Legends, myths, and folklore; tales passed down through generations as inspiration or sometimes as warnings of unknown dangers. In Creative Impulse Publishing’s Asusto: A Legendary Night, writer and illustrator Franco Cespedes presents classic Costa Rican and Latin American folktales through a series of unfortunate and horrific events.
Egos clash as a group of drunk, hotheaded men verbally explore local myths while gathered around a bar. As the validity of their stories come into question – especially when one loner chooses to discredit everything being said – fists and weapons are drawn to a tense standstill.
Suddenly, the lights go out and one man has disappeared. Choosing to leave the remaining men to continue their nonsensical tales, the outsider abandons the bar; however, he soon begins to regret his decision, as it would seem that supernatural forces are out to take his life.
Cespedes’ illustrations are awesome! Asusto has the feel of modern Japanese animation. The pictures are beautifully colored, vivid, and engaging. The human characters are frightening in their own right as their furious facial expressions explode off of the page; unfortunately, the art is the only thing going for this comic.
The concept of Asusto had so much potential; sadly, the pacing really dragged the comic down. The story consists of four issues, each at about 20 pages – short for any standard single-issue comic and making it very difficult to hold the reader’s attention; but that’s not all. The majority of the pages only have one panel – three at most – with the greatest amount of space given to situational reaction, rather than contemplation. I would have loved to dig deeper into the main character’s mind, but I wasn’t given the opportunity at all.
Asusto could have been something special; but as it stands, I won’t be the one passing this story down.
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