‘RunLoveKill’ comic is a totalitarian thriller

Without a doubt, RunLoveKill would be perfect as a movie.

Jon Tsuei and Eric Canete really managed to make a comic that evokes what’s best about both mediums. The pacing and action matches a big blockbuster film. The first scene involves a cello that I’m just on the brink of hearing, music and feeling that I can almost touch there on the page of a comic book.

But the actual imagery is so much more abrasive and buckled, like under some great weight in a way that movies couldn’t possibly manage. Limbs stretch and bodies bend in unreal ways to show the kind of daily desperation the characters live in.

Rain Oshiro lives in Prygat—a city-state held down and together by their government, the Origami—where they’re nearing the end of the erection of a Pacific Rim-like wall to defend against “the aggressive nature” of their neighboring states.

The whole premise of RunLoveKill almost immediately seems to be a narrative about an oppressive government. The first thing Rain says is that she likes being alone because the government owns everything about her.

Out in the city, every wall in the background is slathered in graffiti as a voice of the oppressed. Even her only friend says he doesn’t believe the threat they face is from outside the wall.

Since there’s only been one issue released so far, Rain’s position with the government isn’t very clear and her intent is even further out of grasp.

She owes money, though it’s not clear why. She was shot with darts by people in uniforms a while ago, but who knows why. Where did she get that scar? What do the marks on her arm mean? What is she trying to do?

The whole big-scary-evil government built on lies and corruption is a little heavy-handed, and it looks like it might not get the kind of attention to detail that it deserves. Evil people being evil on purpose is way too easy an explanation.

If every villain thinks that they’re the hero, then that goes for governments too. An evil government that’s obviously evil and wants nothing more than to control its own people is a little too simple, and I think that a comic book, of all things, could make a complicated government that honestly thinks it’s doing horrible things with the best of intentions or because the governmental officials are too far removed from their own people.

Rain’s character, at least, seems to be in a remarkable position. There obviously hasn’t been a lot of her character yet, since there’s only been one issue, but she’s softhearted, stoic and obviously conflicted between what she needs from life and what she needs to do to make it happen.

She loves her neighbors and her friends, and she seems to really care about the other citizens of Prygat who are trapped or “protected” from their neighboring states, just like she is. And it is obvious that they love her too, as they give her thousands of dollars at no notice so she can smuggle herself out of Prygat.

Rain Oshiro really has a life in Prygat and she clearly has a past we aren’t privy to yet, but she might not be either.

The wall surrounding Prygat is on the cusp of being finished, and that makes me wonder. If Rain wants to get out so much, then what was she doing all this time up until now? The first scene puts her on the wall and in some kind of hospital, but with no hint of why.