Back in 2005-06 I discovered an incredible comic book called Street Angel. It chronicled the adventures(and misadventures) of a homeless girl named Jesse Sanchez, who had a penchant for skateboarding, as well as kicking ninja/mad scientist ass with her martial arts skills!
The comic was action-packed, fun, and inventive in its writing, and visual design. A guy named Jim Rugg was the artist on the book, and he co-created/co-wrote it with his friend Brian Maruca. I remember there being a 2 page spread, where Street Angel was just walking through an alley(or maybe it was a street…)in the fictional neighborhood of Wilkesborough that really blew me away! Rugg’s ability to jump from a clean line cartooning style, to a more detailed/rendered, sketchy style really impressed me, and I was excited to see what was to come next from this new artist.
After issue #5 of Street Angel had been out for awhile, and no issue #6 to be seen, I just figured the creators were taking a break between issues, or maybe gearing up for a volume 2. So, I waited, and waited, but nay, after months turned into years, I all but gave up hope. I just figured that it was a case of another quality indy book by talented creators slipping through the cracks, never to be heard of again.
But, at that time my feeble comics collector(hoarder) mind could not grasp the concept of the enigmatic, unconventional creative road less traveled that the aforementioned Mr. Rugg had embarked on! It would take time, much time for me to realize that Jim Rugg was not lost to the comics world, or recruited by the National Guard, no! A couple of years later, I started to notice that vaguely familiar name of Rugg pop up on many a funny book publication! I discovered that he’d provided the art for a couple of young readers graphic novels, The Plain Janes, and it’s follow-up Janes in Love, both written by Cecil Castellucci. Then there was The Guild comic with Felicia Day, numerous covers(including some OC Weekly/LA Weekly etc. etc.), a graphic novel called One Model Nation with Dandy Warhols lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor, and in 2009, the original Afrodisiac graphic novel from AdHouse Books. He released a personal anthology magazine sized one shot called Supermag from AdHouse, last year, and he drew interiors for the latest Adventure Time story arc.
I don’t know if Jim Rugg’s journey as an artist has been more by design than by happenstance, but I think it’s helped him develop from a good artist to a true master of his craft. So, with that being said, I’m super pleased, and honored to announce that Jim Rugg is our Comics Brewmaster for the month of June, 2014!
It also seems that hope is not lost for the return of Street Angel, because we see her stories collected in a glorious new hardcover from AdHouse Books in July! Perhaps, there will be more new Street Angel comics in the future..? Hmmm…
Jim Rugg also has an excellent podcast where he interviews artists/creators/etc. called Tell Me Something You Don’t Know.
Jim Rugg and friends long boxing in a basement…