The webcomic Wayward Fall is very aptly named. It chronicles a dystopic town's descent into chaos, lawlessness, and a past catching up to those haunted by it. Good, it seems, has gone from the world. The only semblance of enforcement comes from a being outside reality and time. One forced to flee from this reality and time twice on account of the overwhelming depravity and naked evil pervading its taint upon the world he helped fashion.
While this is presumably a world ruled by man, it is the creatures of the night that chiefly dominate this tale: vampires, werewolves, even lesser demons. Though many of these races are fairly popular and rather overused at the moment, the author demonstrates both originality and ingenuity in the creation of a number of her characters' backgrounds and bloodlines. Take for example the booned, sex-driven human possessed by an incubus, or the one without classification, who fancies himself a vessel of his masters, bereft of soul and unimaginable in power.
Though set in modern times, seemingly impossible feats of strength and craft are wielded by these beings, ranging from the regenerative properties of the vampire to the unbridled power of the magi. Technological innovation meets mystical attunement, characters using whatever they have at their disposal in order to survive and dominate.
The story features an ongoing, and for some, unending battle of agendas, as only the wayward can do. Each key character has their own unique plan for making their way and finding their place in the world, whether it be a gun-toting, seductive, lovelorn heroine...or a scheming, overpowered, insidious herald of the dark masters of the world. Some use their gifts for power and prestige, others for personal enjoyment; still others opt to reshape the very fabric of reality. In their mad bids to possess and control, suffering abounds and a hidden history begins to surface.
When referring to these battles of conflicting agendas, rare is the day one can find such an abundance of gripping, well-choreographed, versatile contests of wits and strength. They are often long, and always intense as well as suspenseful. Many appear to be echoes of a combat held in many of the characters' distant pasts, a culmination of more epic conflicts to come.
In both combat and adventure (or some would say, the gaps in between fighting), the exposition of Wayward Fall possesses many intricately interwoven layers of plot and backstory. Subtle hints of the A Plot blip in and out throughout the story thus far told, with a B Plot so well-developed and yet so thoroughly mystifying one is compelled to know more as one answer only serves to yield more questions. It centers around the life of a young vampiric heroine, Vigana, hiding from her past and trying to make her living in a new world the best way she knows how. Not only does the story show how that futile attempt is utterly shattered, but it also chronicles the chain of events it sparks that will put both her new home and possibly existence as we know it at stake.
The comic stands as one of the last vestiges of free-hand drawing on paper in a world dominated by computer screens and art programs. While the touch-up, coloring, shading, and special effects are all done with image-editing programs, much of the imagery is the product of a pencil rather than mouse. The impressive synthesis of the old with the new, as well as the artist's proficient command of both tools, allows for gorgeous and meticulously-fashioned attire, impassioned effects, and breath-taking action.
Taversia Borrelli, both author and artist, demonstrates both purpose and prowess in her telling of this tale. And with the assistance of her co-writer, AntiType, the proper context in which this story is shared can be fully appreciated. Though only stories worth telling are about love, love is but one of many facets that permeate this story, as is evidenced by the struggle of characters to assert their ambitions upon the world, the reservation of facing the past, and the ultimate fate of the world. Not so much the eternal struggle between good and evil, but of which kind(s) of evil and how much of it there will be at the story's end.
Overall, Wayward Fall serves as a true testament to expositional ingenuity and artistic skill. It is not often one finds a superb blend of story-telling with such graphic talent, but Taversia does not disappoint as her now one hundred page long webcomic shows no signs of dulling or slowing; neither in plot, nor design. The best is yet to come, and those along for the ride can only wonder at what this young, gifted graphic artist and storywriter has yet to unveil.