It's not every day that we get a comic book illustrated by Sam Kieth, so getting a look at THE HOLLOWS, a comic written by Chris Ryall and illustrated by Kieth was an opportunity I did not want to pass up. Even after all these years, I'm happy to say that Kieth's style has not changed and his work on this book will not disappoint fans of the artist's unique style.
Ar it's core, the creative team has a great story here. It is unique in its characters and its premise, and I think that's really important in a market flooded with so many similar concepts. This is a very existential, out-of-the-box type of a story, which is a big draw for anyone looking for something different.
Kieth does indeed do a great job illustrating this comic, but there are moments where it feels as though writer Chris Ryall isn't playing to Kieth's strengths. There are times when the panels feel really heavy and wordy, and use dialogue and internal thought bubbles to tell a story rather than utilizing the skills of the artist to do that for them. This isn't necessarily bad, I just think that with someone like Kieth, with so much experience under his belt there would have been more scenes where we see the artists tell more of what is happening to the characters in the different scenes.
I felt the writer also had a difficult time distinguishing between the voices of the different characters. There were moments when the dialogue between Eiko and Craig felt interchangeable, and I didn't really like that.
As much as I felt it was great to see this unique and very different story, I didn't feel that the method the creative team used for storytelling was very provocative. The premise alone is enough to draw a person who is looking for something different in, but the execution of the comic left something to be desired. It felt like I was reading an outline for a script, not the final story. I didn't feel drawn in or like I had connected with the characters in a very profound way. I can appreciate the story the creative team was trying to convey, but ultimately I felt the writing was disconnect from the art. If you like Sam Kieth, though, this is definitely worth a look as it is very Kieth -- he proves here that he hasn't lost his touch for crafting these bizarre and obscure worlds that look half-finished. It's great stuff.