Last year, two of my friends died, a few months apart. The were both in the comicbook field, and both died of health-related illnesses. They were both in my general age group (one slightly older and other slightly younger). I was not prepared for either and am (still) not over either. I’ve spoken about both at length John Carbonaro, who died a year ago, February, and Rusty Haller, who went towards the end of last year.
One of the places that I eulogized Carbs was in Jim Main‘s Comic Fan (#5), as it turns out, issue #6 is where I eulogize Rusty. While I wish Jim continued good will in his publishing “empire” I’m kind of hoping that he never publishes another issue of Comic Fan again.
I don’t have that many friends.
***** This just in! I just learned that this issue of Comic Fan also contains three reviews I wrote of some most-excellent indie comics! *****
I just learned that an old friend of mine, Rusty Haller, the creator of Ace & Queenie, and a former cartoonist of Marvelâ€™s Star Line passed away in his sleep last night. Rustyâ€™s mother had passed away earlier this …year, forcing Rusty to re-locate to Ohio to live with a friend. It was his friend & roommate that discovered Rustyâ€™s body. That’s all I know at the moment.
So I have this professional friend…or rather this friend who is a fellow professional. He is a cartoonist, and well, has been having a bit of personal and professional bad luck. In this tough economy he is having some difficulty getting a stead stream of assignments and, is getting evicted. He has to move out of his place at the end of the month (which as you all know is two days from now).
Iâ€™ve been doing what I can to get Rusty hooked up with more work, or representation of some sort (even commissioned and purchased art from him recently). Iâ€™ve also been trying to get other friends of ours to help in in whatever way they could. Sever folks have risen to the challenge (including the folks at Bryanna Bunny, who have set up a donation fund for Rusty, and the guys over at Free Lunch Comics who are holding a charity auction to help raise money for Rusty).
Rust was doing a bunch of great work in the â€˜80s and â€˜90s for Marvel, Dc, Archie, and other companies. He is also the creator of Ace & Queenie, a very cool action/adventure anthropomorphic espionage series, that began live over at Radio Comix and lives now on the Web.
In the mean time, take a look at a very cool comic that Rusty recently drew (I’m trying to see if I can find a magazine that will purchase it â€” so if you know of any editor that want’s to get his or her hands on a very talented cartoonist, let me know).