My original understanding of HDR was to expand exposure latitude (Zone System).
The OP's observation of the pencil sketch gritty look is called "HDR", but not what I consider the original intent.
I have seen occasional use of HDR that does work beautifully and seamlessly, and it expands the range in a print in a way that the eye does see - it brings detail back into shadows and highlights otherwise not visible in a print. When executed that way, I have no issue with it. But when it produces false colors verging on an acid trip in color photography, or goes so far as to obliterate shadows and render everything in a b/w image as if someone turned the sharpening filter to 1100%, I have major heartburn. And I'm chugging Maalox when I see a major photographic portfolio magazine rewarding that kind of work with top honors. It may be "new", but new doesn't mean good. I don't know why some folks find that aesthetically pleasing - if it were me on the panel, I would not award it with recognition, certainly not as a photograph. Perhaps if it were entered into a competition for digital illustration I would feel differently about it, but it is being presented as photography, which it really has very little at all to do with other than the fact that the starting point was a camera.