An amalgam of mysticism, exorcism and commercialism, Thomas Alsop is one of those books that people try to label into a category that just won’t fit. Not because it can’t be, but because it is so much more than a label could possibly convey!
Thomas Alsop is a book about media sensation, Thomas Alsop, a modern day warlock that does battle against all manner of demonic beings in Manhattan. He is the “Hand of the Island,” a moniker passed down from generation to generation of Alsop’s in their continued quest against the dark. He is also a drunkard, a self glorified “rock star,” a magician, a reality star and blogger. But these labels can only define the character of Thomas Alsop as much as the aforementioned cataloging of the book itself. As a matter of fact, the first page has Thomas even questioning himself as to who he truly is. He is so multi-faceted that even himself has trouble discerning where the real Thomas Alsop lies amid the facade of media hype.
But this book isn’t all about facades and labels. When Thomas meets his great great grandfather, Richard Alsop, in the dreamscape, the book turns to follow the older Alsop’s story in the year 1702. From there we learn about how the family was cursed/blessed with the the “Hand of the Island” power, an innate ability to to see the supernatural world and its denizens. We also relive the pain and emotional suffering that befell Richard Alsop both before and after his abilities were acquired and how something from the past will descend upon his great great grandson’s future.
Chris Miskiewics does an amazing job of fleshing out this first issue. Within its myriad of ideas, there is a single driving force to have these characters connect with the reader at a base level and it absolutely does! Between the exceptional character development, Richard’s stoic resolve and Thomas’ hubris facade, the magic, the mystery, the underlining feeling of eventual bedlam from demonic forces and the absolutely outstanding artwork by Palle Schmidt that helps solidify the overall vibe of the tale — this book has it all!
People are comparing this book to Hellblazer and Dr.Strange, it may have a few mimicking qualities but it can stand tall all on its own without the comparison. You don’t have to be a fan of either one of those books to enjoy Thomas Alsop, you just have to enjoy a damn good story!