Written by: Matt Molgaard
Thanks to Comixology I caught wind of a graphic novel I may missed. John Carpenter’s Asylum managed to fly under the radar for me, but a notification and some subsequent digging turns up a fair little story. This is one of those cliche good versus evil tales, but it’s got some promise, as a few memorable characters are introduced in the inaugural issue, and the artwork is absolutely spellbinding.
Leonardo Manco is the talent with the pencil, and that talent shines through. From basic figure drawing to elaborate settings, Manco is masterful in his craft. One could simply browse the book without reading a single word and likely feel somewhat gratified. The narrative leaves something to be desired. Things get interesting early but the truth is we (at least me) just aren’t pulled into the tale as we might expect would be the case with a name like John Carpenter attached.
As odd as it may sound, I’m inclined to believe a part of that falls on the structuring of the book. While the illustrations are fantastic, the dialogue bubbles are often poorly arranged, which leads to reading a conversation out of order. I haven’t encountered this issue too many times, but I can tell you right now, having run into it here, it’s a pain in the neck at times. It definitely thwarts the story’s momentum.
Bruce Jones doesn’t work the magic with the story that Manco does with the art, but he’s clearly not incompetent. There’s enough meat on the bone here to win some over, while others will probably find themselves sitting in the same boat I’m in, amazed by the artwork and a tad disappointed with the story. Regardless, Manco’s work alone makes this one worthy of a purchase.