Wayward: Volume 2 Ties that Bind – Jim Zub & Steve Cummings

Wayward 2This book doesn’t just shift up one gear but ten gears growing exponentially from its strong first volume. Brave decisions are made in terms of narrative and point of view and we are treated as intelligent readers but never left behind.

This isn’t all about escapism and supernatural adventure. A new character allows us to explore themes of identity and conformity and empathise with those who suffer because of them. If you aren’t in the mood for a deeper meaning there is action, adventure, mystery and peril that moves along at a cracking pace.

The art is still fantastic with rich colouration and highly detailed backgrounds giving the whole book a lush, animated quality. The digital tools bring a spectacular vibrancy to the supernatural elements yet achieve an almost watercolour softness to the real world.

Every aspect of this from the multipart covers to distinctive lettering to the extensive historical notes contributes to make this a Double Thumbs Up!

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Wayward: Volume 1 String Theory – Jim Zub & Steve Cummings

Wayward 1This is a youthful story about a half Japanese teenager who goes to live in Japan for the first time and gets involved in supernatural adventures.

This is an enjoyable and well constructed story. Japan and its folklore are fascinating and having a half Western character as a guide means that we slot right in. Although because Manga and Anime are now so integrated into our own pop culture we don’t need too much of a leg-up.

There is a mystery but things are revealed in a timely manner meaning you don’t get frustrated. The characters, despite having special powers, are intriguing and our lead heroine is someone you can root for and empathise with.

The art is excellent with many panels looking like animation stills. Digital techniques and expert colouring bring this world vividly to life. The supernatural elements are suitably unearthly without everything feeling out of place.

There is an extensive explanation of the supernatural creatures that appear in the book and some brief character sketches.

The whole thing feels like it is targeted at the Young Adult market or Manga reader but there is something for anyone young at heart.

Thumbs Up!