OVER THE GARDEN WALL – HOLLOW TOWN Review: A Step Back into The Unknown!

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Written by Celia LowenthalPat McHale (Creator),  Jorge Monlongo (Illustrations), Kike J. Díaz (Colorist), Mike Fiorentino (Letterer), and Miguel Mercado (Cover Artist)

Thanks to BOOM! Studios for providing a copy of this title for review!

Synopsis: When Greg loses a shoe, Wirt must find a way to replace it, and fast if they want to avoid a repeat of the summer camp splinter incident. Luckily, it’s not long before they stumble upon Hollow Town, a hamlet populated entirely by wooden doll people, where Wirt finds work as a babysitter for the enigmatic Mrs. Clemence. However, the longer they stay in Hollow Town, the more it becomes clear that Hollow Town holds a sinister secret… The Emmy Award-winning series continues further into the Unknown with this brand-new Over the Garden Wall graphic novel. Join writer Celia Lowenthal (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Fairies) and artist Jorge Monlongo (Adventure Time Comics) on a new adventure-filled journey with Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice.

Review

When I think about Over the Garden Wall I think about big mystery with subtle clues. I also think of stories with a ton of heart, and a dose of terror. Hollow Town was all of this and more. In a town full of wooden doll people, the terror was a given, but it was so wonderful to see Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice causing a ruckus again.

In a lot of ways, this book is everything a fan of the Cartoon Network show could ever want. This story takes place somewhere in the midst of the show. If you can imagine another episode injected early into the timeline of the animation, that’s where Hollow Town is set chronologically. Wirt & Greg are definitely still trying to make their way home, and they seem unaware of the fact that Beatrice isn’t quite what she appears to be. After I got past riddling out the when of this story, I was much more interested in the why and the how.

Greg’s zany antics are really the driving force for Hollow Town. Unfortunately they also drive a wedge between him and Wirt. The tension between the brothers mounts more and more with each passing panel. Things take a turn for the worse when Wirt is presented with a huge choice that could split the brothers for good. No spoilers here though, you’ll have to read for yourself!

Once again I was enchanted by the visuals of Over the Garden Wall through this graphic novel format. I don’t think I really had a personal aesthetic until watching the show, and now I thrive on all these autumnal. The color, or lack there of throughout the book play an important role in the plot. I loved how visual clues were scattered throughout the story. The play of light and shadow was crucial to create an unsettling atmosphere in a few panels. I couldn’t help but gasp 2 or three times. This was yet another element that helped me feel at home in Hollow Town.

It’s safe to say that the world of Over the Garden Wall is alive and well through the medium of graphic novels. There are so many unique stories that could be told in this world. Books like this that use a unique setting to convey important themes will always be my favorites. I love how Hollow Town addresses sibling love and responsibility in such a fanciful yet relatable way.

The collected edition of Hollow Town is available on July 3rd.

Are you planning an Over the Garden Wall rewatching this October? I know I am! Chat with me about this amazing show on Twitter and Instagram.

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