Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Truth Be Told...

So Writer Fred Schiller, no sooner did I post the previous post ("It's ON, babies"), reminded me that I did have a series prior to "Jack of Fables". This series was called "RUST". Fred Schiller wrote the shit out of this bad mutha. It was one of the most original and fascinating stories for the time. None too few still praise it's originality. The title to this blog entry is a link to a great review and remembrance to the series. Shelly Bond of Vertigo was a great fan of "RUST". Fred, Paul Mounts and myself rode the bolts off this comic (well, when I was actually turning in pages; that was my former comic life, though).
Some guy named Caputo, God Bless him, had some mild, tenuous association with the book. But let's put bad memories aside. I had some free reign and got to do several of the covers. But the best cover was where Fred's (Editor in Chief at NOW Comics) letter to Paul (Art Director at NOW Comics) about the concept for that month's issue is discussed, then actually used as the cover...because I never turned in art. LOL! The result was, yet again, classic.
Fortunately, I've mended my ways since then. But the work that we did together on "RUST" will always hold the high, sacred ground in my career. Just to put a fine point on it though, Fred...I was not the ORIGINAL ARTIST on the series. I didn't come aboard until issue three. Touche'.
The scandalous Pornhouse Cover. Scott Baker, the series hero, descends into the world of smut to rescue a little girl from exploitation. I don't think I'll ever do a more "unique" cover than this sucka.
Freds' letter to Paul became the actual cover to this issue since I failed to actually provide cover art. Brilliant.
Scott goes Hollywood. One of the many odd ways he had to make a living while on the run. Here, he is mistaken for a talented makeup artist on a cheap monster film set. Noone realises that they are actually seeing Scotts' disfigured face and not a mask. My cover, thank you.


Hart said...

Interesting...very interesting.


Fred Schiller said...

Ah, Antony…
Your kind words make me blush the same color as the corrosive acid that races through Scott Baker’s veins.

Working on RUST with you was always an experiment in joy and terror. Because I wrote the stories ‘Marvel’ style, and because I’d more than likely forgotten what I’d written by the time you turned in the art, and because you rarely drew exactly what I’d asked for in the first place, seeing pages from you was always a rollercoaster of emotion for me. Thoughts and questions flying through my head would often include: wow that looks cool, who is that woman smoking the cigar, WTF is happening on this page, did I really ask for a double-page spread of Scott and Slurpa driving down LSD in a convertible, this is amazing, what is that dog doing, is this page even supposed to be in this issue, is Tony out of his mind, he didn’t leave enough room for word balloons on this page, Tony is a genius, and so on.

The coolest thing of all was that while you rarely delivered exactly what I’d asked for in my plot, you somehow you always managed to tune into what I’d been after in the first place. Plus, you would often introduce characters and elements to the story that I hadn’t requested, but which were so dynamic and fun they had to be kept and would inadvertently change the course of the issue and the whole series.

There were two unsung heroes of what we may have accomplished in the pages of RUST. The first or course is the always-redoubtable Paul Mounts, who in addition to coloring and lettering most issues, served as the unofficial editor, courier, cheerleader, and the best friend a comic book creator could ask for. The other person who needs to be acknowledged is inker Jim Brozman. Jim certainly wasn’t the most talented inker out there, and more often than not a lot of the delectable details you’d included on the pages were lost, but man-oh-man was the guy a trooper. He would always deliver when called on, no matter how long it had been since he’d been paid. He would pound out the pages like nobody’s business.

The only real regrets I have about what we did back then include what a crap writer I was, and how good the book might have been if we’d done it for a real company, with a real editor, and got paid real money. What would the results have been? It makes a fella wonder.

Kelsey said...

I had some Rust comics. Loved them!

Great work here Tony!