Ok fiends, I admit it, I’ve been bitten by the comic bug once again after dipping my toe back in the water with John Farman’s fantastic The School of the Damned.
So, simply looking for a thinly veiled excuse to get my teeth stuck into another, I came across Asylum.
Asylum comes with the following synopsis:
“There’s a war coming and the battle ground is the City of Angels. In tunnels beneath the city, in the dark alleys among the homeless…demons lurk and Lucifer bides his time. One man knows. One man sees. One man walks those dark streets.”
Now, the synopsis is hardly awe-inspiring, until you factor it in against some of the names attached to the comic itself: Thomas Ian Griffith (Vampires), Sandy King (producer of Prince of Darkness, They Live, Village of the Damned and more) and horror maestro John Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, The Ward and many more!) have all thrown their collective weight behind the project which is scripted by Bruce Jones (The Incredible Hulk, Nightwing) with interior artwork by Jason Craig (Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, Wolverine).
With that kind of backing and experience, Asylum was off to a fantastic start.
The intro to Vol I sets the scene nicely, from the first page, the reader is aware that this comic clearly has the occult, satanic rituals and demons at its black heart. Reading a little further on and the principal characters start to emerge and they are obviously not your average bag of good/bad guys.
The artwork is not quite polished but that is in keeping with the feel of the story, with some more time spent on detail in some key panels more than others. One thing that struck me was that the main focus of Asylum, Beckett, is blatantly modelled on Kurt Russell; although here he looks like he’s in Snake Plissken’s attire, minus the eyepatch!
Importantly, I think it is crucial to mention that this is not simply a project that Carpenter has lent his name to in order to maximise sales, Carpenter spoke directly to IFC and said,
“I’m definitely involved in this, but I’ve never ever done [a comic] before, and I’m not writing the script, Bruce Jones is writing the script, because he’s a comic book writer. I’m learning a lot about it, though. Some of the techniques are similar to screenwriting, but some of them aren’t- some of them are very new to me. But I’m following it from script to finished page…I’m kind of being carried through this…And I’m putting that in the best possible terms. My wife is acting as the editor of this comic book, and I’m still learning. I know about directing, but I don’t know anything about comics. I’m kind of a babe in the woods here.”
Vol I of Asylum acts as an introduction for what is planned to be a 12 volume story, and does so admirably and I am very much looking forward to the next instalment in the series.
Asylum is available online for $1.99 HERE.