By Neil Gibson and Caspar Wijngaard, cover by Atula Siriwardane
The new ongoing comic from the writer of and possibly the best illustrator in the Twisted Dark graphic novel.
A first issue that simply asks the question.. “what would you become if you could see just how every single living thing around you was going to die?”
We join the whole thing with a brilliant little intro page that, combined with the cover, pretty much summarises the whole issue:
Yep, that bloke is Richard, and he thinks he’s nothing but your run of the mill average bloke. Then one day he starts seeing visions of forthcoming death all around him, first thee animals, then the people.
This is not something he deals with all that well:
Naturally, he’s heading towards madness. Come on, who wouldn’t? Facing death all around him, unable to get anyone to tell him what the hell is wrong, he retreats, locks himself away and plots how he’s going to end it all.
Which is why he finds himself in a park, and sees that woman on the cover, that bright shining light of hope that seems to be striding into his life… well for the answer to her identity, you’ll be waiting until issue 2.
It’s very much a setup thing, but Gibson does everything he needs to and in just 24 story pages creates a life, and a problem, and delivers enough suspense to make me intrigued to see where he’s taking it.
Caspar Wijngaard’s art is really rather great as well; solid storytelling, interesting style shifts and layouts when he needs to, but never overdoing it. And speaking of overdoing it…. Wijngaard’s artwork is a lot more restrained, and a lot better when it comes to the woman we see on the cover. You’ve seen Atula Siriwardane’s version, here’s Wijngaard’s:
I understand the allegedly important reasons for making everything super sexy, but Wijngaard’s version of the mystery woman is far and away a better image. It’s more mysterious, more intriguing, truer and better in every way.
But that aside, Tortured Life issue 1 is rather good, sets up an intriguing twist on an old story idea, and does it with some style.
You can read Tortured Life issue 1 for free on Neil Gibson’s website.