WAYFINDER, CHAPTER 1
Writer/Illustrator: Sachi Ediriweera
WHAT IS IT?
Wayfinder is a Sci-fi OGN set in the year 2243, in a dystopic Sri Lanka ruled by a seemingly ruthless and evil government: the Coalition. A single mother searches for her daughter in a surprisingly grounded story that embraces bright sci-fi aesthetics.
Think Star Wars meets The Pursuit of Happiness.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Wayfinder tells the story of Anusha Jayawardane, an ex-Coalition soldier gone-rogue, who is trying to find her daughter and get her to safety. Anu doesn't concern herself with the evil deeds of the Coalition, only that her daughter is safe. But when it seems the only way to get to her daughter is to ally with the rebels, Anu takes up the cause. Will it be enough to get her daughter back?
Wayfinder has two main storylines and Sachi manages to get the reader invested in both really quickly.
Anu's singular focus on saving her daughter could make her seem uncaring and selfish when it comes to the larger issues present in the comic, but Sachi does a good job making her sympathetic in spite of this.
The B-plot is something we've seen before, the good rebels vs the evil empire, but it's done well and, even though it's generic, it's tolerable because it only serves as a backdrop to the Anu's struggle.
Though Sachi proves with Wayfinder he's a great writer, his artwork is where he really excels. That's no surprise considering his previous work, but it's nice to see improvement in all areas!
You like the charts in Hickman's X-men comics? You should see the charts in Wayfinder! Sachi's usage of color in his design of the charts and console screens is enough to set them apart, but Sachi also uses the charts as unique panels, making them feel more in place.
The layout of each page controls the tension and general atmosphere of the scene. Every page moves in its own unique pace, every scene has a distinct feel to it; with his layouts and panel compositions, Sachi fully draws the reader into the world he created.
Sahadewa's color gives the environment so much life with small details like having the Coalition soldiers' unnaturality contrast when they're surrounded by nature, and having them blend into their surroundings when they're in their lair.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
It can feel difficult for the reader to connect with the characters, especially since Wayfinder is such a condensed story – you end up feeling like, even though a lot has happened, you still don't know the characters you're reading about at all.
Most of the book's humor stems from Anu being a cold-blooded, and mostly silent person, punctuated by moments that are supposed to be badass, but they might not land for some. If you're not picking up on the intended humor, the tone gets much more serious which has some dissonance with the cartoony and fun quality Sachi's art has.
As mentioned, design-wise, the data pages are good-looking and act as a nice way build transitions into the narrative, but they could be completely removed from the comic and you'd still understand what's going on. I wish they'd added a little more.
Micah Myers is a good letterer, but his lettering here ends up getting upstaged by Sachi's book design and his work on the aforementioned charts.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Wayfinder is the perfect combination of emotional story and action, combined with great artwork.
Sachi Ediriweera is one of our artists to watch of 2020. If you've been impressed by his cover art, you should definitely check out Wayfinder, and see what his interiors look like, as well as get a taste for his writing. Plus, Sahadewa, Myers & Matter round out the team for a bright and beautiful book we can't wait to see more of.
Wayfinder promises a strong woman of color in the lead, and plenty of action and intrigue to keep readers hungry for more. Give it a read if you can get a copy!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Lionborn by Sachi Ediriweera
Curb Stomp by Ryan Ferrier & Devaki Neogi
Monstro Mechanica by Paul Allor & Chris Evenhuis
If you like the art:
Lionborn by Sachi Ediriweera
Highest House by Mike Carey & Peter Gross
The Black Beetle by Francesco Francavilla
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Sachi Ediriweera – Writer & Illustrator
Multitalented: Ediriweera an accomplished designer, filmmaker and artist.
Outlander: A native of post-colonial Sri Lanka, he often includes the country and its history as a setting and inspiration for his stories.
Dog lover: Even in his packed life as an advertiser and storyteller, he takes time to sit with his dog with a nice cup of tea on his porch every now and then.
Warnia Sahadewa – Colorist
Prolific: In a short span of time, she has managed to work with some of the best publishers in the industry including Titan Comics, IDW Publishing, Boom! and Mad Cave Studios.
Outlander: Hails from Jakarta, Indonesia.
Micah Myers – Letterer
Indie Darling: Tends to letter indie stories including books for Image and Dark Horse.
His love for wrestling prompted him to start Kayfabe; an anthology series focused on pro-wrestling which he continues co-edit.
Brittany Matter – Editor
Name Recognition: Her work includes writing for Marvel.com, the award-winning Image+ magazine, and at CBR.com.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
You can contact Sachi @route345art on Twitter to buy it, once the book has been released!
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All Sachi Ediriweera characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Sachi Ediriweera or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED