Becoming Invictus is a graphic novel about the rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick Bundeswehr soldiers. It is the story of people like Nadja, Murat and Mike. It takes us to places where those affected are looking for the path to a new life – places that a healthy person hardly gets to know, perhaps even avoids. We come into contact with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with the connection between body and mind, with structures, sports and social factors. Above all, we meet people and their moving stories – stories of vulnerability, bravery, hope and friendship.
Tom’s time in the service was several years ago. Today he works as a freelance cartoonist and graphic recorder in Koblenz. In doing so, he is always drawing on current social and professional topics, trying to give new perspectives and present complex things in an understandable way. A coincidence brought him into the German bid for the Invictus Games in 2019 as an illustrator. The images of the games and the encounters with the people moved something in him at that time. Thus, the desire to learn more about the journey of those affected and to make a book about it was born. Becoming Invictus is his first graphic novel.
The story in the book is fictional, but it is based on true fates. Tom spent time there, where affected people make their way into a new life long before the Games: in Warendorf at the Bundeswehr Centre for Sports Medicine and in the sports therapy group. It was there that the first sketches were made and the idea for a graphic novel was born. A rough concept became a storyboard, then a first book draft.
Everything was accompanied by many conversations with affected persons, relatives, friends, experts, artist colleagues – always with the aim of telling a touching story against a real background. The book will be published by avant-Verlag in Berlin in German and English.
What happens when life goes off the rails due to wounding, injury or illness? During research at the Bundeswehr rehabilitation centre, the author meets the medic Nadja and the paratrooper Murat. He accompanies them to physiotherapy, talks to therapists, doctors, relatives and their friends. While the author struggles with his own fears and prejudices, he sensitively documents the connections between body and psyche, the importance of friendship – and the power of sport.
A graphic novel on the occasion of the INVICTUS GAMES 2023.
If we caught your attention with this, you can find Tom’s work here:
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