Saturday, September 27, 2014

Recommendations: Wayward

For those of my readers who read manga and want to venture off into the world of comics, I've come across a series that I think is a wonderful transition: Wayward.
Issue #1 Standard Cover (the one I have)
Issue #1 Variant (love this cover)
Issue #2 Standard Cover
I loved the first issue and I loved the second just as much. This comic had a gathering of fans before the release but it was after the first issue release that I came across it. I love how it features certain aspects of manga I'm familiar with - school and Japanese mythology. Definitely not straying too far from manga but still distinct enough to call it a comic.

I would not recommend this to younger readers - it is rated M for Mature and this rating is actually on the back cover. Initially I had no clue why it was rated mature except for the amount of violence featured in the first issue but the second issue raises self-harm and mutilation. Because of the sensitive nature of this theme, I now understand why this comic has the rating. It definitely shocked me because from my first impression of the cover I saw (which was one of the variants in Issue #1, shown above), it was seemingly innocent and appeared to be more like a "fluffy" read but I didn't realise that in the background, there's some razor sharp teeth. Jeez, I should read into covers more. These darker aspects of the comic ring true to comics in general - a lot of them have darker themes which can put off prospective readers.

Nevertheless, I've always enjoyed Japanese mythology because of the darker side to it. Similar to how I feel about the Celtic 'Good People'. Reading the two issues so far, I can see that there has been a lot of research put in so that we have an accurate depiction of Japanese culture and mythology.

The main character, Rori, is half-Irish-half-Japanese and in some ways, I can identify with her and probably a lot of people can too. It's that feeling of being trapped in the middle where you feel like you don't have a sense of belonging to either culture. You've come to accept one but you will never truly be a part of it.

I think this is definitely one of the best comics I've come across so far and that is why I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. Particularly the manga-readers who love Japanese mythology in their manga and don't mind the dark themes.

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