Book Review: Come Into Me
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re changing the face of human consciousness forever”
Human beings are wired for relationship. We, at the core of our identity, want others to connect with us. This craving for connection has created a strange paradox in the modern age. Technology allows us to be closer than ever in many ways, but it also makes it for people to hide their true selves from us (and vice versa). But what if there was a way to be even closer? To shed the guise of self that is artificial or half-true, and reach a state of complete understanding with another? What if two separate beings could be hardwired together, syncing memory, emotion, and experience? These questions form the premise for the graphic novel Come Into Me, and the answers are more harrowing then you could imagine.
SUMMARY: When an entrepreneur with a god complex creates a technology that allows two minds to share one body, he doesn’t anticipate the degenerative effects of long-term trials. Come Into Me is a contemporary comment on connected culture and our longing for approval in the digital age. This is a world where technology and flesh become indistinguishable. Prepare yourself for the insane lovechild of The Fly and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.
The story opens on a failed demonstration of InBeing, the process by which ropy entrails connect two different people by ports in the back of their heads and allows their minds to form a “synaptic connection”. Sebastian, the creator and scientist behind the technology, is quickly running out of money and desperate to find an investor so he can make his dream a reality. Enter Becky, a mysterious and seemingly desperate young lady who convinces Sebastian to bond their minds with InBeing, using his body as host. It’s strange for Becky, seeing the world through someone else’s body and forming a telepathic-like connection with another. If only she had been upfront with Sebastian about her past. As their their minds are conjoined and their memories/experiences blend together, the host realizes he failed to anticipate just exactly what could go wrong…and that, like in our online lives, shared data is open to manipulation and exploitation.
To say much more would be to spoil all the wild turns this story takes. And let’s be clear, the turns are indeed wild. But they’re also inventive, imaginative, and intriguing. Lots of concepts are being thrown together, and thankfully most of them stick. The story manages to touch on ideas of escapism, scientific enlightenment, medicine in the public vs private sphere, loneliness, death, memory, Locke’s theory of tabula rasa, and our base need for connection – all with a good dose of Cronenberg-esque body horror. In fact, like many of Cronenberg’s films the story could easily fall to camp, but instead the writers bolster it with real emotion and serious thematic implications. That’s right, it’s body horror with brains!
The topics presented skirt around the idea of the soul, but I’m glad the story didn’t focus on a science vs faith motif. I feel like that would have cheapened the story some and distracted from the main ideas the authors were trying to get across (of which, like I said, there are many). Although I did find it interesting that narrative turns into a type of possession story, just without the demonic entities, as what starts with willing participants devolves into a desperate parasite dominating the host. But there’s also ambiguity present. As the story progresses it becomes harder to separate the two characters, and shared desires and motivations begin to overlap. In the end Sebastian, a lonely person who ignores his family and has no friends (which is ironic given he is the creator of InBeing, has a metamorphosis of sorts. Into what? Well, you just need to read to find out!
The art that accompanies this story is also fantastic! Images occasionally fuzz and shift with distortion inside their frames. Panels from other pages are spliced in with a disorienting effect, giving the sense that there’s more going on outside the periphery of the current page. Sometimes subtle shifts will occur in panels that repeat the same image, causing a transformation to happen in the characters between the top of the page and the bottom (see images above for reference). There are scenes where characters are trapped in what looks like the sunken place from Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and scenes of arresting and phantasmagorical imagery as memories and minds meld. All of it is fantastic, and all of it fits really well with the tone of the story.
I really enjoyed reading this book, even if I had a hard time fully wrapping my head around all of the ideas presented. It’s like a crazy mingling of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Thing, Black Mirror, and Annihilation – and I am here for it! Thank you so much to Lonnie Nadler for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Come Into Me is a horror/sci-fi graphic novel written by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson and illustrated by Piotr Kowalski, with colors by Niko Guardia and letters by Ryan Ferrier. It was published through Black Mask Studios, and if you want to learn more about it then go here: https://blackmaskstudios.com/come-into-me/.