Source Point Press 2016
Written by David C. Hayes
Illustrated by Sean Seal
Lettered by Joshua Werner
When science meddles in the affairs of the supernatural, the consequences can be disastrous. Dwight Cochran, former assassin, developed cancer in prison. After undergoing a secret procedure funded by the government that destroyed half of the prison, Dwight was reborn as The Rot. With the ability to use his cancer as weapon, he vowed to punish the wicked and protect the innocent... no matter where he finds either of them. Heaven can't stop him. Hell is terrified of him. Man wants to use him. Unfortunately, for all of them, The Rot answers to no one.
First of all if you haven’t guessed by now I’m a huge horror fan it all has it’s place for me. The psychological thriller to the gratuitous slasher but never before have I come across something quite like this. Alright so at it’s core is the mad scientist routine and that’s okay and the way that Dwight is drawn into all this is presented to us nicely. From concept to execution bringing this to life this team has done an extremely nice job of being able to generate interest and hold our imagination as well as pique our curiosity.
I like how this whole thing starts as it’s pretty much an introduction as well as background story. This gives the reader a chance to really get to know this world, this character and how all the jagged puzzles pieces fit. Oh and be not confused all the pieces here are jagged, rough and will slice you before you know it. However that my friends and frenemies is a large part of why this story is so enjoyable. There are moments throughout this book where you squint your eyes and begin to wonder WTF is going on but you strive to understand and have a compulsion to continue in that seemingly elusive effort for that understanding.
I like Sean’s interior artwork here. His eye for storytelling is strong as we see his use of page layouts with their angles and perspective. Also the painting that he does while doesn’t leave a lot of room for backgrounds, which I’m a huge believer in, however he manages to find a way to weave into this and its amazing to see. I also love the mood he sets here with the swirls of colour and the highlights they create which are much more interesting and effective than one would imagine. The power of the imagery here is as important as the story itself it’s meant to strike fear in the soul and continue to flesh out the story more fully and Sean easily does all this and more.
There is an unexpectedness to what we see in these pages. The character development is strange, intriguing and exceptionally well done. Dwight’s own narration during this is how we really get to know him. From the after-effect of science and religion finding each other in the most extraordinary of ways to the last page his journey throughout establishes him. They say a leopard never changes it spots so what will Dwight become now? Man, monster or something entirely new? More likely a combination of everything that shaped him up till that point but that’s just it what is he now?
Captivating and mesmerising this book takes a new modern and twisted look at the mad scientist genre and brings us something original and terrifyingly interesting. I wouldn't have found this if it weren't for Artist Alley at a convention and this is why I continually tell you to look for these small indie companies because sometimes the best stuff out there isn't from someone you recognise.