It’s been quite a while since I last posted here about a webcomic that I read. Since the last time, there are a few I’ve picked up, and I’ll be posting about them this month.
Up today is Runners, by Sean Wang. It’s a sci-fi comic, with a partial adventure, partial comedy bent. The main characters are a group of freelance smugglers (known as “runners” because they run contraband around the galaxy), who find themselves getting somewhat in over their heads on what ought to be routine jobs.
The series was originally published as black and white print comics. There were 5 issues in the first storyline, which were then collected in a trade paperback. Wang made the decision around 2 years ago to make it into a webcomic, so he started republishing the original issues online, one page every weekday for several months. Once that completed, he started a second 5-issue story arc in full color, which is currently in issue 4 (it was 2 pages a week for a while, now down to 1).
The aspect of the strip that I think I like the best is Wang’s alien designs. He’s got a few humanoid characters in the mix, but most look very different, and he’s very careful to think about designing clothes, weapons, and other tools that fit well with the varying anatomy of his characters. It makes for a well-built world that sucks you in easily. It’s also refreshing that human types aren’t the main or even a main force in the galaxy. Almost anyone the reader meets who’s in charge is a non-human.
The writing is also strong, with characters having very distinct personalities (even the minor ones) and good chemistry. There’s also a really fun sense of humor pervading the series. It isn’t just funny, though, and Wang does still manage to have some emotional impact, and even some overarching menace lurking in the background.
I highly recommend Runners for anyone who likes humorous science fiction or adventure stories. Check it out.