This Looks Cool: Ryall and Keith Combine for "The Hollows" from Image Comics


Chris Ryall is IDW's former Editor in Chief and helped oversee the company when it was at, from my perspective, one of the heights of its creative expression, especially with licensed comics. He's also a prolific writer, including Zombies vs Robots

Sam Keith is a comics experience. He's worked on Wolverine and Venom, among others, for Marvel, did the first few issues of Sandman, though his work was much different then, and is probably best known for The Maxx.  He's stylistic in a way that's immediately recognizable once you are introduced to his linework. As with the best of those in that style, like Kelley Jones or Richard Corben or Bill Sienkiewicz, Keith's look stretches the bounds of conventional anatomy and support structures but never breaks them entirely. Any single page from Keith can be lingered on, and while his lines can be quite different from more traditional-style comics, he's always able to tell the story clearly, which is what separates him and the others I've mentioned from some of their peers.

The Hollows was originally an IDW publication, and I think, if I'm reading things correctly based on the description, this is a reprinting, not a new work in the same world. (They're also using the same promo image as Amazon does for the old collection.)  However, I could be wrong about that and will update this accordingly if I find out a definitive answer.

Here's the brief blurb from Image:
In this specially priced, extra-length comic, readers are transported to a near-future Japan, where spectral, once-human husks prey on the unfortunates who couldn’t find salvation in the skyscraper-like trees that now dominate the decimated landscape. A discredited scientist works furiously to find a cure, until a one-eyed orphan girl and her pet, uh, Urp, force him to rethink everything he knows…
Urp, whom I'm guessing is the pink thing on the promo image, is vintage Keith - weird, misshapen, and a big part of the plot. I don't really know a lot about this one personally, even though it's a reprint, because I missed reading it in 2013. Sometimes you can't get to all the comics you want to, and part of why I highlighted this one is that I bet I'm not the only person who might dig a strangely drawn dystopian story from an iconic creator and one of the best editors in chief of the 21st Century. Having scanned a few images on a search for the old edition, I'm extremely excited to get a chance to read this one. Keith's panel structures are really strong here, using borders and longer images to break up the page and keep the reader's eye moving smoothly.

This should be an excellent visual treat with a strong plot and premise that Keith's style will work perfectly for. Combined with Chris's strong creative talents as a writer and editor, it's a combination worth bringing back into print, and I'm glad Image is doing so. If you didn't get a chance in 2013, now's a great time to check out The Hollows.

You can purchase The Hollows at your local comic shop or favorite digital device on July 27th, 2022.