[an error occurred while processing this directive] Celebrating Five Years of Pushing Comix Forward [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] Runners: Bad Goods
Writer and Artist: Sean Wang
Published by Serve Man Press; 14.95 USD

It's a triumph that Wang's cast of characters in Runners is so easy to relate to. It wouldn't seem that a fellow with six eyes protruding from every side of his head who travels around in a space ship would seem so relatable on a human level. Yet the six-eyed alien, Cember, and the rest of the crew on The Mosquito are rich characters as well as being weird looking aliens. Wang showcases a real talent for comedic timing in comic storytelling that creates situations both genuinely funny and dramatic through the characters' interactions. The plot of Runners is fine space cowboy material but the book excels to something else because of many memorable humanistic, or rather humanoidistic, moments.

Wang populates his book with tons of odd looking sci-fi beings. There's only one human on aboard Roka Nostaco's ship and even he's got this strange laser arm. All the imaginative creations Wang has in Runners are easy to appreciate because of his uncomplicated art style. The panel construction doesn't draw attention to itself and the sci-fi setting isn't used as an excuse for a lot of tricks or special effects. The action moves along easy so both space dog fights and quiet moments of communication are both effective.

The book is always light and readable space-faring fun but there's a certain amount of gravity Wang attaches to his cast. A flashback to an earlier version of Nostaco's crew doesn't feel like unnecessary myth-building but becomes the most affecting part of the book. Wang introduces a question of morality into the courier job Nostaco's crew does that makes the book feel deeper.

It's wonderful to see a creator who can balance both the surface elements a genre story while adding something more underneath. Wang creates some of the most exciting sci-fi comics seen in a while with Runners.

-- Ian Brill

Send review copies to:
Ian Brill
750 Font Blvd. B 525
San Francisco, CA 94132

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