Let the record state that, I, the Comic Connoisseur, have come to observe a great many a strange and mind boggling animes and mangas in my 22 years of living. From the well-known dreadful epic Akira to the nonsensical onslaught of stupidity that is One Piece, I thought that I had seen all that could be seen from this strange but nonetheless captivating style of comics.
That was until I naively sauntered into my local comic shop and foolishly purchased the manga-inspired atrocity Wayward, a graphic novel so mindlessly puerile I think it might just have given me permanent brain damage.
Wayward follows the tale of Rori Lane, an Irish-Japanese girl who immigrates to Japan to be with her mother after she has a falling out with her father in Ireland. Within days of acquainting herself with her newfound home, Rori is attacked by the most blatant ripoff of the Ninja Turtles to ever hit a comic’s page.
Much to every reader’s misfortune, the character survives the ordeal when she is rescued by a ditzy cat-like vixen named Ayane, who then vanishes from the story just as quick as she entered. What follows is a supernatural odyssey across Tokyo filled with a string of inconsequential occurrences of lunacy. Wayward is quite literally a mix of concepts and ideas that could only have been justifiably ghostwritten by a six-year-old boy hopped up on a Costco-size bag of Jolly Ranchers.
Jim Zub writes a story devoid of any exposition whatsoever; events and characters are throw in with such irreverent reckless abandon, it’s a wonder he didn’t throw his kitchen sink in the story. Simply put, nothing makes any sense, and practically every scenario is filled with Swiss cheese-sized plot holes.
On the bright side, the series would make an excellent template for a drinking game. Readers can take a shot for every moment in the story that leaves them ragingly befuddled and cursing aloud, and likely garner cirrhosis of the liver in as little as the first 10 pages.
The artwork, although not irredeemable, does hardly anything to save this half-baked infirmity. While the comic is filled with a bright and eye-catching color pallet, it is unfortunately spent on basic and uninventive artwork. Many of the supernatural creatures designed for the comic are mundane and unmemorable, leaving the reader greatly underwhelmed.
Wayward could at best be defined as an unintentional comedy. Hell, you could even try and make the case that it could be a satire of sorts. Alas, it still wouldn’t change the fact that this piece of ephemerally glossed toilet paper is just downright awful. If the creators had any mind, they would take it around back and shoot it to make room for literally anything else.