Tag Archives: runaways

FlameCon 2018: Artist Kris Anka Talks Runaways and Gert’s Redesign

Kris Anka is one of Marvel’s superstar artists making a splash drawing some of the X-Books before moving onto titles like Captain MarvelStar-Lord and his current series Runaways with Rainbow Rowell of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park fame and colorist extraordinaire Matthew Wilson (The Wicked + the Divine, Paper Girls). He also redesigned Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman costume and has a keen eye for character design and fashion.

I had the opportunity to chat with Kris Anka at FlameCon about his work on Runaways, approach to storytelling and costume design, and more.

Graphic Policy: Let’s address the elephant in the room. Why are your characters of all genders drawn so sexy? Why are they so attractive?

Kris Anka: It feels like in superhero comics that it’s always been part of it. If it’s people with powers, why not make everyone hot? Everyone can enjoy it. You’ve got something for everybody. It’s fun to make everyone hot, and they’re hot in different ways. Mostly, it’s just a lot of fun.

GP: One thing I like about your art is that the character clothing reflects their personality. What’s your favorite outfit that you’ve drawn in Runaways, and what are your inspirations for the outfits?

KA: Addressing the second question and specifically talking about Runaways, a benefit is that they’ve been around for a while. Hopping into the book, Rainbow [Rowell] and I know these kids. We kind of equate our run and the original run. The original run was looking for them, and now we know them. So, we’ve hit the ground running, and there’s not a lot of questions in our head of who these kids are.

Inspiration is fairly easily, especially since I’m from L.A. I was a freshman in high school when Runaways #1 came out. I was the same age. I went to high school with all of these kids so I knew them. It’s really easy for me to equate what their looks are and who they are in kind of a 2018 vibe.

Inspiration comes from life, and I can sort of string it all together and combine it into who they are. Because they’re growing and hitting their later teens. Chase is 20. That’s kind of the age where people start changing. We can grow with and kind of experiment a little bit. It’s kind of fun with Karolina where she used to be so young hippie. She was a vegetarian and health conscious. And, in L.A. now, people who are health conscious are fitness conscious. She’s part hippie, but she’s also a festival kid. There’s also athleisure, and she’s very active.

We’re kind of able to grow them into new looks that still feels like them. That helps narrow and specify your focus on them. It’s really fun building wardrobes and all these things. There’s not a lot of guesswork. I know exactly where to go.

In terms of a favorite outfit, it’s in [Runaways] #12, and one of them you can see on the cover for issue 13, which is Karolina’s dress. That dress took me eight hours to design. When you see issue 12, it took me so long to draw these pages. But it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had.

GP: What do you think sets apart the Runaways from the other Marvel superhero teams, who might get more buzz or bigger movies?

KA: The Marvel Universe has always prided itself on being the world outside your door. The Runaways is even more specific where it feels like kids you might actually know. On a superficial level, the fact that it’s West Coast already sets it way far apart. That kind of allowed Runaways to live in its own world. In a lot of ways, it feels like a creator owned book that just happens to be in a world where you understand the powers.

It’s got this different of these feel like actual teenagers you may know. I think that’s what it’s survived on. The personalities are so specific, and it never forced them to be a big superhero book. Because Teen Titans and Legion [of Superheroes] and all those teen superhero books have that to them, but also have the huge, overarching superhero plot. We kind of don’t, and this allows it to be much more about them as people than things they have to deal with.

So, you get a lot of melodrama, a lot of teen heartthrob drama when you’re 18 and all the bad decisions you make. It makes the Runaways feel more whole because we don’t always have to figure out, “Who’s punching this issue?” We can spend a whole issue just crying and look at what they’re going through.

GP: Speaking of crying, the big Karolina/Julie Power breakup in Runaways #10 tore at my heart strings. How do you get in the mindset to draw such a big emotional beat that rips the Internet in half?

KA: That was a big one because Rainbow and I had talked about it for months. We needed to be very clear on what it was, especially in a world where there’s so many kinds of media with bad queer relationships, especially with how messy sometimes breakups can be. We didn’t want to sugarcoat it and not make it real because they’re also eighteen. Eighteen years old don’t make exactly the easiest decisions. They’re pretty damn rough about things. We wanted to ground it in who they are and what they’re going through.

Even if people don’t like the decision, they can understand why these two characters are in that same place and why this is happening. [Rainbow and I] talked about this scene a lot to get the right kind of nuance for it. This thing is happening, but they both have an agency to this decision rather than someone just getting thrown under the bus. I like Julie and Karolina together, but [the breakup] also felt right with this overarching story of bringing the family back together. How messy it got made sense with all the buildup.

So when we got there, it was kind of tough, and it worked with the rest of the story. It wasn’t something where we were like, “We gotta do this.” It felt right.

GP: Yeah, it didn’t feel like the comics version of a sweeps week plot twist. So, I was a big fan of Gert’s new look in Runaways #11 and her walking through L.A. What was your thought process in designing her new look?

KA: We had been talking about the Gert look since I started on issue one. When I signed back onto the book, one of the things that Rainbow really wanted to do was: A- bring Gert back. B was the fact that there’s this huge important factor of (The timeline stuff with her is so strange with the Marvel Universe and sliding timelines.) when Gert debuted in 2003, the idea of having crazy hair colors was so counter culture and a little taboo.

Gert’s whole character was about acting taboo. The guys’ clothes to hide her, having purple hair, and cynical and crabby. She wanted to be the antithesis to all the other girls around her. Now, that we’re in 2018, and [dying hair] is so commonplace, all these things that she had that were countercultural are common. What does that do to someone who is also coming back from the dead and seeing all her friends grow up without her.

Rainbow always wanted [to change Gert’s look], but I don’t remember the beginnings of that conversation. The big thing was that this allowed us to do the lost character arc that she was going through, superficially. Where she’s like, “What do I look like now?” We wanted to have a scene where she sees all these people with purple hair, and she’s like, “Shit, this thing I did to spite the adults and be this kind of rebel, everyone has”. [She’s] no longer a rebel in this world.

We wanted to have Gert refocus on herself where she doesn’t need to be this counter to everybody. She can kind of calm down. She’s still Gert, but we can have it where she doesn’t need to be so loud any more. [Colorist Matthew] Wilson also wanted to hint at the future Gert [who leads the Avengers] so a lot of that first outfit based on design cues from future Gert like the green corset top and the grey skirt. We wanted to allude to all of that, and the fact that she goes back to her natural hair color. It’s kind of fun to go in the middle of [her timeline] and find something that still feels Gert, but doesn’t feel like she’s trying. Because one thing we did in our whole run is that Gert doesn’t have her own clothes. For the entirety of the first two arcs, she’s wearing Chase’s clothes or hand-me-downs because she doesn’t have a wardrobe.

That’s part of it. She never was herself yet. She’s still looking. That’s our first moment. We spent a long time thinking about what Gert’s look was going to be. It took us a year. I remember one day that we arrived at the same thing where [Rainbow Rowell] saw a photo of Chadwick Boseman with this t-shirt with kind of a military button pattern. She saw that, and separately, I thought that Gert seems like someone who would see Hamilton and get really into Hamilton and dress like that. We both brought military jackets to the table and said that should be the Gert look. Also, that’s her parents’ look too: these steampunk military time travelers. We alluded to that, she would definitely be a Hamilton fan, and this was the look that Rainbow wanted so it all fit. That’s new Gert.

And stylistically, it also keeps her separate from all the other girls on the team. She doesn’t look like Karolina. She doesn’t look like Nico. She doesn’t look like Molly. There’s a lot for the individual, but not in a forced way any more. It’s only on one page, but that one outfit took 11 months of work.

GP: It’s cool. I love hearing about behind the scenes stuff. I have one final question not related to Runaways. I’m a big fan of the WicDiv Christmas Annual that you worked on, especially the Baal and Inanna male nudity part. How did you get onboard with that unique project?

KA: I had done the Baal cover of him getting out of the pool [for WicDiv #19], and it kind of became a thing. When [Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie] were coming up with the idea for a Christmas issue, they said one of the stories was about Baal and Inanna doin’ it. They were like “We should get Kris to draw it.” It was all very nonchalant. The amount of nudity that showed was up in the air, and they said, “As much as you want and whatever you’re comfortable with.”

We didn’t want to go super over the top with it, but we wanted to just get some dicks in there. It was very chill job. Let’s just draw these two guys having a good time and draw some dicks because there’s never dicks in comics. It was all fairly easy.

Runaways #12 is out on August 29, 2018.

Follow Kris Anka on Twitter

Preview: Runaways #12

Runaways #12

(W) Rainbow Rowell (A/CA) Kris Anka
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 29, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• Nico takes a big step forward.
• Gert takes a bigger step backward.
• Karolina has to face the paparazzi.
• And Victor decides it’s time to come clean…

Pop! Marvel – Marvel’s Runaways are Coming this Summer

Marvel’s runaway teenage Super Heroes are getting the Pop! Vinyl treatment, which might not erase the sting of discovering that their parents are Super Villains, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Nico, Alex, Karolina, Gert, Molly and Chase will bring style, sass and a smorgasbord of Super Hero abilities to your collection. Nico comes with the Staff of One, Gert is armed with her signature riot grrrl style and Chase is armed with his Fistigons and ready to fight.

Pop! Marvel –  Marvel’s Runaways are out this summer from Funko.


Joe’s Corner: Reviewing Avengers, Batman, Hulk, Thor, Injustice vs. He-Man and More!


This is a weekly comic review show for comics Joe pulls or picks up. This video is for comics that came out the week of July 18th 2018. Joe reviews the books he picked up and gives us his favorite books of the week and at times, a cover of the week. If you’d like, follow Joe @jriddy5000son on Twitter, Instagram, and Mixer.

The comics I buy are bought from Secret Comix Cave, an awesome comic store. Support your local comic shop!

Physical comics featured:

Avengers #5
Batman #51
Cable #159
The Immortal Hulk #3
Infinity Countdown #5
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #30
Runaways #11
Thor #3
Tony Stark: Iron Man #2

Other comics:
Injustice vs He-man: Master of the Universe

Books Of The Week: Cable #159
Cover Of The Week: Thor #3

Joe’s Corner: What to Buy this Wednesday

Joe goes over the comic book and trade paperback releases for the week of July 18th 2018, gives what he is going to read, as well as some the top comic books of the week that others may be reading, and recommends some other series as well. If you’d like, follow Joe @jriddy5000son on Twitter, Instagram, and Mixer.

The comics I buy are bought from Secret Comix Cave, an awesome comic store. Support your local comic shop!

Comics I Pull:

TITLE PUBLISHER
Avengers #5 Marvel Comics
Batman #51 DC Comics
Cable #159 Marvel Comics
The Immortal Hulk #3 Marvel Comics
Infinity Countdown #5 Marvel Comics
Justice League #4 DC Comics
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #307 Marvel Comics
Runaways #11 Marvel Comics
Thor #3 Marvel Comics
Tony Stark: Iron Man #2 Marvel Comics

Other recommended comics:

Gideon Falls #5 Image Comics
Royal City #12 Image Comics
UPDATE: Ether: The Copper Golems #3 Dark Horse Comics
UPDATE: Injustice vs He-Man and Masters of the Universe #1 DC Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Venom #1 (Marvel) – Cates and Stegman on Venom! Yes! I am so excited for this book. The last run of Venom had its moments, but this looks like classic scary Venom mixed with the sometimes good guy inside. Can’t wait!

Barrier #1 (Image Comics/Panel Syndicate) – The team behind Private Eye, Vaughn and Martin reunite for a new title. Hell yes. This is a reprint of their web series they released before about illegal immigration and much more. It sounds awesome.

Runaways #9 (Marvel) – This is consistently one of my favorite reads every week and I’m glad to physically pull this book. If you’re a fan of the two old comic runs of this series or coming from the Hulu series there’s something to love.

Despicable Deadpool #300 (Marvel) – What a run it has been, Duggan! This is a super-sized issue to celebrate the merc with the mouth and Duggan’s farewell issue. I expect a lot of ridiculous humor and wtf moments.

Justice League: No Justice #1 (DC Comics) – I’m excited to see what they do with this new crazy multiple team approach to Justice League and how the series moves forward. The Justice League brand needs improvement and a way to get back to its glory days, so here’s hoping this is where it starts.

 

Alex

Old Man Logan #39 (Marvel) – I get the sense that with Wolverine returning to the Marvel universe that Old Man Logan’s time on this world is coming to a close – especially with his healing factor on the fritz. Watching the slow decline of an alternate version of one of my favorite characters is oddly enthralling.

Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch #1 (Titan) – I have no reason to want to read this beyond the cover, but sometimes that’s all that it take to pull you into a previously unfamiliar world…

 

Brett

Top Pick: Nuclear Winter Vol. 1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’ve read this cute graphic novel and it’s awesome. Basically a nuclear power plant blew and things are irradiated. So, how do you live under a nuclear winter? Find out in what I’m hoping will be many more volumes to come.

Barrier #2 (Image Comics/Panel Syndicate) – Joe picked the first issue and I’m going with the second. You should get both of these!! The series is amazing and an absolute must read.

Oblivion Song #3 (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment) – The first two issue have been fantastic so far and the detail and use of real world situations have been brilliant.

Southern Bastards #20 (Image Comics) – A gut punch of an issue that had me tense throughout as I turned each page.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through the Mirror #2 (IDW Publishing) – The Mirror Universe comes over to the main one in this weekly series. The first issue was great and them mystery deepens. It’s a little slow but fantastic Star Trek for those that love the Mirror Universe.

 

Review: Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Runaways!

Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home collects issues #1-6 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Kathleen Wisneski, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores May 1. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Picks: Daredevil #601 (Marvel) – The Mayor Fisk arc has been wonderful, and with the twist from last issue I am waiting what this one will bring. This is turning into one of the best runs on Daredevil I have read in years, and Soule and Garney keep rolling!

Infinity Countdown #2 (Marvel) – The Adam Warlock issue and the first issue of this event that is leading to another event (but don’t call it an event!) was filled with great set up. I am more than excited that Logan is back, and the characters they chose to have the infinity stones is very interesting and should lead to some great fun.

The Avengers #689 (Marvel) – Every week this comic delivers classic Avengers action while jugging many team members and creators, and I can not recommend it enough.

Action Comics #1000 (DC) – A landmark moment for comics, superheroes, and the one to spawn generation after generation of heroes. This is the guy who made it cool to wear the underwear on the outside (wait that’s not cool?). One thousand issues is insane!

The Black Monday Murders Vol. 2 (Image Comics) –  I love this creepy detective occult series and this volume is just as wild as the first. Hickman is one of the best writers around today, so do not miss this!

 

Shay

Fight Club 2 TP (Dark Horse) – I am fangirling pretty hard for this soft cover version of my signed never taken off the shelf hard cover copy. Finally a copy that can come with me and an excuse to reread it.

Harley Quinn #42 (DC Comics) – I’ve been warming to the new team behind Harley and I am a sucker for seeing what the future holds my favorite villain.

John Wick #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – More of the John Wick origin story and it should keep me going until the 3rs installment comes out next year.

Kick-Ass #3 (Image Comics) – Patience Lee is taking names and kicking ass so obviously I am all the way here for it.

Runaways TP Vol. 10 (Marvel) – Teens being teens and trying to save the world the way teens would.

Calexit #1 (4th Printing) (Black Mask Studios) – Because it is the start of an amazing series!

 

Brett

Top Pick: Fence #5 (BOOM! Studios) – BOOM! has been killing it with sports series that bring the popular manga genre to the west and this series is one of the best out there. Great characters, interaction, and stories.

Lucy Dreaming #2 (BOOM! Studios) – A fun start that seems to blend the magical girl genre with sci-fi.

Mister Miracle #8 (DC Comics) – One of the most intriguing comics out today. The second half of this series has me excited to see where it all goes and what the creative team has in store. A brilliant maxi-series and will absolutely be on many best of lists.

James Bond: The Body #4 (Dynamite Entertainment) – An intriguing series that has explored Bond in a new way and really breaking down the character in various aspects. A must for any Bond fan.

Transformers: Optimus Prime #17/Transformers: Optimus Prime #18/Transformers: Lost Light #17 (IDW Publishing) – Any week with Transformers comics I’m happy, but three in one week makes me beyond excited. So much more than meets the eye.

Preview: Runaways #8

Runaways #8

Story: Rainbow Rowell
Art: Kris Anka
Color: Triona Tree Farrell
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Kris Anka
Graphic Designer: Carlos Lao
Editor: Nick Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kathleen Wisneski
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“BEST FRIENDS FOREVER” STARTS NOW!
• The Runaways welcome Karolina’s girlfriend, JULIE POWER of the POWER PACK!
• Well, most of them do. Some have mixed feelings…
• They’ll all be glad to have an experienced hero around when one of the Universe’s most fearsome super villains invades the hostel!!!

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. What’s everyone excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Lithub – On Writing the Comics – and Queer Characters – We Need – This sounds like an awesome conversation between Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin.

CBR – Cloak & Dagger Showrunner Wants Crossover With Runaways – This would be really cool.

The Hollywood Reporter – DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson Taking Leave of Absence – Best to her and good luck to those involved.

 

Reviews

Newsarama – Iron Fist #78

Talking Comics – Nightwing #41

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