Psychological torture thrillers are a genre that has mostly been made popular by movies like Saw and Hostel. Arcana’s new graphic novel, Becoming is one such story, but it trumps all of those movies by a mile. Where as those movies focused more on basically being torture porn, this story leans more toward the psychological thriller side. I’ve never actually seen this genre successfully done in a graphic novel before. Becoming is based off an original concept by Curry Hitchborn, but the comic is written by Brooke Burgess. The sense of dread and helplessness writer Brooke Burgess and artist Dane Cypel displayed were gut wrenchingly more real than anything Hollywood could muster up. The great thing about indie comics is that they don’t have to fit into the same shell as everything else. You have more room to experiment with the medium and this comic sure does that. I always get upset when I over hear someone says, “Comics are just for kids.” Show them a comic like this and see if they still say that.
Becoming tells the tale of an angry student named Jacob Price. He demands to learn something new from his professor, who pretty much shrugs him off at every end, but the professor has a dark secret of his own. What Jacob doesn’t realize is he’s about to get a lesson he will never forget. Soon Jacob is held prisoner in a nasty dungeon. He’s tortured and drugged for days. Jacob is about to be put into a game of life and death, where the only rule is pain. He struggles to escape and kill the one that held him captive, but the twists and turns of the narrative will leave you never expecting how it will end. Don’t expect me to spoil for you. Go read it to find out.
It’s a tense horrific journey that keeps you thinking long after you’ve read it. Unlike those torture porn movies I’ve mentioned, this one actually makes you think. It’s a fascinating read that horror lovers should check out. The art by Dane Cypel is moody and dark, which is perfect for the tone of the story. His art style brings an ultra realism that is perfect for the story at hand. The colors by Sara Machajewski complemented Dane’s style and matched the story perfectly.
Writer Brooke Burgess has crafted an amazing story from start to finish, and takes you for a ride that physically and mentally drains you just like the characters in the story. His last graphic novel “Broken Saints” was published by Arcana a whopping nine years ago, so this new graphic novel is his grand return to industry.
Becoming is being published by Arcana Studios this fall. This is a dark, twisted journey into the mind of a truly disturbed man. I would love to see this adapted into a film one day. The story has a real scope and a thought provoking plot to keep you wondering long after you read it. Becoming is currently released on Comixology and will see print later in the year. I’m giving this a solid A.
You can find out more about Brooke Burgess here.
Go to Arcana studio’s website to find out about Becoming and other titles here.
You can order a copy of Becoming at Comixology here.