'Night of the Comet' Interview: A Bloody, Metaphysical War Between Samurai and Yakuza
Nov 28, 2022
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
It's an eternal war between yakuza and samurai in Night of the Comet! But don't let the initial guns and swords fool you. Writer Jonathan Thompson and artist Attila Schwanz are serving up a tale that is as metaphysical as it is bold and bloody!
In the following interview, Thompson takes us beyond the badassery of Night of the Comet and explains why readers are in for a wild ride through life, death...and rebirth!
Catch us up to speed. What is Night of the Comet about?
Night of the Comet is about a hired killer sent by the yakuza to take out the head of an international security firm on the eve of their biggest global launch. The target, an old, time-worn man, has been waiting for this one night for decades as a magnificent comet is about to pass overhead. The comet only passes every forty years and the last time it did someone special to The Target was murdered by these killers. This night will be his final revenge in a neverending battle.
Can you talk about the samurai and this hired killer? What brings them together once again?
I like to think of this as a Batman/Joker story at its most basic terms. The Target (the samurai) is waiting in his steeled cliff-side fortress for these killers to attack him. He’s faced them for forty years and knows they won’t stop until he’s dead. Everything in this story is about pre-destination and the loop of time. The repetition of objects and symbols. The Target and The Killer have been locked in this battle for so long that even when it ends, it will cycle back again.
Seriously, where did this story come from? It definitely appears there is more than meets the eye and things are going to go in an unexpected direction.
So, the basis of the story, after we established that it would be samurai vs. yakuza, comes from Nietzsche’s Eternal Return. The idea that we are in one life that comes back around to our birth, following our death. It’s the concept of saying, “We’ll meet again,” to a loved one because we’ve already met, and our Target is racing back to the moment he met his wife. When we started this project it was mostly for fun, but things that happened in my life shifted the story into a more metaphysical direction. It became more about cycles. Life and death. Rebirth. The flashback sequence really hammers all these ideas in and puts you on a much more emotional journey than you are prepared for when you crack open the book. It’s not all blood, but there sure is a lot of it.
The artist on the project is Attila Schwanz. What made him the right artist for the job?
Attila is an exceptional artist. I linked up with him because of his work on Symposium Club out of Italy. I was drawn to his dynamic, out-of-this-world, unlike anything else style and knew I needed to find a project that would fit his tastes. It didn’t take much convincing when I pitched him this story of a samurai and a yakuza hitman locked in a deadly standoff.
Looking forward, what can readers expect from Night of the Comet?
Honestly, this is a two-fold answer. First, I think you’re going to find these pages by Attila quite jaw-dropping. I can’t sell the art enough. I feel like I’m still underselling it. Second, you’re going to read a heartbreaking and exhilarating story that will bring you back more than once. This book isn’t just going to sit on your shelf after that first read. You’re going to be telling your friends about it, pulling it back down, and showing it off.
In terms of audience, who is this book for?
Attila’s art is dynamic and different. I’d say the closest styles he hues toward would be artist like Bill Sienkewicz, Martin Simmonds, and the modern Liam Sharp. So, if you’re a fan of Stray Toasters, Department of Truth, or Starhenge. It’s wild and each page feels like it could be hanging in a gallery. Attila’s art is going to be something you look at for years to come.
Night of the Comet from Source Point Press is available to preorder now at your local comic shop. Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.