I was one of the first guests on the Comics Are Awesome podcast. Give this interview a listen to hear about my ‘comic origin story’ and talk about new projects like Wayward, Figment, and Dungeons & Dragons.
It’s hard for me to express how incredible last week’s whirlwind launch and overall response to Wayward #1 was. We’re still climbing out from underneath a mountain of fan mail, tweets, kind words, and support. Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.
Without a doubt, Wayward is also the most reviewed comic I’ve worked on at this point in my comic writing career. Lots of new readers picked up the series and the overwhelming majority of reviewers really enjoyed our first issue. I feel a bit ridiculous trying to introduce this monster list, but here we go…
• Bleeding Cool: “If Wayward isn’t the next Saga, it will be a damn criminal shame.”
• Comic Book Resources: 4/5 “Bright, vibrant, and alive, Rori Lane’s world will enchant readers with its relatable protagonist, intense action and fascinating mythological allusions.”
• Newsarama: 8/10 “A delightful debut issue that be sure to please fans of Buffy and Manga.”
• Multiversity: 8/10 “Wayward shows signs of being the next runaway Image Comics series.It’s off to a great start.”
• Ain’t It Cool News: “Rori’s journey, the loss of her parents’ love for each other, how crazy Japan is for first timers…all told in masterful and authentic detail.”
• 8CN: 8/10 “If writer Jim Zub can continue to strike a such a careful balance between these two tones, I think there’s a lot of entertainment to be had in this series.”
• 13th Dimension: “If the first issue is any indication, the series will be a vibrant coming-of-age story, steeped in monsters, magic and ancient lore that revels in predictable unpredictability.”
• Agustin Guerrero: “Wayward #1 does what any good first issue should do. It sets up the world, gives you the first hint of a story, and makes you want to learn more. “
• All-Comic: 4/5 “Wayward has pulled off a striking first issue that made for an incredibly fun read. A bright supernatural east-meets-west story has a little bit of something for everyone.”
• Alpha Comics: “The first issue of Wayward hooks you with bright, lively characters and Buffy-esque action that leaves you immediately wanting more as the last page puts a stamp on this first chapter in the mystical life of Rori Lane.”
• Biff! Bam! Pop!: “Strange powers, stranger villains and teen angst amidst a backdrop of Japanese mythology (and manga) – Wayward is definitely a series to be caught!”
• Big Glasgow Comic Page: 4/5 “All in all, an entertaining first issue that gives high hopes for what will follow.”
• Bloody Disgusting: 8/10 “Wayward #1 delivers a fun premise with a quirky protagonist. The first issue delivers a lot of promise”
• Broken Frontier: “It’s a strong debut issue in which the mundane and the supernatural reflect and reinforce each other.”
• Comic Bastards: 5/5 “…another fantastic entry in Image’s already staggering amount of knockouts.”
• CC2K: 4/5 “Wayward #1 is off to a good start and is sure to fulfill all your supernatural and fantasy needs.”
• Comic Book Bin: “…the Young Adult novel has finally made it to comics in the form of Wayward, and I think it will be one of the stand-out new titles of the year.”
• Comic Book.com: “Wayward is a beautifully told introduction to a brand new world that I cannot wait to explore.”
• Comic Book News: “The story from Zub and Cummings made me love Japan again. Now it’s your turn to be entranced!”
• Comic Book Tasting: “This initial offering was an intriguing one. An extremely fun read.”
• Comic Crusaders: 4/5 “This issue serves as a perfect introduction to Rori’s world and is a great read.”
• Comic Spectrum: “The coloring by John Rauch was impeccable, and captures what the back-up article in this issue calls the ‘shiny neon veneer of modern Japan.'”
• Comic Vine: 4/5 “it’s age-appropriate for a wide range of readers, and it explores Japan from a supernatural angle that isn’t often seen in Western comics. Zub, Cummings, and team have piqued my interest, and I can’t wait to see how a feisty half-Irish teen handles being swept up in Japanese myth.”
• Comicosity: 8/10 “The resounding note to take away from this issue is artist Steve Cummings’ ability to amaze in this issue. “
• Comics Bulletin: “Rori Lane is a strong willed young woman with uncommon and mystifying events in her future. Wayward will hypnotize readers for issues to come.”
• Comics the Gathering: 10/10 “The first issue of Wayward left me craving for more. I’ve barely even scraped the surface in this review.”
• Comicqlee: “Definitely a book worth picking up.”
• Comix I Read: “The story was fast paced and we got a good introduction to what future issues can bring.”
• Con Freaks & Geeks: 9/10 “The Comicfreaks out there need to get this book! I cannot say anything but good things about the story, the art, and the style.”
• Deadshirt: “My favorite part of this comic so far is the vibrant representation of Tokyo; the artwork nails the city’s aesthetic right down to the street grates and the ever-present vending machines.”
• Eat. Geek. Play.: “Something big is about to happen in the streets of Japan, and I can’t wait to see Rori become the hero.”
• exPress News & Reviews: “This comic is creating its own world within a culture and I feel like this is going to be a series that many people will love.”
• Fellowship of the Geeks: “Adventure and humor go hand in hand in his books, and this one is definitely working. Jump on at the beginning.”
• Florida Geek Scene: 8.5/10 “This is one book that I will absolutely be following each month.”
• Front Towards Gamer: “Mind-blowing artwork grabs your attention from the first page and the story by Jim Zub makes Wayward #1 from Image Comics an instant hit.”
• Geek Sushi: “Without a doubt, “Wayward” #1 gets a high recommendation”
• Geeked Out Nation: 8.5/10 “Wayward #1 is great for a new series and Jim Zub shows that he wants to create a story that challenges what you believe to be real.”
• Geeksverse: “Wayward #1 is a first issue done right: It tantalizes with its novelty and promise while still delivering enough content to satisfy. Wayward may just be Image Comics’ next breakout hit if the creative team continues to deliver expert craftsmanship.”
• God of Comics: “The characters are quite engaging, it has a strong sense of humor and the art is phenomenal.”
• Graphic Policy: 8/10 “Wayward #1 is a solid debut, bringing us a new female heroine to cheer for.”
• Hex Dimension: “Nothing feels contrived and stereotyped, it just looks deep and wonderfully intricate.”
• Horror Talk: 5/5 “This is a damn near perfect first issue…writer Jim Zub gets right into the story and pulls you into this world head first to the point where you never want to leave.”
• Kliq Nation: 5/5 “Wayward #1 showed readers just enough to leave them wanting more.”
• Nothing But Comics: “Writer Jim Zub, artist Steve Cummings, and colorist John Raunch craft a great first issue with a compelling protagonist.”
• Okazu: 8/10 “It’ll make a nice change of pace from romance manga.”
• Omnicomic: “Wayward #1 is a pretty fascinating first issue that completely grabs the reader and brings them right into the world.”
• OmniJerBear: “It was a huge gamble, but it pays off. It’s amazing.”
• One Hundred XP: 8/10 “I’m excited to see where this series goes and to explore the fantastical Tokyo with Rori as my guide.”
• Outright Geekery: 4.5/5 “The vivid character emotions, great action scenes, and overall panel diversity in this first issue required a good artist, and Wayward has a great one!”
• Panel Pushing: “The art is really fantastic. Rich in detail and has a softness to it.”
• Panels and Pixels: 5/5 “Wayward is a fantastic comic book from a talented creative team that are doing the best work of their careers. Go get it.”
• Paradox Comics Group: 9/10 “Suffice to say that picking up issue two is no gamble for me; it’s a sure-fire thing!”
• Pop Culture Network: 5/5 “There honestly was not a single thing I could find to gripe about.”
• Readerly Geek: “Wayward‘s one of the most fun comics I’ve ever read. I absolutely loved it. The setting, bright colors, and it’s blue haired girl drew me in. I’m definitely excited to see where this story goes next.”
• Reading Pictures: “Steven Cummings hits every nail on the head. His style is perfect for supernatural Japan, and everything really jumps off the pages.”
• Reading With a Flight Ring: “It is a beautiful start to such an imaginative story of not only one girls journey of self-discovery but of a world people have no idea exists”
• Rhymes With Geek: 9/10 “Wayward #1 is an impressive beginning for a series that I feel is going to be huge. Jim Zub and Steve Cummings have a winner in Wayward.”
• Sequential Tart: 8/10 “Wayward is a terrific read, and the creative team of Jim Zub, Steve Cummings and John Rauch is showing some great flare.”
• Shadowhawk’s Shade: 9.5/10 “Pretty damn fantastic first issue I’ll say!”
• Super Effective: “This is the best first issue I have read in such a long time.”
• Talking Comics: “Check it out! Wayward #1 is a promising start for a new coming-of-age story from Jim Zub and Steve Cummings. “
• Telltale Mind: 5/5 “Wayward is a really, beautiful book that cannot be recommended enough.”
• The Moon Is A Dead World: “Wayward looks like a promising new series, especially because it melds genres together and leaves questions for later issues and arcs.”
• TM Stash: “The artwork is breathtaking, and the story is riveting…do you need to know more? This tale is easily worth a 10/10.”
• Unleash the Fanboy: 9/10 “Wayward #1 is an engaging start to a title that looks to be something different than the norm, which is exactly what Image Comics represents and promotes. Highly recommended.”
• We The Nerdy: 9/10 “Even in this one issue, I feel like I get a strong sense of Rori, and I only want to know more. “
• What ‘Cha Reading?: 4/5 “It’s a set-up issue but all the pieces are put in place for a wonderful series. I’m definitely looking forward to watching Rori discover her new world.”
Hard to believe it’s finally here: Wayward #1 arrives in comic shops today.
For the past 10 months, Steve and I have been developing this creator-owned series and it’s an incredible feeling to finally see it out in the world. We hope you read it, enjoy it, and tell others all about it.
Projects like this are not just one person and although it’s common for me to say “my new creator-owned book” that’s not accurate. Beyond the fact that Steve and I are co-creators on this, there are quite a number of people I need to thank for their involvement and support.
Steve Cummings, thank you for working alongside me to develop this story while drawing your heart out. Your incredible dedication shows on every page.
John Rauch, thank you for enhancing Steve’s pages with incredible color and atmosphere.
Marshall Dillon, thank you for always sticking with me and doing more proofs on this issue than any other project we’ve worked on together. You tirelessly made lettering edits right up until we went to press.
Zack Davisson, thank you for your Japanese mythology consultation and wonderful essay back matter material.
Our variant cover artists: Alina Urusov, Jeff “Chamba” Cruz, Adam Warren, Tamra Bonvillain, Ross A. Campbell, Erik Larsen, Chip Zdarsky, and Kalman Andrasofszky. Thank you for creating eye-popping artwork to help grab attention, near and far.
Eric Stephenson, Ron Richards, Kat Salazar, Meredith Wallace, Addison Duke, Jonathon Chan, Branwyn Bigglestone and everyone else at the Image Comics office. Thank you for your support and your role as a creator-owned publisher that truly empowers creators to make the books they’ve always dreamed of.
Thank you also to:
Charles Soule, for your invaluable advice and support.
Nishi Makoto, for Japanese language/lettering help.
Chris Butcher and the Beguiling, for arranging the Wayward launch party (happening tonight!).
Brandon Seifert, for introducing me to Zack.
Last but not least, thank you to my family and friends. Thank you for listening, sharing, understanding, and patiently accepting stressful days and neurotic nights as we built momentum to get this out the door. None of this would be possible without your love.
We’ve set up a fan email address where you can let us know what you think of Wayward (and we’re compiling the letters page for issue #2 this week, so please send us messages ASAP). Email
email@example.com and include “OK To Print” with your message if you’re okay with us possibly including your letter in a future issue.
The summer is almost over, so it’s time for the country’s big pop culture extravaganza, Fan Expo Canada. I’ll be at the show all four days and you can find me at TABLE P32.
This year will be extra special as I’ll be there celebrating the launch of WAYWARD, my new creator-owned comic series being published by Image. If you’re in town for the convention it would also be wonderful to see you at the official Wayward Launch Party happening Wednesday night, hosted by The Beguiling.
I’ll have a bunch of great stuff available at my table: Wayward, Skullkickers, Samurai Jack, Pathfinder, Makeshift Miracle, and a whole lot more. Bring comics to get signed. Buy comics. Chat comics. It’s going to be a fun weekend!
Here are table listings for Wayward alt cover artists at the show:
Adam Warren: Table P110C
Alina Urusov: Table P8
Kalman Andrasofszky: Table P19
On Wednesday WAYWARD #1 arrives at comic shops everywhere and Wednesday night we’re throwing an official launch party here in Toronto!
WED AUGUST 27th
at GUU SAKABAR
559 Bloor Street West, Toronto
6-8pm (presentation at 7pm)
I’ll be there along with cover artists Alina Urusov, Adam Warren, Kalman Andrasofszky, and Chip Zdarsky. It will probably be the only place where you’ll be able to pick up every variant cover for the first issue (along with a super rare Japanese language doujinshi version and a special cover postcard set) and get them signed at the same time.
Guu Sakabar is an award-winning Japanese izakaya with fantastic food and drink. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the city and I’m absolutely thrilled to be celebrating the launch there with my dear friends from The Beguiling.
Samurai Jack #11 arrived in comic shops this week and it kicks off a new epic 5 part storyline. Andy Suriano and I are working hard to deliver the goods and push Jack into new territory. Let’s see what reviewers thought of it!
• IGN: 8.8/10 “Jack fans will definitely want to check out this issue.”
• Comic Crusaders: 5/5 “The team stays true to the character’s artistic roots and delivers a book that could easily serve as a storyboard for an episode of the popular Cartoon Network series.”
• Unleash the Fanboy: 8.5/10 “In short: this was a really good comic that absolutely deserves a spot on your pull-list.”
• Comic Bastards: 4/5 “I love this new issue and the flow of the story.”
• Rock! Shock! Pop!: “Zub’s penchant for humor both subtle and not so subtle is once again a big part of the story too and he continues to show a proper understanding of what makes the character work as well as he does.”
• Reading Pictures: “Jim Zub and Andy Suriano have done absolutely everything right with this book and the eleventh issue is no exception.”
• Comic Therapy: 4.5/5 “Samurai Jack kicks its next big story off with a surprising bang.”
• The Outhousers: “Zub and Suriano have crafted a strong story that Jack has yet to face before, one that leaves his hopes figuratively and literally shattered.”
• Sean Network: 9/10 “They’re on their A-game. I can’t say enough about it.”
The Disney Kingdoms: Figment series keeps rolling along defying expectations and all of us on the creative team couldn’t be happier about it.
• Figment #3 has sold out and is receiving a second printing! Wonderful! Here’s a look at the purple-centric cover art:
• The Disneyland Gazette reviewed our first 3 issues and liked what they found:
“So far this series has really impressed me, and I can’t wait to read the last two issues.”
The next great Disney adventure is here — starring one of Disney’s most popular characters! Dive into a steampunk fantasy story revealing the origin of the inventor known as Dreamfinder, and learn how one little spark of inspiration created a purple dragon called Figment!
Our daring duo explore the realms of imagination, finding friends and foes alike — while back on Earth, a clockwork army assembles under the command of the frightening force known only as the Singular! And when Clockwork Control invades London while the intrepid explorers are trapped within the Nightmare Nation, the only obstacles standing between the Singular and total domination are Dreamfinder, Figment and their newfound friends!
Acclaimed and uniquely talented creators Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and Filipe Andrade (CAPTAIN MARVEL) give a Marvel spin to Epcot’s mind-bending attraction, Journey into Imagination! Collecting FIGMENT #1-5.
136 PGS./All Ages … $24.99
Trim size: oversized
Arriving in November… Pre-order now!
story: JIM ZUB
art: STEVE CUMMINGS & JOHN RAUCH
cover A: STEVE CUMMINGS & ROSS A. CAMPBELL
cover B: PHILIP TAN
NOVEMBER 26 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50
IMAGE COMICS’S SUPERNATURAL SENSATION!
A storm rages across Tokyo while secrets are uncovered below the city streets.
“Masterful and authentic”
-Ain’t It Cool News
Skullkickers #30, our special “Tavern Tales Through Time” issue, arrived in stores Wednesday. Let’s see what reviewers thought of it…
• Newsarama: “good laughs with a healthy mix of weirdness”
• FA Comics: 4/5 “This will provide you the biggest laughs of the week, so much so that nothing else this week comes close.”
• Geeks Of Doom: “a great take on role-playing and fantasy tropes”
• Comic Bastards: “Both of the guest artists have a wonderful style.”
• Bag & Bored: 4.5/5 “The art is great all around, really delivering a fun and dynamicness from both Chamba and FooRay”