Publisher: Scar Comics
Writer/Artist: Luke Cooper
Release Date: TBC
I’ve been lauding the output of artist and writer Luke Cooper for quite some time now after becoming a major fan of his work by virtue of his strong showings on Planet Jimbot titles such as Wolf Country, Amazing & Fantastic Tales and the True Believer Award-winning GoodCopBadCop.
His latest release, Hollow Girl: I Am No One, is a full-length graphic novel spinning out of one of the strips from his ‘Glimpse of Hell’ serial in the pages of Murky Depths magazine. In this story, Kat, a deeply disturbed young girl, murders her own parents in cold blood without a flicker of emotion. Said to be born without a soul, this ‘hollow girl’ now serves as a vessel for the souls of the wrongfully murdered, exacting revenge on their killers in truly visceral fashion.
Cooper does a fantastic job of telling the story here, flicking back and forth between Kat’s formative years and her current situation, keeping the exposition lean and efficient throughout. The dialogue is used sparingly, with Cooper preferring a far more visual method of storytelling, although Kat’s inner conversation with her current ‘occupant’ does raise some intriguing questions about her sanity, particularly as she finds herself dragged deeper and deeper into her latest mission.
As solid as the narrative of this story clearly is, the real selling point of this series is Cooper’s typically eye-catching artwork. His highly stylised black and white approach has truly never looked better, appearing almost photorealistic in places, and his page layouts and compositions are practically flawless. While savouring his previous work under the Planet Jimbot banner, I was always curious about just how much of the layouts were down to Cooper himself and how much came from writer Jim Alexander. Here however, with Cooper firmly in the driver’s seat, his gifts for sequential storytelling and crisp, cinematic action are on full display for all to see, leaving absolutely no doubt as to the source of the brilliance we’re seeing.
In the introduction to the book, Cooper talks candidly about his struggles in putting this story together, wrestling with the fleshing out of a character he only ever really envisaged as a ‘cool-looking killer in a mask’. Well, I think I speak for anyone who gets the chance to read this story when I say that I’m bloody glad he did! The potential behind this previously one-dimensional character is truly staggering, and every layer Cooper peels away only seems to add further intrigue to her personality. I can only echo Cooper’s own hopes that this book be as well received as it clearly deserves to be, because dammit, I want more!
Overall, Hollow Girl: I Am No One is a story that crackles with creative energy, possessing an utterly intriguing premise and some truly stunning visuals, and with this release Luke Cooper continues to cement his reputation as one of the most exciting creators on the independent scene today. Part origin story, part revenge crusade and part disturbing character study; this is a book that deserves to be seen by as many wide eyes as possible.
Luke has just launched a Kickstarter to fund the release of the Hollow Girl: I Am No One graphic novel, and I highly advise giving it a look – and backing it – by clicking RIGHT HERE.
Trust me, you won’t be sorry.