If you've never experienced the extreme pleasures of Cartoon Network's charming Emmy Award-winning animated series Over the Garden Wall, you're missing out on one of the most beloved cartoon seasons ever aired.
Created by the clever Pat McHale, its ten 11-minute episodes originally aired in 2014. This supernatural fantasy show is a rare gem of whimsical adventures and spooky mysteries following the heartwarmingly hilarious antics of Whit, his precocious little brother Greg, and a wisecracking bluebird named Beatrice as they attempt to return home after getting lost in a creepy, wooded fantasyland.
Beginning this fall, Boom! Studios is returning to the Unknown in Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town, a new 5-issue series set in the magical realm first envisioned by McHale. Written by Celia Lowenthal (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Fairies) and linked with artist Jorge Monlongo (Powerpuff Girls), it's destined to become a seasonal favorite as the leaves start to drop and the full moon rises.
In the premiere issue, Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice embark on a series of new exploits as they stumble on a small town inhabited entirely by weird, wooden doll people in an all-new misadventure. But after Greg loses a shoe to a pond turtle, it’s up to Wirt to earn money for a new pair, causing him to babysit some odd doll children that may manipulate Wirt into staying in town forever.
Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 features a main cover by Celia Lowenthal, along with atmospheric variant covers by Natalie Hall (Adventure Time) and Miguel Mercado (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers).
SYFY WIRE spoke with Lowenthal to learn about how she was lured into the world of Over the Garden Wall, what readers can look forward to as the gang embarks on a fresh series of unexpected entanglements, and what was the most fun part about playing in this spooky sandbox.
Over the Garden Wall: Hollow Town #1 travels into comic shops on Sept. 19. After the chat, check out our 8-page peek in the full gallery below.
How did you get involved in this Over the Garden Wall project, and were you a fan of the original Cartoon Network show?
Celia Lowenthal: In March a one-shot comic I wrote and illustrated for BOOM! Studios’ Jim Henson’s The Storyteller series was released, and some other editors at BOOM! Studios read it and liked it enough to reach out to me about doing more work. I was offered the chance to pitch for Over the Garden Wall, and being a huge fan of OTGW, the choice was a no-brainer.
What can lovers of the 2014 animated series expect from this new comic miniseries?
I think fans of the TV show can expect to get a spooky new story that puts Wirt, Greg, Beatrice, and Jason Funderburker in a new and unexpected situation — one that pushes them to their very limits. OTGW Hollow Town builds on the character arcs and relationships from the TV show but explores some new facets of the characters' flaws and fears in what will, hopefully, make for a high-stakes and emotional story.
Why is Pat McHale's creepy cartoon creation still so popular?
The OTGW TV show is really an experience unlike anything else on TV right now. Its atmosphere, art, music, and character writing are all so good and so memorable; once you see it, it never really leaves you. People watch OTGW every fall to get into the spirit of Halloween, but also to get into the spirit of the Unknown — which only watching OTGW can deliver!
What's the most fun playing in this spooky sandbox with Greg, Wirt, and Beatrice?
I had a lot of fun writing dialogue! The dialogue in OTGW is very unique, offbeat, and funny, so it was a fun challenge to try to capture that same style — both in dialogue for our favorite OTGW characters and also in dialogue for the new characters created for OTGW Hollow Town.
How does Jorge Monlongo's art imitate that playful style and tone of the animated show?
Jorge's art is so wonderful and such a perfect fit for the subject matter; it's really different and distinctive from the art from the show, but it feels familiar where it matters. I'm particularly enamored with his inking and use of blacks, which was also a strength of the TV show's art — but he does his inks very differently and I think OTGW Hollow Town is better for it. He also does a fantastic job with character acting, and his affection for the characters really shows. Every page he does exudes such irresistible charm.