Saturday, January 31, 2015

01/30/2015 -- Enter Rugface

Way back on a planet called the 80s, I was a much younger person, who just happened to own a comic book store and went to school at Northern Illinois University, where my major was Comprehensive Design. This was before we had computers, so whatever I created was almost always by hand. I had always intended to learn about the comics biz in my shop, because I had an ambition to become a publisher.

I found that actually getting a comic book out was very expensive. Fortunately, there was something unuusal happening in the comics biz related to others who wanted to do their own comics. They found a way to do their comics cheaply in what would be called minicomics.

Minicomics are definitely alive and well to this day. Basically, you drew your comic to the size of a quarter of a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. You figured out how to draw the whole thing on a single sheet of paper and put a cheap price on it, like 25 cents.

I was intrigued by the possibilities of what I saw, which were mostly humor comics. I sat down and drew one of them, which I called Crazy Larry. He was a mostly annoying character, who was obsessed with a woman named Zelda. They lived in a surrealistic world, suggested in part by Zelda's single cyclopian eye and her hulking, jealous boyfriend, Rugface. Rugface had what looked like a piece of carpet on his face, over his nose.

I drew a few issues of Crazy Larry until I stumbled into Creepsville. In creating this comic book, I decided to pilfer my minicomic series. Larry would be the best friend of Specs Malone in the comic series. I also took Zelda and Rugface and made them friends of Betty Malone. I chose to have Zelda look a lot more normal... and though his proportions were somewhat closer to a normal human being, I kept the rug on Rugface.

The first issue, most of which I drew while working in my comic store, sold pretty well. Later, there were people who came up and asked something along the lines of, "What's with this Rugface guy?" Honestly, I never much thought about him... and only recently while looking at some Creepsville art did it strike me how weird Rugface was. Yes, the town is strange, with all those cheesy monsters, but what is Rugface? How did he come to have what he has on his face... or was that a mustache gone bad?

As luck would have it, it was while talking to a group of my customers about the series when one of them suggested the best solution for Rugface. "I've always thought that Rugface was a person who got mixed up in another monster movie and found himself with a rug on his face." It a small and very unusual example of the dangers of living in Creepsville. And that was that.

As for what Rugface's real name is or how exactly he came to have that on his face, I do know the answers. I even know what his face looks like before the rug. Oh, and I'm not talking.

What is posted here is not his first appearance. That was in Crazy Larry #1, which you can read by clicking on the Crazy Larry link at the right side of this page. Here then is the first appearance of Rugface in Creepsville, with a very Archie-inspired Zelda.

See you Wednesday, when the stories of the Monster Patrol members are brought to light.

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