Comic Review: Black Hollow, Issue 1

(WARNING: SPOILERS AND ADULT LANGUAGE AHEAD)

Black Hollow is a Canadian horror comic that harkens back to the late 80s or early 90s. It’s got a real, Tales of the Crypt feel to it, and the art reflects that as well, but I’ll get into that later.

Premise: Two young women are on their fuck the world road trip. Where they are going and where they are coming from, we can’t be sure. Not yet; but we do get the sense that one of the women of the women, Amelia, is much less dedicated to the fuck the world concept than Claire–because Amelia has called her mom. She says her mom worries. I’ll look for this to become more important in subsequent issues. When Amelia, the driver, stops to check on a car pulled over on the road in the middle of the night, she gets a strangely formal response. The woman behind the steering wheel–something is wrong with her, we can see, even if Amelia can’t. She and Claire continue until, without warning, their car brakes down and they are plunged into darkness. When Amelia gets out to check the engine Claire disappears. Amelia is left searching for her partner, and what she finds is more than what it seems.

Art: As I mentioned before, this comic takes me back to my childhood. The rather awkward and cartoonish illustrations, the distorted perspectives in size. The hard, solid colors used for everything. These form a world in which there is no room for gray or limbo. Everything is bright and there for you. There isn’t any impressionism.

A lot of this issue takes place in the car and has a perspective of a long, straight road, bordered by a hay field on the right and a forest on the left. In the distance is a city and slightly closer and to the right, a silo in the hay field. One of the clever aspects of the art in this issue is how the silo and the city never seem to get any closer. Even though the road is straight, I often felt as though Amelia and Claire weren’t able to get to their destination. At one point I even had to look back at previous pages to make sure I hadn’t lost my spot. It gives the whole issue a sense of lostness–if that’s a word.

Conclusion: A fun first issue that raises all the right questions and introduces just enough character and setting to make you want more. The most pressing question I have is “What’s going on,” as some supernatural weird stuff pops up. The other question I have is, “who are these two women?” Their relationship is clear, but why are they on that road of all roads and what are they running from? It’s certainly enough to keep readers going, and the second issue is only $1 on Comixology, a total steal.

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