Magic, Myths, and Monsters: Interview with Jim Zub and Steve Cummings of ‘Wayward’

Wayward

(This interview originally appeared on GeekDad here.)

When it comes to comics, it’s not often that I’m immediately taken in and captivated by an ongoing series. It usually takes a few issues for the creative team to find its groove and for me to find something worth latching on to.

Wayward – from writer Jim Zub, artist Steve Cummings, and Image Comics – burst onto the scene last year, and from the very first issue, I was hooked. The story, often described as “Buffy in Japan,” was smart and intriguing. The art was phenomenal. And the series wasted no time in becoming fantastic. From page 1, Zub and Cummings felt completely at home in the world they were creating.

That comfort and confidence was evident on every page – every panel – and Wayward quickly became one of my favorite series.

The story follows half-Irish, half-Japanese teenager Rori Lane as she adjusts to her new life in Tokyo with her mother. Things don’t exactly go according to plan, though. Almost immediately, she’s attacked by mythical monsters no one else can see, discovers she suddenly has a superpower, and falls in with a small band of teenage “misfits” who possess other incredible powers.

This is an original superhero story without the spandex, a coming-of-age story that blends ancient Japanese mythology with modern Tokyo, and a good ol’ fashioned monster tale.

It’s also an epic in the making, and I highly recommend it.

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Interview with ‘Howtoons’ Artist Nick Dragotta

Howtoons_covers

(This interview originally appeared on GeekDad here.)

Comics that aspire to be educational are not the easiest things to create. Well, I take that back; I guess they might be easy enough. There certainly are a lot of really bad “educational” comics out there. However, good comics that successfully educate and entertain are ridiculously hard to make.

If you’re skeptical that such a thing exists, I have two things to say to you. First, I don’t blame you. Second, I invite you to look no further than Howtoons (put out by Image Comics). Howtoons is the brainchild of artist Nick Dragotta and engineer/inventor Saul Griffith, and it aims to teach kids the fundamentals of math, science, and engineering through DIY projects that use everyday household materials.

Think Mr. Wizard in graphic novel form.

Step-by-step instructions for each project are in comic story form, and those instructions are sandwiched into a storyline that follows two siblings (Tucker and Celine) who make the projects themselves and go on adventures. Two collections (Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction and Howtoons: [Re]Ignition are now available. Both are fantastic.

I had the chance to chat with artist Nick Dragotta—who is perhaps best known for his work on Image Comics’ East of West with Jonathan Hickman—about his work on Howtoons, getting kids interested in STEAM subjects, and how to make the world a better place.

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5 Questions with Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Jeff Smith, writer/artist/creator of the amazing Bone graphic novels.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a kid who hasn’t read the Bone books. Zoey is 5, has a pulse, and has a dad who read the comics from issue #1 way back when, so she of course is in love with the Bone cousins, Ted, Gran’ma Ben, Thorn, the Great Red Dragon, and all the other wonderful characters that populate the books.

Even as an adult who has read the books multiple times, the story is just so utterly enchanting and charming that I get whisked away on an adventure every single time I open one of the books.

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