Christmas Mass

Dear Insane Children, 

Merry Christmas! Which, when you think about it, as an incredibly morbid thing to go around saying to one another. Why? Well, according to the Internets: 

The word “Mass” is strictly a Catholic word and thus, so is “Christ-Mass.” “Mass” in religious usage means a “death sacrifice.” In essence, the Mass is the ceremonial slaying of Jesus Christ over and over again. “Christmas” means by definition “death of Christ”.

In other words, we’re all running around with presents in our arms screaming: Jesus Christ Death Sacrifice!!!

Like I said, morbid. 

Speaking of morbid… We’re working on a scene from the Asylum narrative in which Alice floats through a cathedral scene filled with death and fire. 

The scene reads: 

The walls of the Queen’s Throne Room dissolve into the arched heights of a Church Cathedral (modeled on St. Augustine’s, London). Row after row of pews are filled with black-clad mourners. Sounds of crying and wailing fill the air alongside an Organ Dirge. Alice floats down the center aisle towards the pulpit – Caterpillar’s mushroom fills the space where the choir would normally sit.

Whispers of “It’s your fault!” “Where were you?” “They say she’s got the devil in her!” rise to a fever pitch as Alice glides towards the caskets at the front of the church.

The caskets burst into flames as the screams and accusations reach a cacophony. The walls, ceilings, and fixtures of the church burst apart like pieces of a puzzle, leaving Alice floating before The Caterpillar on his mushroom.

Alice: “I could have saved them. Everyone I love is lost.”

Caterpillar: “You still have yourself.”

The Church flies back together, the air filled with sunbeams, parishioners dressed in white. At the pulpit, the priest holds a newborn baby in the air, then lowers it into a bath of water. This is Alice’s christening. As the baby touches the water the scene goes black.

And these illustrations from Joey (main image above) show the work being done to bring these scene to life. 

Our team has provided a wall of feedback to Joey, suggesting elements that need removal, addition, or improvement. 

For example, Alex says: 

I feel this design of a church render is amazing, but is very literal.

It doesn’t catch the emotional weight, shock value or severity of the “Surreal” aspect of the scene as much as I was expecting. Nor does it follow the style of smoke and shadow / purple colours from the other scenes in slumber? Even if they were worked in slightly, might enhance that this occurs in slumber to the viewer. 

Perhaps adding some elements that are larger or in different scale to Alice (Massive, literal cracks and broken parts of the Church, mourners who are huge in scale, larger screaming or crying faces), might add to catch that emotional weight of the funeral.

The inclusion of the caskets burning / on fire might also add some weight to this.

And Omri sent over the sketch (above) which suggests how the image might be updated to include Alice and the burning caskets.

The final version of this image should be pretty epic. 

Let us know in the comments below what you think! 

Here in Shanghai, it is Christmas Eve and we’re working to catch up on time lost while Grandma was away from the home studio. Everything is OK back in Yan’s hometown… at least for now. And we have our little family back together for Christmas. 

I’ll schedule this post to go out tonight while we sleep, so you’ll be reading this on Christmas Even (assuming you’re in the US). I hope that wherever you are, you’re warm and safe and with the ones you love. 

And just know that when you are here in the Asylum you are always with the ones that love you. 

Merry Death Sacrifice to All, 


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