Sunday, March 04, 2018

Reader's Diary #1751- Spike Steffenhagen (writer), Joe Paradise and Larry Nadolsky (artists): Joan Jett and the Runaways

A fan of the Runaways, Joan Jett, Lita Ford and rock biographies, I had much higher hopes for this book than I was ultimately delivered.

First, it's quite short. There are three stories in here, the first about the Runaways, then Joan Jett and Lita Ford's solo careers respectively and the whole thing is just 30 pages long. If you've seen the Runaways movie a few years back, you won't likely learn anything and beyond an interesting factoid or two and not a whole lot more about the two successful solo breakouts.

The art is also a mixed bag. The Runaways story is drawn by Joe Paradise and while technically better than Larry Nadolsky's work on the follow-up stories, it's also wildly offensive. The women are consistently objectified (which renders the criticisms over their then manager Kim Fowley's sexism as hypocritical) and in one scene set in Japan a fan is drawn with exaggerated buck teeth, bald head, slanted eyes, and big ears a la WWII anti-Japanese propaganda. Larry Nadolsky's work on the other hand looked far more amateur. It was, however, less offensive and I kind of felt that it looked like fan art which suited the book anyway.

An additional troublesome feature were the occasional condescending and disrespectful "edits" by Jay Allen Sanford. In the worst of these he feels the need to jump in regarding Runaways lead singer Cherie Curie stating that her only talent is being photogenic. How rude.

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