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Mad-Eyed Rob's avatar

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I'm starting a comic series called "Asylum" where the character Rob Hewes is admitted into an insane asylum for the rest of his life. When he meets James the Dark, one of the patients in the asylum, Rob is taught how to view the world from the "eyes of the mad". The series would not only tell the stories of Rob, but it will also tell the stories of the characters he meets. Each character has it's own art style, whether it be art like from the animations of Pink Floyd, to anime-inspired art. Each character will have a dark backstory. The ending of this series is unknown, but I'm sure that it will involve a fire or Rob being discharged from the mental asylum by a "higher" source.

I need criticism about this. What do you think?
Been done before. What are you offering that is different or new? What is the goal? Can reader relate? What is the climax? Who is the enemy?
Edithlegacy's avatar

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that actually sounds unique and interesting. but it would be really hard to carry out the art. you probably need multiple artists working for your project.
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It sees ou have focused on the art half of it more than fleshing out a story. Not a bad idea you just need to figure out what the story itself I about because you have a people in this place, but no real story.

You could probably have an interesting series where each person in the asylum tells their personal story about why they're in there, how they perceive the world. You could use it as an interesting exploration of the mind.
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It's a bit cliché. It sounds like the idea of someone who read a lot of Neil Gaiman or something.

Aside from that, the story sounds like it might get very muddy and convoluted. Lots of people have tried comics that change style as you just said. And it never works. It's almost always too incohesive and unreadable.
Xiam's avatar

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zaMmaP
Who is the enemy?

In a story about an asylum... why can't the real enemy be oneself?
Kyousouka's avatar

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Xiam
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Who is the enemy?

In a story about an asylum... why can't the real enemy be oneself?

It can and "character vs. self" is a major sub-category of conflicts, but your summary suggests nothing about a conflict/purpose, which is why I suspect you got that question in the first place. You've talked about the art, but I still have no idea what your story is even about, and why it might be worth drawing/reading in the first place.

If you want to have different styles of art within one story, I think you should have some sort of "anchor" style, with well-defined, limited stylistic variations representing the different characters. Otherwise, you will just end up with a mess that readers will have trouble parsing.
Xiam's avatar

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Kyousouka
Xiam
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Who is the enemy?

In a story about an asylum... why can't the real enemy be oneself?

It can and "character vs. self" is a major sub-category of conflicts, but your summary suggests nothing about a conflict/purpose, which is why I suspect you got that question in the first place. You've talked about the art, but I still have no idea what your story is even about, and why it might be worth drawing/reading in the first place.

If you want to have different styles of art within one story, I think you should have some sort of "anchor" style, with well-defined, limited stylistic variations representing the different characters. Otherwise, you will just end up with a mess that readers will have trouble parsing.

Eh? My story?

Hey, sometimes there are confusing stories. One about insanity would likely draw upon that to give a sort of feeling that you're pulled into that, at least if done right. And some people like that kind of thing.

There are also stories that don't feature much of a "purpose." Conflict is important though, yes. If the character isn't really undergoing a conflict, why should we be interested in the story at all? Though being in an asylum should, by all rights, lend the author plenty of conflict to work with.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Xiam
Eh? My story?

Hey, sometimes there are confusing stories. One about insanity would likely draw upon that to give a sort of feeling that you're pulled into that, at least if done right. And some people like that kind of thing.

There are also stories that don't feature much of a "purpose." Conflict is important though, yes. If the character isn't really undergoing a conflict, why should we be interested in the story at all? Though being in an asylum should, by all rights, lend the author plenty of conflict to work with.

Ack, my apologies, I didn't realise the person I was responding to wasn't was OP! I was talking about their story.

I agree with everything you said, but the OP's story doesn't suggest any of that, at least from how it's been described so far.
Mad-Eyed Rob
I'm starting a comic series called "Asylum" where the character Rob Hewes is admitted into an insane asylum for the rest of his life. When he meets James the Dark, one of the patients in the asylum, Rob is taught how to view the world from the "eyes of the mad". The series would not only tell the stories of Rob, but it will also tell the stories of the characters he meets. Each character has it's own art style, whether it be art like from the animations of Pink Floyd, to anime-inspired art. Each character will have a dark backstory. The ending of this series is unknown, but I'm sure that it will involve a fire or Rob being discharged from the mental asylum by a "higher" source.

I need criticism about this. What do you think?


i started reading a book and your plot sounds exact-alike as 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest'. I haven;t finished reading but im pretty sure the main guy escapes the ward.. just saying. Also, is there going to be a bad guy? or a villian? would make things more interesting
elrotram's avatar

Blessed Shapeshifter


Frankly, as someone who's read a lot of short-stories-wrapped-in-an-outer-premise, the lack of a main antagonist/protagonist structure doesn't bother. Midnight Tea Party (was that its name?) was hosted on Smackjeeves and featured a semi-similar premise: young Victorian ladies - all...characters in their own right - gathered at a tea party to tell stories written by different authors and drawn by different artists. There was a main artisst/writer set we always returned to, in order to provide a framework for the rest of the stories and that helped stabilize the random-ness of the rest of it. As long as you had a similar system, I don't see why you can't succeed with this style.

But I have to admit, the lack of a concrete reason for why your main character is in the asylum in the first place is really confusing. If he's locked up with the criminally insane, what crime did he commit? Or is he Satan, and recruiting amongst the insane? If you end this collection with no plausible reason for why this man is here gathering stories - even something as cliché as "he's a demon!" - it only takes the sting of the fantastical insanity elements out. Basing your story upon the insane means you need to center things in a reality you, yourself, create - you cannot always assume your audience knows the standard way of living so they can be horrified by the inmates' deviations. So that's the first thing you need to decide with yourself.

The second suggestion is to do a lot of research about insane asylums, time periods and mental disorders. I, personally, would use an eighteenth-century asylum- the cages and restraints would be interesting. Or one from the early 1900s where the treatments could realign patients' memories. Either way, do a lot of research into the time period, your asylum and your mental afflictions from that time period. You have to make your world believable or you lose the horror in it.

I look forward to seeing your work! Keep us updated! And if you need any help, I've noticed the SmackJeeves and DrunkDuck communities are full of helpful people willing to lend a hand to a noobie.

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