Review - Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 (@KaboomComics)

"My idea was to make a raft, not a piece of garbage."

Forests can be full of wonder and hide charming towns. In Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 from KaBOOM! Studios, the combination of the two make for a great read. The issue is written by Celia Lowenthal, illustrated by Jorge Monlongo (color assists by Kike J. Diaz) and lettered by Mike Fiorentino.

After Greg loses a shoe to a pond-turtle, it’s up to Wirt to earn money for a new pair, leading him to babysit some doll-children that may cause Wirt to stay in town forever…

There's a certain impishness to Lowenthal's script in how his characters seem very lighthearted and spirited. The script is very easygoing with Lowenthal moving the characters along a relatively charming journey as they explore a new village. That being said, there's still a looming sense of something bad happening, but considering the otherwise light nature of the issue Lowenthal doesn't let things get too dark and dreadful. Credit to Lowenthal for being able to craft a tale with a foreboding sense of doom without being too ominous; there's a general childish innocence that pervades the issue. And the issue's ending sets things up for things to get more interesting and for Wirt to have to work through some new problems.

Monlongo's illustrations are very friendly in their presentation. The relatively simplistic linework allows the characters to blend with the scenery rather effortlessly, creating a look that feels as if it's painted and very appropriate for an all-ages comic. There's also a lack of panel definition throughout the issue that contributes to an overall airiness in the comic. Monlongo also gives all the characters a generally pleasant and cheerful demeanor that serves as another reminder of how charming the characters are. The colors are slightly muted in a positive way and reinforces an autumnal sensibility in the book.

Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 is a fast read that has a lot going on in it. Greg and Wirt are looking at another adventure with the two of them finding it in a new town. Lowenthal's script is thoroughly enjoyable in its effervescent approach. Monlongo's illustrations are a great complement and really underscore the all-ages appeal of the book. Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 is definitely worth checking out for a pleasant read that everyone will enjoy.

Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 is available October 3.