‘Run Wild:’ Advance Hardcover Review

Archaia brings to its catalogue another fantastical and heartfelt vision, this time from creators K.I. Zachopoulos and Vincenzo Balzano. Run Wild is a beautiful dreamscape of images and ideas. It’s a vision of an apocalypse like I haven’t seen before. It is a journey of a young girl and her even younger brother who have been left alone by their mother and are led by a large, talking fox through deserted landscapes while a group of dangerous predatory animals, eyes aglow with red, give chase to stop them from reaching “Papa.”

We don’t know why they are the only two humans still alive, and we don’t know why they are being chased, or what the fox’s intent is, but every step of the journey is surprising and what begins as a simple fairy tale becomes more and more complex. What was black and white becomes grey. Who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys? The children learn that nothing is ever quite that simple, and the choices one must make can sometimes be the most difficult.

Vicenzo Balzano’s art is lush, vibrant, and at times nightmarish. Colors drip off the page and fall outside the lines as if the images were being painted right in front of us. It gives the book a feeling of immediacy. This intimate beauty within a large-scale story only adds to the emotional catharsis felt later in the book as the sister and brother’s journey becomes more and more difficult.

Run Wild is about the love and bond between family and our connection to nature, and how fragile both can be. If you love stories like Song of the Sea, The Secret of the Kells, or Kubo and the Two Strings, then this is right up your alley.


Creative Team: K.I. Zachopoulos (writer), Vicenzo Balzano (illustrator), Deron Bennett (letters), Sierra Hahn (editor), Sophie Philips-Roberts (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.


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