Category Archives: Wayward

Wayward the Board Game!

IDW Games to Release Board Game Based on the Wayward Comic Series

San Diego, CA (May 18, 2017) IDW Games announced today that it is working closely with writer Jim Zub and illustrator Steven Cummings on an upcoming Wayward board game. Designed by Jon Gilmour, co-designer of Dead of Winter and Outpost: Siberia, Wayward is a fully cooperative board game where players assume the roles of the comic’s heroes working together to defeat villains controlled by the game itself.

Set in modern Tokyo, Wayward is an ongoing series published by Image Comics featuring teenagers imbued with supernatural power defending the world from Yokai, Japanese mythological creatures and spirits. Since launching in August 2014, Wayward has gained critical acclaim and a dedicated readership. The first volume of the series, “String Theory,” made the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2016 List of ‘Great Graphic Novels for Teens’ and has been favorably reviewed by many outlets, including Kirkus. In addition, Wayward was recently optioned by Manga Entertainment for development as a television series.

Jerry Bennington, VP of New Product Development, said, “IDW Games is ecstatic about working with Jim Zub, Steven Cummings, and Jon Gilmour on a project with as much recognition and fandom as Wayward. As a lifelong tabletop gamer, Jim’s creativity goes beyond just managing the IP. His input and feedback about gameplay and design have been invaluable to us, and will surely produce a product that embodies the soul of the comic series.”

Jim Zub said, “Wayward is a passion project for Steven and I, and games are near and dear to our hearts, so getting the chance to bring both of those wonderful elements together with Jon and the rest of the IDW Games crew is an absolute thrill.”

Zub is a Harvey and Shuster Award-nominated comic writer (AVENGERS, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, SAMURAI JACK, FIGMENT), and the creator of the original comic series GLITTERBOMB and SKULLKICKERS.

Cummings is an American comic book artist based in Japan (DEADSHOT, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, STREET FIGHTER, FORAGER).

IDW Games is well known for its excellent tabletop adaptations of beloved intellectual properties. Their licensed board games include X-Files, Back to the Future, and the upcoming Planet of the Apes and Atari series of games.

Just To Clarify – I’m Not Rich

Yesterday’s announcement about Wayward being optioned for TV development by Manga Entertainment was an absolute whirlwind. I received dozens of messages from friends, family, colleagues, retailers, long-time readers, and complete strangers congratulating myself and the rest of the team. It’s a big milestone and one I’m certainly not taking for granted. However, I do want to clarify some important things because I’m already noticing people making assumptions about what this means or where we’re at:

A media option does not mean a dump truck of money showed up at my place.

I’m not rich.

Creator-owned comics are still an uphill climb.

Let me clarify what an ‘option’ is and how it works in broad non-contract specific terms:

An ‘option’ means a company is reserving the opportunity to purchase media rights to a particular property in the future. They do this so they can confidently seek out possible production partners and financing without wondering if it will be worth the trouble or what it will cost later. The contract we’ve signed includes terms that specify what rights they would be able to secure, what it would cost, our particular involvement if that purchase is executed, and how long they have to do all of that before the option lapses and we’re free to negotiate with other parties. In short, they’ve paid to secure our interest for a set period of time. It’s a crucial first step in media development.

Most entertainment companies don’t option properties unless they feel they’re something worth investing in. There are stories of properties being optioned just to keep it out of other people’s hands or to bury it so it can’t compete with similar productions already in development but, thankfully, that’s not the case here. The gang at Manga are aggressively pursuing Japanese production partners and are using the extensive network of contacts they’ve built up over the past 26 years to make that happen. Once they’re able to get those details nailed down, ideally, they execute the option purchase and we go fully into production.

What’s immediately beneficial to us right now is the visibility boost that comes from this announcement. In a very crowded comic market, we’re able to stand out a bit more than before. That will hopefully lead to increased interest and sales so we can keep the book rolling and deliver the best story possible. Making Wayward the comic is our top priority.

Can this media thing fall through?
Yes, but so far all signs are moving in a positive direction. We wouldn’t have signed this deal if we didn’t think it would move forward and neither would Manga.

Have you been paid?
We’ve received a small amount of money for the option. The majority of that has been put into our ‘war chest’ to pay for future comic production.

So you’re not quitting your day job?
Correct. Still working away. Lots to do.

They didn’t bring a dump truck of money to your house?
Also correct. No dump truck.

Can you turn my idea into an anime?
No. I don’t even know how to do that. This is all new for me too.

Please?
No.

I can’t go into the specifics of our particular contract, but I will give some broad tips:

Every media development deal is different. If you’re fortunate enough to be approached about an option, don’t let anyone tell you there’s one boilerplate ‘media deal’ and you have to sign it as-is. Everything is negotiable. Seriously. There are elements I didn’t think would be possible that we put right in the deal in black and white.

Common sense and good intentions are not a contract. Everyone can get along well and want the same things at the start, but these kinds of deals are signed with companies, not people. Companies change. People leave. The only obligations a company has is what’s outlined in the deal you signed. Don’t make assumptions. Make sure the terms and obligations are clear for all parties involved.

Don’t sign anything without getting legal advice. Even if a contract looks straight forward, they can be surprisingly complex and have ramifications you never imagined at the time. The more I learn about this aspect of the business, the more thankful I am that I have good people helping me navigate these waters.

Be willing to walk away. If you can’t make the above work, you have to be willing to let a deal go rather than sign a bad one. Patience, persistence, and a level head are crucial when going into this kind of stuff. This particular conversation about Wayward media rights started in August of 2015 and didn’t really start coming together legally until about 6-7 months ago. It can take a while and you need to stay focused on what’s important.

I feel incredibly fortunate that we’ve made this step forward and I’m hopeful about where it’s all headed. As soon as I can reveal more about the future of Wayward the TV Show, I definitely will. Until then, please keep telling people about the series and if you’re not caught up on the story, consider snagging our collected volumes or catching up digitally on comiXology.

Otherwise, thank you for all the kind words and encouragement! None of this could have happened without support from readers and retailers like you!

WAYWARD Comic Series Optioned for TV by Manga Entertainment!

WAYWARD Comic Series Optioned for TV by Manga Entertainment UK Ltd.

Writer Jim Zub and illustrator Steven Cummings’ WAYWARD, an ongoing comic series published by Image Comics, has been optioned by UK-based Manga Entertainment for development in television as a Japanese animated or live action series. Zub and Cummings will act as creative consultants on the project, including development of the initial story treatment along with character and creature designs.

WAYWARD is an action-drama set in modern Tokyo where Yokai, Japanese creatures and spirits of legend, battle against teenagers imbued with newfound supernatural power. The series launched to critical acclaim in August 2014 and is currently available in monthly comic format and four collected trade paperbacks, with a new deluxe hardcover collection arriving in July. WAYWARD’s first volume, ‘String Theory’, made the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2016 List of ‘Great Graphic Novels for Teens’ and has been favorably reviewed by many outlets, including Kirkus.

Zub is a Harvey and Shuster Award-nominated comic writer (AVENGERS, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, SAMURAI JACK, FIGMENT). His other creator-owned titles, GLITTERBOMB and SKULLKICKERS, are also published by Image Comics, the third largest comic publisher in North America and publisher of The Walking Dead.

Cummings is an American comic book artist based in Japan (DEADSHOT, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, STREET FIGHTER, FORAGER).

Jerome Mazandarani, COO of Manga Entertainment, said, “We are very excited to be working with Jim and Steven to bring the characters and world of Wayward to life for the screen. Jim and Steven have managed to create a truly unique high stakes action-drama that feels fresh and authentic in its mixture of Japanese and Celtic mythology. We are very confident this story will connect with audiences across Asia and the rest of the world.”

Zub said, “As soon as Jerome and I started talking about a collaboration, I had a good feeling Manga Entertainment would be the right place to develop Wayward. The crew at Manga intimately understand the anime market and have helped popularize some of the biggest brands in that space. As Japanese art and animation continues to go global, co-producing Wayward at a Japanese studio with Manga taking the lead is a natural choice.”

Founded in 1987, Manga Entertainment began as a producer, licensor and distributor of Japanese animation in the United Kingdom, quickly earning its reputation as the UK’s largest anime distributor with revered anime brands including GHOST IN THE SHELL, DRAGON BALL Z, NARUTO, ONE PIECE, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE. Headquartered in London, Manga Entertainment continues to specialize in the licensing, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation and other beloved new/classic pop culture franchises like HALO, TRANSFORMERS, POKEMON and YU-GI-OH!

Zub and Cummings are represented by APA.

Arriving in July: WAYWARD Deluxe Book 2 Hardcover!

Arriving in July…make sure you pre-order to ensure you get a copy!

WAYWARD, BOOK 2: DELUXE HC
STORY: JIM ZUB
ART: STEVEN CUMMINGS, TAMRA BONVILLAIN
JULY 05 / 320 PAGES / FC / M / $39.99

The new gods of Japan have arrived, and a clash with the myths of old will change the country forever.

JIM ZUB and STEVEN CUMMINGS combine the camaraderie and emotion of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Japan’s engaging culture and mythic monsters. Image Comics’ supernatural sensation continues in this over-sized hardcover collection that includes every stunning cover illustration, design sketches, and extensive essay material on culture and mythology by monster scholars ZACK DAVISSON and ANN O’REGAN.

Collects WAYWARD #11-20 and includes a special poster of the five-part WAYWARD connected cover illustration from issues #11-15!


Wayward Deluxe Book 2
(issues #11-15 plus extras)

The new gods of Japan have arrived, and a clash with the myths of old will change the country forever. Image Comics’ supernatural sensation continues in this over-sized hardcover collection that includes every stunning cover illustration, design sketches, and extensive essay material on culture and mythology. Includes a special poster of the five-part WAYWARD connected cover illustration from issues #11-15!
PRE-ORDER
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Arriving in July: WAYWARD #22

Arriving in July…make sure you pre-order!

WAYWARD #22
STORY: JIM ZUB
ART / COVER: STEVEN CUMMINGS, TAMRA BONVILLAIN
VARIANT COVER: STJEPAN SEJIC
JULY 26 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

Back in Ireland, revelations of Rori’s past and the road to Tír na nÓg…
Cover B is illustrated by fan-favorite painter STJEPAN SEJIC (SUNSTONE, WITCHBLADE)!

“Wayward isn’t just a fun and addictive read, it is cultural exchange in comic book form.” – Comic Book Resources

Arriving in June – WAYWARD #21

WAYWARD #21
STORY: JIM ZUB
ART / COVER A: STEVEN CUMMINGS & TAMRA BONVILLAIN
COVER B: HICHAM HABCHI
JUNE 28 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

NEW STORY ARC
“TETHERED SOULS,” Part One

Nikaido’s powers are growing, and he’s not the only one…

WAYWARD unleashes myth into the modern world. It’s the perfect time to get on board and see what all the excitement is about!

“There’s a reason Wayward is a 5 Star book time after time and that’s because it’s so incredibly well written with strong characters/characterization and some of the best artwork in the business.”
-Reading With a Flight Ring

Wayward Interview at Dynamic Forces

Byron Brewer at Dynamic Forces asked me about the current state of Wayward as we wrap up our fourth story arc. Click on through to find out where the series is at and what’s coming next!

Wayward #19 Reviews

Wayward #19 arrived in stores last week. What did reviewers think of it? Read on and find out…

Big Glasgow: 9.6/10 “Wayward is a very pleasant series, very entertaining without ever being dull or excessively simplified”

Geeked Out Nation: 8.3/10 “Wayward finds new ways each month to further our investment in this world, and this issue was no exception.”

Horror Talk: 8/10 “Writer Jim Zub is moving the characters around as if they were on a chessboard. All of the pieces were just knocked astray and now they’re slowly moving into their new positions”

Under the Comic Covers: “This whole arc is setting up the scenario for the future.”

WAYWARD Vol. 4 Arrives in March!

WAYWARD, VOL. 4: THREADS AND PORTENTS TP

STORY: JIM ZUB
ART / COVER: STEVEN CUMMINGS, TAMRA BONVILLAIN

MARCH 01 / 136 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $16.99

The group is pulled apart, and the hidden mythic worlds of Ireland and Japan are revealed. JIM ZUB (Thunderbolts, Samurai Jack) and STEVEN CUMMINGS (Dead Shot, Legends of the Dark Knight) continue their supernatural spectacle that combines the camaraderie and emotion of shows like Buffy with foreign cultures and fascinating mythological monsters. This volume includes design artwork by artist STEVEN CUMMINGS and new profiles on mythical creatures by monster scholars Zack Davisson and Ann O’Regan.

Making Comics Progression: Script to Final

Want to see how a comic is made? Here’s a step-by-step progression of the process using a two-page spread from WAYWARD #4 as an example:

Script:
Jim writes the story for Wayward, guiding the team through the major moments and visual beats along with dialogue, sound effects and other text.
wayward04-page12-13script

Page Rough:
Steven roughs out the overall composition, checking positioning and making sure all the important visual information is conveyed. On pages with a lot more text he’ll also double check that there’s enough room for that text along with the visuals.
wayward04-12_13-rough

Pencils:
In the case of Wayward, the line art is scanned in straight from Steven’s pencils.
wayward04-12-raw

Final Linework:
Jim resizes the art for the final page format, digitally darkens the lines, cleans up any smudges or dirt from the scan and blocks in large areas of black indicated in the pencils.
wayward04-12_13-lineart

Colors and Final Lettering:
Tamra digitally adds mood, texture, and light and shadow to finalize the page art.
Marshall adds word balloons, captions, and sound effects as needed and sends back a final print-ready file.
wayward04-12_13-colors

Want to read the full issue and see how it fits into the story? It’s included in WAYWARD Vol. 1: String Theory, available from your favorite local comic shop, Amazon, or available digitally on comiXology.