Boom! The big double-cross revealed!

While a lot more gets explained in the upcoming issue, I was psyched to finally get the story to this point. There has been an uneasy feeling the whole time that this run was more than Dhama Hes let on. I wanted the hints to keep compounding over the last two issues, but this was the scene that was really going to drive home to Roka and company that they’ve been lied to and are into something much deeper than they suspected.

As a general note, this is also where the series starts to go in a direction and tone that I planned since the beginning. I always meant for the entire first arc, “Bad Goods,” to be a very fun and light introduction to the Runners universe, kinda like how the first several issues of Bone lightly eased the readers into a much deeper and more complex world. The problem was that people started viewing Runners as an all-ages book, and that label concerned me.

While I don’t currently plan to do any scenes of really graphic violence, language, or sex, I always knew that the series would be dealing with more questionable themes. These are smugglers after all. They don’t make their money transporting yo-yo’s and candy. So with this arc, I wanted to make that direction in tone very apparent and have it deal with drug running.

So is it “all ages?” I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t consider it “all ages” in an Owly way. The standard I use is The Lord of the Rings, which is my biggest inspiration and the personal goal I set for myself in what I’d ideally love to achieve. Plenty of kids read that at a younger age, but it does have a lot of complex themes going on. Along those lines, Bone and Star Wars also have some darker themes, but they’re still considered “all ages.”

So I don’t know. I personally have some issues with telling people that Runners is “all ages” but maybe that’s just me. If any of you have an opinion, feel free to post your comments as I’d love to hear them!