Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2005-05-16

Read Runaways, gosh darn it!

Lately, I've felt somewhat like a missionary, speaking to the masses, trying to convert people one by one. I haven't got religion, though--I'm trying to get more people to read Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Adrian Alphona.

The basic premise? Every teenager thinks their parents are evil. What if you and five of your friends found out that your parents really were evil?

Alex lives the typical upper-middle-class life of suburban affluence in Los Angeles. Every year, friends of his parents come over for some kind of party, and their kids come too. Alex is expected to entertain Nico, Karolina, Chase, Molly, and Gert, although they're not friends normally. This year, though, the teens get bored and decide to roam about the house a bit, using a secret passage. But this passage leads them to a view of the room their parents are meeting in . . . where it's revealed that their parents are really members of the Pride, a secret group that has a finger in every criminal pie on the West Coast. A violent crime is committed, and the teens decide to make a run for it.

The twists and turns in this story are great fun, as the group tries to stay one step ahead of their parents, learning about what they've inherited from their parents and how they'll use those gifts to not become like their parents. There's action, other superheros, mutants and sorcerers and cutting-edge technology, oh my! Throw in a telepathic velociraptor, and you've got a great story.

What I liked most, though, was the twist at the end, when one of the group betrays them. There's real consequences from that betrayal, too. That's not something you see too often, so that really made this series work for me.

Runaways has followed a slightly unusual publication pattern. The first volume or series ran to 17 issues, and those issues have been collected in three trade paperbacks, which are the same size as most manga books.
Volume One: Pride and Joy
Volume Two: Teenage Wasteland
Volume Three: Only the Good Die Young

However, this isn't the end of the story. The second volume/series has begun publication, and is up to Issue 4.

I haven't really touched upon the art, since I'm not very knowledgeable about art. But I really like the way the characters are drawn; they look very realistic, without any of that beefcake style creeping in. There's a nice mix between bright and dark color, and the style really suits the story.

In short, why aren't you reading Runaways yet?

1 Comments:

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Liz B said…

    I AM reading it! It is all you promised and more. The writing is awesome...the references to books & movies & assorted pop culture reminds me of Buffy and Farscape.

     

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