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‘The Hollows:’ Advance Hardcover Review (Caution: Zombie Children Playing)

The Hollows


The HollowsSo, as an upwardly mobile Guest Contributor, I ambitiously took on The Hollows to show my editor, my audience, and me that I could rise to the enviable and much sought after title of “Comic Book Editor.”  I may have bitten off more than I could chew, as The Hollows leaves me conflicted and dissatisfied.  Let’s talk.


The comic fluctuates between beautiful images of an Ikarus-type flyer framed by a sunset versus close ups of a mutant dog/cat pet repeating “Urp” and licking things.  In short, it can feel a little schizophrenic.  Are we emulating Ed, Edd, and Eddie or are we aiming for The Dark Crystal?  The answer is, oddly enough, both.  Once I realized this, I enjoyed the comic more, and Sam Kieth (artist extraordinaire) is truly talented.  Just get ready for some cognitive dissonance when the serious and stunning images of fear, flying, and soul-eating critters then transitions (Did I say transition?  There is no transition.) to slapstick about peeing animals.


The story of the The Hollows is compelling.  In a dystopian future where ravenous zombie-like things eat souls (with teeth and blood – which is weird), there are two populations of people: Survivors on the ground, and Thrivers who live in a tree.  Yep.  A tree.  A really, really big tree – with cities.  Think Ewoks, but in Tokyo.  One of the Thrivers is an inventor who may or may not have had something to do with creating both the trees and the baddies that eat souls.  Our fearless hero has a bit of an adventure on the ground, and s–t goes down.  End of story. (I don’t like spoilers.)

All of that said, the journey of our fearless hero, his wife, and one of the survivors is summed up nicely in several words that are literally printed throughout the comic: Fly, Blame, Attain.  If those sound disjointed, you’ll find more of the same in the comic.  Dialogue is non-sequitor at times, as is the behavior of the characters (playing ball while hordes of baddies approach, for instance).  The dialogue feels a bit like a Kung Fu movie dubbed over by someone who doesn’t speak English, which can be tiring over 4 comics (which is what The Hollows is). But, Chris Ryall (writer) paints an interesting picture with the story and provides a new twist to the rather stale zombie tale. 

Should you read it?  Sure . . . just expect to be confused about whether it was awesome or kind of a waste once you get to the end.  I happened to like it, though . . . maybe you will, too.






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