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“Runaways” is one of Marvel Comic’s most unique titles. In addition to writer Brian K Vaughan’s entertaining and innovative take on the superhero team, “Runaways” also has a great, signature look provided by the series artist Adrian Alphona. Yesterday we spoke with series writerIn part two of our look at “Runaways,” CBR News spoke with Alphona about the art, both past and present, that he’s done for the series.
Like many artists, Alphona does not like to go back and look at his previous work. “‘Runaways’ #1 was the first comic I ever drew, so out of shame, I avoid looking back at it or any other issues unless I have to,” Alphona told CBR News. “I think my work has evolved gradually along the way, but I’m not sure if it’s anything too drastic. I’m not as clueless as I was in the beginning.”
A diverse cast of characters populates “Runaways” and Alphona drew upon a number of inspirations when designing the look of each character. “Different characters have different stories,” Alphona said. “Gert was probably the most fully realized character of Brian’s before I did any designing. Some were taken from movies, fashion magazines, celebrities and such. Mrs. Wilder, for example, was just a bad attempt at Sade.”
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Alphona has two favorite cast members who he loves to draw. They are team leader Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean, who recently left the team. “They’re the most subtle of the principal characters,” Alphona explained.
The kids have faced many opponents and Alphona’s favorite’s turned out to be the immensely powerful beings who created the Pride, the villainous group composed of “The Runaways” parents, as shown in the first volume of the series. “The Gibborim were my favorite villains to draw, mostly because they looked so stupid and I got away with it,” Alphona said. “Although when I was designing them I didn’t know they where to eventually get all ‘killy’.”
Since they have been working together for a few years now, Alphona and writer Brian K Vaughan have a routine for their collaboration. “I do the mockups once I get his script and wait for him to rip it apart,” Alphona said. “His scripts are pretty detailed, but he gives me a lot of freedom on how I want to execute it. I love his dialogue. He can give so much information with so few words, so it makes it a lot easier for me to visualize some scenes.”
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One thing you won’t find within the pages of “Runaways” is the cast wearing traditional superhero spandex garb. With the kids being LA’s only real resident heroes, their encounters with the other costumed crime fighters of the Marvel Universe has been kept to a minimum. However, Alphona will be getting his chance to draw a number of the Marvel Universe’s more prominent residents with the kids travelling to New York City in the recently begun “East Coast/West Coast” arc. “I feel a bit out of my element drawing superheroes, but I must admit I’m looking forward to some of the scenes.”
With “Runaways,” Alphona discovered what it was like to work in the medium of comics and how much fun it was. “The more I work in comics the more I realize what an amazing medium this is,” Alphona stated. “Where else can you be a storyteller, director, set designer, costume designer and (with the colorist) cinematographer in one job?”