Dear Insane Children,
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone is getting all the love and roses they deserve.
I thought I should share a situation update along with some new Asylum artwork.
First up is the “Rage” sketch Omri just started work on (pictured above) which he titled “How Fine You Look When Dressed In Rage” and will eventually be one of our poster art prints. Look forward to seeing the Final version of this illustration soon.
Meanwhile the team continue to work on other concepts and designs. Alex sends along a re-design of the Boojum enemy we met in AMA. This illustration also goes towards the work we’re (slowly) doing on a Tarot Deck based on the Alice characters.
The snow globe metaphor works well for the current situation in China. My wife (Yan) describes her situation (shared by millions around the country) as being “in jail.”
That means she’s staying indoors along with her mom and Lucky. Only one person is allowed to leave the house every two days. And that’s only to go outside for groceries. Everything else in the area is shut down and deserted. The “bao an” who normally guard all the housing compounds around the city – and who are normally seen as guarding a place against strangers trying to get in – are now also controlling who goes out. When Yan tries to go outside they want to know where she’s going, how far away, and how long she’ll be gone. If she’s going anywhere other than the local market for groceries then they tell her she’ll have to fill in a travel report.
I wake up every day in Thailand and read the news. None of it’s great. Certainly, none of it is the sort of “Scientists Solve The Coronavirus Problem” that I keep hoping to see. So I find myself in my own sort of “snow globe” of uncertainty. How long will I have to stay in Thailand? When will it be safe to return to China? What is “safe” in this situation? Are Yan and the family prepared to weather the storm if the situation gets worse – food shortages, utility outages, etc?
One of the biggest problems revealed by this situation relates to “The News.” We are all painfully aware that “news” these days is 99% clickbait nonsense and maybe 1% unvarnished truth. The concept of news reporters going out into the danger zones of the world and capturing The Truth of a situation seems like something from old-timey movies. And this is made worse when dealing with a traditionally opaque country like China.
And who can blame China? If the situation is as bad as their actions seem to imply then to release the real story could mass hysteria and panic in a population of 1.3 billion people. The panic would then kill 1000x whatever the virus might have done on its own. Same goes for extending the quarantine period vs. allowing everyone to go back to work. The quarantine is killing the Chinese economy. But lifting it too soon could kill millions of people.
So I imagine that we’re only hearing a fraction of the truth. And whatever is being hidden from us… well, being unable to see it only makes it larger and more terrible in the imagination.
At least Hare is wearing his mask…
Back in The Asylum
There are some glimmers of Good News – at least as far as Asylum goes. I had a Very Good Call with a group of execs and producers from a Media Company (who must remain unnamed). We discussed the idea of Alice as a TV Drama and Game. Everyone on the call was enthusiastic. (It’s always good to hear that the people you’re pitching have shelves full of Alice merch!)
I’d rate the call (and post-call email notes) as being 10/10 in terms of quality and excitement. Does that mean it’s 100% certain we can make the project go forward with this group? No. But… it’s a positive event during a period of darkness. And it’s giving me hope for the future.
Please join me in crossing fingers (and toes) that we soon hear back from said Media Company and that they green-light Asylum. That would be excellent!
And the sun is shining here in Thailand. Trying my best to stay positive!
From Thailand with Love,