Real love doesn't discriminate, and in the upcoming creator-owned series Hollow Heart love is found between a mechanic and a jumble of human organs that used to be a man, but now resides in a bio-suit.(opens in new tab)
Scheduled to debut this February from Vault Comics, Hollow Heart reunites writer Paul Allor and artist Paul Tucker after their 2016 series Tet (opens in new tab).
"Hollow Heart follows EL, who used to be human, but now he's a jumble of organs in a bio-suit. El is also in tremendous pain and has been for a very long time," reads Vault's synopsis. "Hope arrives in the form of Mateo, a mechanic brought in to work on EL's suit. Mateo sees EL in a way no one else ever has. And what's more: Mateo offers EL an escape."
Hollow Heart is part of Vault's horror imprint Nightfall, which is expanding to be a full-time imprint after previously focusing just on releases in the autumn.
"Empathy is a tool and a burden and a gift. When we see someone in a state of joy, we feel our own spirits lifted; and when we see someone in pain, we realize their pain is hurting us, as well. There are countless stories about people with a pathological lacking in empathy, distorting their view of the people around them," says Allor. "But Hollow Heart is about what happens when a largesse of empathy does the same thing."
"It's about the overwhelming desire to relieve someone's burden, and how that desire can warp our view of someone, transforming them from a complex being with conflicting wants and desires, into something more abstract: a person defined only by their pain, and by the need to remove it."
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"One of my favorite experiences watching a film is when a character arrives on screen and without saying a word, I am already in their corner," says Tucker. "I'm rooting for them and feeling what they feel. I find this all the more effective when the actor is someone I’m not familiar with - no baggage attached."
"Creating comics gives me a chance to 'cast an unknown' for every new project. I can put down lines on paper and find that connection, regardless of the characters' background or behavior," continues Tucker. "The creation is an empathetic act. With Hollow Heart this process becomes meta, as it reflects the book's main theme. Hollow Heart is indeed about empathy, and more crucially it explores the dangers of empathy."
Hollow Heart #1 goes on sale in February 2021 and will launch with a 'Vault Vintage' variant cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel that pays tribute to Frank Miller's cover to Rom: Space Knight #1.
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