Writer James Asmus is a rising star in the comic book medium. He is an established theater writer with his work appearing in New York, Los Angeles and almost everywhere in between. As a performer he has done improv, stand-up and sketch comedy. What he brings to comics is a light hearted approach to serious subject matter. Asmus does not bog down his comic book work with grim and gritty stories. Instead he injects them with the fun and excitement that makes the comics more enjoyable.
Asmus has been on a whirlwind tour of signing appearances from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and up and down the West Coast, but his next stop is The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach this Wednesday, February 20, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The style of Asmus is seen in the most recent issue of the Marvel Comics “Gambit” series. In “Gambit #8”, Asmus explores the internal struggle Gambit is wrestling. He was raised to be a thief, but somewhere along the lines he fell in with the X-Men where he filled the role of teacher and super hero. A recent relapse to his thief days brought him the adventure and excitement he craved but also more baggage to deal with.
Gambit feels less than heroic and in this issue he has to look inside himself to figure out just who he is. The thief he is by nature or the hero he is by choice. Asmus shows Gambit dealing with the conflicting ideologies as he is flipping through a danger zone known as The Forever City. Gambit is chased by all sorts of mutated animals bigger than dinosaurs while trying to rescue a lost class from Empire State University on a field trip. The seriousness of the situation is lightened by the absurd backdrop the hero is placed in.
Asmus works well with the issue’s artist Pasqual Ferry who captures the pace of the story with stunning beauty. Ferry adds little details that bring the story to life. Ferry shows the size of the creatures chasing Gambit through the deserted city and also captures the X-Man’s emotions as he deals with his own issues and the problems of several loudmouthed students.
“Gambit” is the embodiment of Asmus’ fun and exciting style and it comes through with each issue. The title character is more scoundrel than hero; he is a lighthearted man who looks at serious situations with a laugh. Asmus brings much character to the story without making the characters a depressingly dour sort.
Asmus has received praise for much of his Marvel Comics work writing tales in “Captain America & Bucky” as well as working on the X-Men spin-off series “Generation Hope.” He is currently working with Image Comics on the Robert Kirkman created “Thief of Thieves” and his creator-owned book “The End Times of Bram and Ben” which he co-writes with Jim Festante.
The Comic Bug will have many copies of Asmus’ books on hand for the signing. You can find out more details through The Comic Bug’s Facebook page.