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TPub: Tortured Life #1

Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor

If everywhere you went you saw exactly how everyone around you would die, what would you do? To be clear, these people are fated to die. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but they will die the way you saw it in your vision. What would you do then? What could you do? Well imagine no further. TPublications is back with an all-new 6 issue mini-series that explores just that and more! It’s called Tortured Life.


Writer: Neil Gibson
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard

The series is described by TPublications as following “everyday” guy, Richard Carter. However, if you’ve read any Neil Gibson comic, such as Tabatha, there are no such things as “everyday” guys. As my introduction implied, Richard can foresee everyone’s death right before his very own eyes. Worse, he’s powerless in doing a single thing about it.

Issue #1 details how Richard’s horrible and morbid ability comes about and forces him into a life of solitude. For the most part, he is indeed an average everyday guy with a normal life. However with great powers comes great misery if your power involves seeing death all around you. So what’s the solution to escape seeing death? With your own death, of course and that’s exactly what Richard attempts to do. Don’t worry, that’s no spoiler. It’s in the opening page.

While nothing much happens in Issue #1 that we don’t already know based on the premise TPublications provides, it’s an engaging set up for the future issues to come. The last two pages are what really gets the ball rolling, adding more layers to the mysteries that will soon unfold. I would like to point out there’s another premise to the story not mentioned in this particular issue. When Richard acquires his power, so does an otherworldly creature known as The Bloody Man. He’s an assassin from the netherworld and he’s out to kill Richard. It’ll be interesting to see how Richard’s newfound powers and The Bloody Man tie together.

Overall, the first issue is good in terms of building up Richard’s persona and dilemma. Nothing too noteworthy happens, but Gibson is able to immediately connect readers with Richard’s plight.

Despite the slow buildup, what I really enjoyed was the art by Wijngaard. He is absolutely amazing with the details. Perhaps it’s my experience with his artwork on Tabatha, but I can’t help but look pass the characters and observe their surroundings. Wijngaard knows how to dress up a room with minor nuances that bring a smile to my face. He’ll add special posters to the walls of a room, have houses drawn with detailed lining, and illustrate realistic subways with bright lights. He could choose to be lazy with the background, but he doesn’t. He thoroughly takes the time to think it all out. The vibrant colors are also fantastic, making a dark story lighter.

Furthermore, Wijngaard adds inside jokes and references. Some of the few I caught were the “Yack Daniels” bottle, the Super Nintendo, and the Twisted Dark poster with the names of actors the creators probably would want to have if their series Twisted Dark ever became a movie. I assume the names refer to Edward Norton, Aaron Eckhart, and Marion Cotillard from what I can make out.

And that’s Tortured Life #1! Now that I’m done rambling, I’m going to be straight with you. I’ve been keeping a secret. Tortured Life #1 is actually free to read online. Nope, I’m not kidding. I only wanted to get you interested first. You can find it on their Kickstarter page. While you’re there, support their Kickstarter! You won’t be disappointed with anything coming from TPublications.