Thursday, February 3, 2011

Comics You Should Know: Hollow Planet

Nothing scanned this time around but I wanted to do a shout out to an amazing comic that anyone that knows me will not be surprised to hear me recommend.

Husk: The Hollow Planet is the graphic novel work of comedian Scott Thompson, member of the comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. I am, again no surprise to anyone that knows me, a huge fan of the work of the members of Kids in the Hall and this comic takes one of the more memorable characters created out of that series and continues on in a pastiche of typical sword and sorcery fantasy ala Conan the Barbarian, sorta.

And that's only part of why I enjoyed this book. Aside from being a pretty fun, well-put together read, to me it is taking the art of character crafting and showcasing just how amazing and fun and therapeutic a process it can be. One of the reasons I really enjoyed the sketches in Kids in the Hall and am able to really enjoy this book is because you can actually see how much of a world these writers have built. It's another reason I enjoyed watching Death Comes to Town because I liked seeing old characters continue on, build upon old lives, and to see writers really exploring what they've got.

Quoted from an interview with cartoonist Mark Oakley, he states: "I think I’ve only got about six or seven characters total; I just give them new places and bodies to live in. They march across the story world, through paper comics, in web comics, and in prose. I give them new foibles and challenges and social situations."

This to me is something inherently wonderful, really. Some might feel like it's a limiting process, where the author is constantly re-exploring the same ideas, feelings, and themes ad nauseam. I don't see it that way, if only because I am also someone that is so chronically character based in my own work, but I think it allows for fullness of character. With Scott and Danny and Hollow Planet, you get a lot of resonance from Danny even if he is the ultimate straight guy, he is also one really likable guy as well.

So yeah, if you're a fan of Kids In the Hall and you hate cancer and love life then you might want to give this book a read. Good stories and good characters take as much time as they need.


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