The Wandering Ones: Ghost Wind

    (Keenspot, 2003)
™ and © Keenspot Entertainment

Many comics publishers have tentatively begun to embrace the Internet as a publishing tool, but what little output there’s been has been restricted to online reprints of existing comics. Keenspot, however, has been taking the opposite approach for a few years now, publishing independent, original works on its website and then collecting several of these into a traditional comic-book format.

This comic book ironically bypasses that format entirely, moving from the Web directly to a trade paperback. Considering the relative state of anonymity that most of Keenspot’s output remains entangled in, this is a gutsy move, indeed, for there are few who would be inclined to spend $13 for an unknown property. And those who are, unfortunately, won’t find anything terribly impressive.

This book collects the first year’s worth of Hollingsworth’s strip about a group of wanderers in a post-apocalyptic Pacific northwest. Despite stiff facial expressions and uneven inking, Hollingsworth’s art displays promising raw artistic talent. But the storyline has practically no excitement, as the characters drone on and meander about with little development and virtually no surprises. This was almost tolerable as a chapter-a-day strip, but as a 100-page single dose, it goes down hard.

Granted, Hollingsworth was hampered by a comic-strip format that typically doesn’t seamlessly translate into a graphic novel. But it would have helped having a storyline that moved in a particular direction rather than just … wandering.

— Jim Johnson

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  1/20/2008
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Color cover; B&W interiorsClint HollingsworthClint Hollingsworth