Occulted TP
Publisher: Iron Circus Comics
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Price: $15.00
Writer(s): Amy Rose, Ryan Estrada
Artist: Jeongmin Lee
Format: 176 pgs., Black & White, 6" x 9", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6389-9109-0
Age Rating: 10-12
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This is a moving memoir story about a young girl whose family falls under the spell of a classic cult, one that seeks to control all of the lives and actions of its members.  While its leader objects to the actions of what is, to us, a better-known cult, the fact is that this one is damaging in very different ways.

The artwork of the story is not as good as the writing, which is unfortunate, because Ryan Estrada has shaped the story of Amy Rose into a powerful tale, one of a ruined family, told from the viewpoint of the young daughter.  As the cult leader separates her from her seriously ill mother, and causes her to live with families from the cult, her life slowly develops.  She learns that people can treat her well or badly, but all of them seem to be controlled by the cult leader.  The scariest villains can be the ones who see themselves as heroes, and this one simply seems to dislike and disdain children, even though several of the families in the cult have young ones.  Perhaps it is because parents become more attached to their children than to outside forces, like cult leaders, but there seems to be more to the story than that.  Sadly, that, as well as some of the things about Amy’s mother, are not included in this story.

While the publisher suggests this book for ages 10-12, some kids that young may not get the whole story out of this book.  Ones in similarly restrictive environments may never get to read it.  Still, the book is an interesting one, and tells a story worth reading.

-Nick Smith