set in the thrust of WWII with Bernice Anderson as the protagonist. While men from Harrow are called to war and dying, Bernice is left as a protector of the county. She lives with Priscilla, the goblin friend of Emmy Crawford in the original series of comics, she has a girlfriend, Georgia, and the haints seem to have quieted. Yet, as peaceful as Harrow sounds, a supernatural occurrence threatens the populace when the dead return, summoned by a choir of haints.
SPOILERS for Death’s Choir below.
Released as a four-issue comic series in 2020, by issue number four of Death’s Choir, there was still more story to tell. In Death’s Choir, Priscilla is captured by the haints, and in Fair Folk, it’s up to Bernice and Georgia to find her. 2021 saw the release of Tales from Harrow County: Fair Folk, another four-issue series to continue the quest to find Priscilla.
This compilation of Bernice’s post-Harrow County journey makes for a fascinating addition to all things Harrow. Though the trade paperbacks were released separately, by putting the two under one cover, readers can delve even further into the different portrayals of that world between the artists. Without Tyler Crook as the artist, the characters and Harrow itself have a different look, and Naomi Franquiz’s Death’s Choir varies in many aspects from Emily Schnall’s Fair Folk, but not in a way that is distracting. Although Crook’s art within the pages is missed, the overall feel of Harrow County remains the same, and with the consistency in his and Cullen Bunn’s writing, the comics do not suffer. Both Franquiz and Schnall bring their own interpretations to the art without hurting the adventure.
Bunn and Crook’s return to Harrow County in both Death’s Choir and Fair Folk is a welcome sight. Bernice’s story was one we didn’t know we needed until it was there, and the familiarity of the county and the townsfolk is comforting, even when the monsters come and we're unsure if the good guys will be victorious. As always, they approach the tale with seemingly effortless storytelling and deliver on both fear and the creepy factor.
The question is: If you have all the comics and the trade paperbacks, should you also invest in this library edition? The easy answer is yes. Absolutely run to your nearest comic book store or put in that online order now. Even though the comics read and look the same, Dark Horse’s library editions are always worth it, and there is the additional sketchbook material to assist your deep dive into the art and story which makes this a phenomenal addition to your Harrow County collection.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (writers), Naomi Franquiz (artist - Death’s Choir), Emily Schnall (artist - Fair Folk), Tyler Crook (cover artist/letterer)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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