A queer monster love story comes to life in creator-owned Hollow Heart

Hollow Heart
(Image credit: Paul Tucker (Vault Comics))

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.

'Vault Vintage' variant cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel that pays tribute to Frank Miller's cover to Rom: Space Knight #1 (Image credit: Paul Tucker (Vault Comics))

Scheduled to debut this February from Vault Comics, Hollow Heart reunites writer Paul Allor and artist Paul Tucker after their 2016 series Tet

"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." 

Here is a preview:

(Image credit: Paul Tucker (Vault Comics))

"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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Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)