Saturday, December 3, 2016

CBR Alone in the Dark: Life is a Hideous Thing

This comic might keep you company, alone, in the dark!

Comic title: Alone in the Dark #1 Life is a Hideous Thing
Art by Matt Haley & Aleksi Briclot
Written by Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier

Published by SEMIC Comics/Image Comics/Infogrames Entertainment
From May 2001/September 2002
Lineup Alone in the Dark series
Format: Standalone one-shot special issue Alone in the Dark #1.

If you're a big Alone in the Dark fan like me, you probably tried to get your hands on any other Alone in the Dark material out there. The thing is, products inspired by this classic survival horror series are pretty scare and far in between.

There's always the live action films... but the less said about those for now, the better.

At least there has been an Alone in the Dark comic books! What? You didn't knew this? You didn't miss much.

Let me first say there was another earlier Alone in the Dark comic. It was only published in France back in 1994, around the original trilogy games for DOS. A French "bande dessinée" published by Glénat, written by series author Hubert Chardot himself loosely retelling the story of the game.

Finally, around the much anticipated release of the 4th game, The New Nightmare (which would also spawn the two live action films), a new tie-in comic was produced in 2001. Originally published in French by SEMIC Comics, written by Jean-Marc Lofficier and drawn by Matt Haley and Aleksi Briclot.

It was translated into English by Image Comics in September 2002.

This comic acts as a prequel to Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. A prologue of sorts, if you will.

We are first introduced to Aline Cedrac, a young 24 years old archeologist who is a specialist in Indian and Tibetan culture. With other scientist Professor Frank Stone, they enlist the help of the biggest antique art dealer in Asia, Ganesha, to locate and find the legendary land of Aggartha, which is rumored to house the lost Crown of Genghis Khan!

When they arrive there they are confronted by the Yian-Ho creatures, Yeti-like monsters under the control of "the Dark".

Meanwhile find paranormal investigator Edward Carnby also on the same trail. Following up on a mysterious conspiracy that also lead him to Tibet. Carnby founded a detective agency with Fiske, a friend of his and also a former secret agent for the Bureau 713 Agency. Together they take care of all the bizarre cases connected to the paranormal.

Carnby and Aline finally meet and team up to fight of this ancient evil which possesses Frank Stone.

A dangerous dark entity known as the Creeping Chaos is awakened...

Will our heroes triumph over these monsters and stop the overwhelming forces of the darkness from reaching into our dimension!?

This one-shot comic was actually meant to launch a full ongoing comic book series. But sadly that never came to be...

This story was closer to the original Alone in the Dark games. Dark. Mysterious. With a colorful cast of characters and really crazy loud monsters.

The art is pretty good actually, close to what you'd expect for this series.

The issue was named after the first part of a quote from HP Lovecraft's story, "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family", "Life is a Hideous Thing". Lofficier even managed to make several references to Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos like the original first game did (which got toned down throughout the series). The Creeping Chaos's appearance itself is heavily based on the Shub-Niggurath, of Lovecraft's lore.

Finally this comic contained a little bonus in the form of a little behind the scenes documents for the 2001 game and this comic book adaptation. A look at the series, the ideas behind both the 4th game and the tie-in comic as well as exploring the supernatural through the character of Edward Carnby.

Overall, Life is a Hideous Thing is a really fun if short Alone in the Dark comic.

I can really only recommend this one for hardcore fans looking for something more. Otherwise you won't be missing much. It's a decent prequel story. Check It Out, if you're interest.

It was a perfectly fine tie-in prologue comic book adaptation, it could stand on its own or as a simple extension of the game.

Sadly the same can't be said of the films...

This French comic book was also translated in Spanish and Italian.

I give it:
2 / 3 ManThings!

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