There's no question that Sam Kieth is unique. In the 90's he created one of the most interesting (and bizarre) characters in comics when he published THE MAXX at Image Comics. Yet it's safe to say that Kieth has been a lot more absent from comics than he had been during the 90's. For a while, Kieth had left mainstream comics to pursue other projects until he returned to DC in 2010 with his ARKHAM ASYLUM: MADNESS and more recently BATMAN: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2012), both of which were released in the graphic novel format by DC comics. Now, Kieth is preparing for the release of his latest, creator owned project titled THE HOLLOWS which he has developed with writer Chris Ryall (IDW's Chief Creative Officer) for IDW.
Sam and I had been talking about doing a project together and I ran this idea by him,..It contained many of the elements that made it into the final version of 'The Hollows,' but discussions, changes, and additions from Sam helped make this a true and very rewarding collaboration. It's really become a project like nothing I've ever done before in the way Sam and I are working together and throwing out ideas that just perfectly mesh with what the other person already had in mind. It's the creative equivalent of spouses finishing each other's sentences.
According to Ryall, the project is inspired by Japanese folklore. Ryall revealed that the initial idea for the project was his, but that Kieth definitely helped flesh it out; story-boarded the story first and Ryall added the dialogue later.== TEASER ==
The story is set in a sort of "dystopian future" where humans must come together and hide away from the world in order to stay safe. They must face "irradiated husks whose humanity has been supplanted by an unquenchable desire to consume human energy."
Set in Japan, the book seems it will be dark and the atmosphere of the story gloomy. However, there is always a light on the horizon of every good story. The story will also feature "genetically engineered super trees."
The creators gave a bit of insight into the plot and themes of the upcoming series, citing that the book will be about both the present and the future. Ryall explained that the "desolate setting of the story" is merely the backdrop for a much deeper story and, in our opinion, plays to the strengths of Kieth whose artistic style is dark, brooding and convoluted. What the story is really, actually about, according to Ryall are things aspects like "love, loss, redemption, faith, flight, and past versus future..." The creator went on to further explain the overall stories, characters and more.
"When things started going badly in Japan, the solution was to build up. But -- shades of Romero! -- not everyone is able to live in these safe havens -- if indeed they're safe. Kobayashi has a foot in the old world, so while others in this city-state use jetpacks, he uses a more archaic flying suit a la Da Vinci. Kobayashi is a bit of a lost soul to begin with, despite being a scientist and family man, and we delve into just why that is."
If this story sounds like something you might be interested in reading, or if you're just a big fan of Kieth's work be sure to look out for this sometime in December. Additionally, if you want to learn more about Sam Kieth's personal artistic inspirations as well as his artistic style, check out the spotlight on the artist in this month's JUXTAPOZ magazine where he is featured. Also, go get a look at what he's up to on his personal blog.