Ministry is a horror comic book created by writer-artist LJ Phillips.
The comic is set on Crowley Island, an abandoned government center where horrific occult experiences once took place. Hundreds have been maimed and killed in the government’s quest for occult knowledge.
The final experiment was conducted on a young run-away. Ruthie and it killed her. As she died, she lay on the Crowley Island. Her death combined with the energy produced by the experiment gave her curse power. Shortly afterwards, military fortifications were set up around the Crowley 1 Research Center to act as a barrier between it and the rest of the world. Ruthie’s curse. In time, this became the protagonist, Sgt David Hanson. Of course, by that time the fortification had a name. They were called the Ministry.
David Hanson : Hanson is the protagonist of the series. Physically powerful, he is mentally unstable and prone to visions . It is implied in the series that these are in fact a side effect of latent psychic abilities. Once he arrives at the Ministry, his mind starts to slip and he experiences several flashbacks and fugue states. He is a Lovecraftian hero whose encounter with the supernatural seems to be leading to a psychotic breakdown.
Commander North : The North African leader of the Ministry is Hanson’s foil .
Mad Dog : An Irish thug
Chris Thorne : A native to Crowley Island, Chris was raped by a Mad soldier. The only female soldier in the Ministry, she is disguised as a boy to avoid molestation at the other soldiers’ hands.
Renwar Hanson : David Hanson’s younger brother who died when still a child. One of North’s prodigies, he acts in the capacity of the Assassin Ministry. It is also implied that he is romantically involved with Pix.
Pix : Unlike most Ministry staff, Pix is not human.
Ruthie : Ruthie was tortured to death in the occult when Crowley was still a research center. Her curse transformed Crowley into a living Hell. She still exists in Lich , David Hanson and inhumans like Pix. Her powers include telekinetic abilities – in the Fall From grace storyline, she telekinetically destroys tissue in David Hanson’s lungs. Unlike many people in the culture, she has the ability to think and plan.
Themes and style
Stylistically the comic makes heavy use of high contrast between black and white. In his review, Andy Luke favorably compares the art to that of Frank Miller . The use of panels is unconventional and often non-sequential.
In his Alterna interview with Andy Luke, Phillips’ cites influences such as David Lynch and Lovecraft.
Ministry was available on request and is available on-line through Indyplanet. It is also available as a downloadable PDF on iDream.