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13 Days of Halloween: Hollow Fields

Hollow Fields

Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror. (See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)

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4. Hollow Fields

There are a ton of OEL manga that have Halloween trappings, such as My Dead Girlfriend or I Luv Halloween. Weirdly enough, it’s a work by an Australian creator that really manages to capture the spirit of this very North American holiday. Madeline Rosca’s Hollow Fields doesn’t take place on Halloween, but the creepy setting and child protagonists still makes it a good manga to read in October.

Lucy Snow is nervous about going away to boarding school, especially when she accidently ends up at a school for young mad scientists. Instead of gym, math and English, at Hollow Fields the kids practice corpse robbing and building giant robots. This is all new to Lucy, who lacks not only the know-how but also the ruthlessness her fellow students posses. But she had better learn fast, as the every week the student with the lowest grade is sent off to the windmill, a lonely place where the teachers conduct their experiments and no student has ever returned.

Madeline Rosca’s art is a nice mix of cuteness and steampunk. Her character designs are fun and manage to be cute while still unsettling. The best example of this is the school faculty – the teachers no longer have human bodies but reside in giant wind-up dolls. The story also walks a fine line between sweet and scary, especially as the series progresses and it becomes clearer what exactly is going on at the school.

In the name of transparency, I want to note that I do freelance work for Seven Seas, the publisher behind Hollow Fields. I also want to note that Blood Alone omnibus comes out in April 2011, and is also good Halloween time reading!

Shannon Fay

About the Author:

Shannon Fay has been an anime and manga fan ever since junior high when a friend showed her a raw VHS tape of ‘Sailor Moon Stars.’ After watching it, she knew she didn’t want to live in a world that didn’t include magical transvestites and alien boy bands. Along with her reviews on Kuriousity, Shannon Fay has also written manga reviews for Manga Life and Anime Fringe. She is also a freelance manga adapter and is currently working with the manga licensor Seven Seas.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Ghost hunters. Shannon Fay’s latest Halloween manga pick is Madeline Rosca’s delightful Hollow Fields. And to really get you in the Halloween mood, check out Pink Tentacle’s gallery of Tatsuya […]

  2. DeBT says:

    Good to see Hollow Fields get a mention. I just bought my sister the omnibus collection after she enjoyed reading Gunnerkrigg Court. It's exactly the kind of Quasi-Manga that's actually very well created, and is of higher quality than most of the Psyedo-Manga that the majority of OEL's usually are.

    While I felt that it could've continued on for longer, it's also welcome that it didn't overextend its stay, and showed the range of Madeline Rosca’s talents.

    I'm looking forward to seeing her next project, if she's got one in mind!

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