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jimrugg's Journal
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Date:2009-10-15 09:52

Pre-orders for the Afrodisiac are due soon. So tell your local Comic Book Guy to order a stack of them! Here are order details, a video preview, and you can see a PDF preview at Adhouse Books:

Adhouse Books
96 4C pages
6 " x 9 " HC
$14.95 US funds
ISBN 978-1-935233-06-0
Shipping December 2009
Diamond Order Code: OCT09 0658

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Date:2009-10-06 12:49

Hi, everyone. I'm experimenting with blogger. I invite you to check out the new blog and let me know what you think. For now, it will be the place to find updates, new artwork, and whatever else I normally post here. So please update your bookmarks and whatnot, and give it a look-see!


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Date:2009-10-02 10:29
Subject:Strange Tales #2

Brother Voodoo lives! Here is an interview about our strip from Marvel's Strange Tales #2. Some of you may be familiar with this story (I've been working on it for a while). It's had an interesting journey from concept to print.

I think it hits comic shops next week? Should be good - it includes Tony Millionaire's Iron Man, Matt Kindt's Black Widow, and a beautiful-looking story by R. Kikuo Johnson.

Brother Voodoo

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Date:2009-09-24 06:45
Subject:Afrodisiac and SPX

Vietnam: 20,000 BC!
The crew behind Street Angel hits the ghetto with the Afrodisiac - in SuperColor! There’s cats, gats, spats, and feathered hats…action as big as a Georgia ham and wool so fine it'll blow your mind! Lock up your daughters, come hell or high water, cause here comes the king of the concrete jungle!

96 4C pages
6 " x 9 " HC
$14.95 US funds
ISBN 978-1-935233-06-0
Shipping December 2009
Diamond Order Code: OCT09 0658

Afrodisiac Limited Edition
• Limited edition of 100
• Presented with a limited dust-jacket
• Includes a S&N print.
• $25 US funds

Hey, everybody, here are a couple of recent additions to the Afrodisiac book. I am almost done with this thing. Unfortunately, finishing it by the deadline means I won't make it to SPX. Hope everyone has a great show. I don't think I've missed an SPX since it was cancelled following 911. But Adhouse Books will be representing, so stop by and tell Chris how you plan to buy 10 of these things for Christmas gifts and stuff. He'll like that.

Also, I'll be trying to promote this book as much as I can in the coming weeks and months. But to do that, I can use YOUR help! If you think this book looks interesting or you think one of your friends would like it, please post links on your blogs, journals, etc. Tell your local comics shop about it. AND if you have any suggestions for ways I can better promote this, please leave behind some comments or email me suggestions! Thanks!

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Date:2009-09-10 11:20
Subject:One Model Nation

One Model Nation cover

Finished up the artwork for One Model Nation last night. Above is the cover (front, back, and spine), below is an alternative version of the title page artwork (it will be cropped differently in the book). It's always exciting to finish a project. I want to thank Courtney Taylor, Joe Keatinge, Jon Fell, and Mike Allred for feedback, encouragement, and believing my drawings would work for this project.

Now I'm working feverishly to finish the Afrodisiac.

One Model Nation title page

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Date:2009-09-01 09:32
Subject:Street Angel speaks French

Street Angel Le Lezard Noir Press

The French edition of Street Angel is now available fromLe Lezard Noir. Check out the cool introduction by Paul Gravett. I'm stunned he has any idea that Street Angel even exists! So humbling and awesome. Thanks, Paul! And for those of you who haven't already checked it out, I recommend Paul's recent book, Holy Sh*t! The World's Weirdest Comic Books .

Street Angel

Welcome to Wilkesborough, a district definitely on the rough side of the tracks, and it seems aptly named after John Wilkes Booth, US President Lincoln's assassin. Its streets, pavements, alleyways and dumpbins are home to an unlikely junior heroine, Street Angel. Like a lot of youngsters in comics, from Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne to Little Orphan Annie and Tintin, Jesse Sanchez has been orphaned and has had to grow up fast. She's reinventing herself and her life, living by her own rules, finding unexpected inner resources and survival skills. It's no coincidence that artist Jim Rugg pays homage here to Harold Gray's spunky Annie, another red-headed, big-hearted defender of the little guys in the big city. The secret origin of Street Angel's uncanny skateboarding techniques and combat chops is discreetly revealed in a profile page here, as the sole surviving offspring of a graceful "ninjina" or female ninja and a "Skate Lord". Their deaths are what drive someone so young and seemingly vulnerable to extraordinary extremes. This adds a depth behind her bravado, when we learn that "her earliest memories are of the people closest to her dying." A loner, Jesse has no canine companion like Sandy or Snowy, nor adults to join her in her adventures, no Daddy Warbucks or Captain Haddock. Her most constant and trusted partner seems to be her skateboard.

Prepare also to enjoy a condensed, intense, hugely enjoyable mash-up of pop-culture tributes and genre pastiches, embracing pirates, sci fi, martial arts, horror movies, and the musty aroma and faded, dot-coloured newsprint of cheap comic books. Co-creators Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca can deftly switch in an instant from the fantastical and visceral to the mundane, using understatement, irony and pitch-perfect one-liners, like "Where's my shoe?". This is a telling remark after some pumped-up fight scenes, one that grounds us back in the reality that Jesse may only own one pair. Rugg is a chameleon of an illustrator, able to riff on all manner of art styles and their evocative associations, in particular the Blacksploitation hero Afrodisiac, his generic look typical of Marvel comics of the Seventies. Rugg and Maruca are evidently having a lot of fun here and it's infectious, whether playing with stupid pirate slang or inventing comic-book titles like Amazing Irish Funnies. And through it all, slicing, slamming and soaring without wings, is Street Angel - unpredictable, unstoppable, and unforgettable.

© Paul Gravett 2009

Street Angel Le Lezard Noir printing

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Date:2009-08-27 21:02
Subject:Pittsburgh City Paper illustration

Anyone in the Pittsburgh area, check out this week's City Paper. I drew the cover for a feature on college students and public transportation:

Back to School color art

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Date:2009-07-31 08:51
Subject:OC Weekly cover

If you live in Orange County, you can see my work on the cover of the current issue of OC Weekly:

OC Weekly July 31, 2009 cover

The cover story is about a woman and her stepson who are accused of paying a hitman to kill her husband. He was diagnosed with cancer, and she was afraid a long period of treatment before death would wipe out their savings.

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Date:2009-07-27 07:51
Subject:Afrodisiac - Full color, hardcover

Coming (heh, heh) this December from Adhouse Books:

Afrodisiac postcard

Here's a little review/primer for those of you who may not be familiar with the Afrodisiac.

Keep an eye on the Adhouse site to learn how you can own this badass piece of comics history.

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Date:2009-07-22 09:13
Subject:Readergirlz chat tonight!

Cecil Castellucci and I will be doing a chat tonight, 6 PM PST/9 PM EST, on the Readergirlz blog. Please stop by and ask us questions!

I've been busy lately which is awesome. So here are some things I've been up to:

This was for an LA Weekly story about medical marijuana dispensaries being targeted by police.

Dispensary raid

This is for Image Comics' forthcoming benefit book, Liberty Comics. It's part of a 4 page Painkiller Jane story that Jimmy Palmiotti wrote and I drew. This is the first time I've drawn Painkiller Jane, and I enjoyed it a lot. I like her hair cut, that short hair style feels really tough to me, all business! This story is an exploitation style action, full-speed action romp. Not sure when the book is scheduled, but I'll be sure and post when it's released. In the meantime, thanks to Jamie Rich and Jimmy Palmiotti. It was very fun to draw!

Painkiller Jane page 3

Last but not least, here is some card art I did for Archie Comics and the March of Dimes. I've gotten on a Harry Lucey kick recently, so I was excited when offered the chance to do some Archie drawings for a good cause.

Archie sketches

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Date:2009-07-01 07:21
Subject:Dark Horse Presents, Laura Park, Frank Santoro



When I was a kid, I found a copy of Dark Horse Presents #1. It featured a character named Black Cross by Chris Warner (others may remember another character from that issue - Concrete) that blew me away. Not long after that, Frank Miller made his way back to comics after a stint in Hollywood. And one of his first comics was Sin City, serialized in Dark Horse Presents!

Today Dark Horse Presents is an online anthology, and I'm pleased to point you to the latest issue, featuring a story that I drew and Zack Whedon wrote. Our story stars Penny, from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Let me know what you think of it!


1. Laura Park is an awesome cartoonist! And she's currently taking commissions. Check out her work, maybe you'll want to commission something, maybe not. Either way, take a peek. She's fantastic!

2. My good friend and mentor, the great Frank "Cold Heat" and "Storeyville" Santoro, has begun a fascinating blog. Frank is one of the more eloquent speakers and writers making comics these days. And his comics interests include a lot of 80s independents that don't often receive attention. A year or so ago, he began buying these books when he would come across them in local stores (going to a good comic book store with Frank is a highlight reel experience not to be missed). Then he would take these little known gems to shows, talk about them, and sell them. I suppose the response to this has been pretty good, and now he's started a blog for those who can't make it to his show appearances. The best part of the blog though, is he writes a bit about each book - what makes it interesting, maybe some context about the work or cartoonist, just great, insightful info. He also posts some artwork to illustrate what he's talking about. I LOVE this stuff. You might too.

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Date:2009-06-04 10:44
Subject:Out of the Gutter: Sexploitation

sexploitation illustration

Out of the Gutter is a crime fiction anthology I enjoy reading. I did the cover art for the 5th issue. I wasn't thrilled with how it turned out, I felt it was too busy for the small space of the cover. So for the upcoming 6th issue, I decided to try something more iconic and simple. This issue's theme is sexploitation. I'm not sure this is the final illustration, but it's a little different for me so I thought I would post it.

If you enjoy crime fiction, I encourage you to check out Out of the Gutter as well as Murdaland.

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Date:2009-06-01 09:03
Subject:Schultz Library at CCS and Snake Oil

CCS certificate

In March, I visited the Center for Cartoon Studies. It was a fantastic experience. And I was asked to draw something for this year's commencement. During my visit, I had a chance to see the Schulz library, a growing resource that reminded me quite a bit of the mythical library from Hicksville. Now you can get a sense of the wonder this library holds without visiting White River Junction, VT. They have started a blog.

While at CCS, I picked up copies of Chuck Forsman's excellent comic Snake Oil (3 issues available so far). The art reminded me of Sammy Harkham (at least some of the linework). The story is a series of vignettes that seem to be interconnected. The rich atmosphere of the comic is surreal and tense. The storytelling reminds me a little of Velvet Glove Dan Clowes, David Lynch, Anders Nilsen's Big Questions, and Donnie Darko (although I might have difficulty defending that last one, probably the Darko comparison is mostly one of atmosphere). You can learn more about the book and read some comics at Chuck's website. You can even read issue one online.

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Date:2009-05-11 10:53
Subject:Carnegie Library talk with Cecil Castellucci

This Thursday Cecil Castellucci and I will be at the Carnegie Library in Oakland as part of the library's Behind the Book series. We plan to discuss the PLAIN Janes and Janes in Love, our collaboration, our solo projects, working methods, and experiences. We'll be answering questions, signing books, and showing artwork.

The event is free to the attend. All the details are here. If you are interested in the PLAIN Janes, graphic novels, young adult novels, making comics, or what we're doing next, please consider attending the event.

I just returned from Canada where I spent the weekend enjoying the incredible Toronto Comics and Arts Festival. To everyone that stopped by our table, thank you. I had a great time. The amount of amazing comics on display was humbling and overwhelming. I brought home more comics than I've picked up at a convention in years. My thanks to Chris Butcher, the staff of the Beguiling, the helpful and patient TCAF volunteers, and most importantly a fascinating, polite, and friendly group of attendees.

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Date:2009-05-07 06:44
Subject:LA Weekly cover

LA Weekly May 8-14, 2009
Here is the final version of the LA Weekly cover mentioned in my previous post. What a fun job and a good working experience.

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Date:2009-05-05 09:40
Subject:TCAF this weekend, Carnegie Library next week

Penny panel
I'll be attending TCAF this weekend. If you're in the Toronto area, please stop by and say hello. I will have a some original art, prints, books, and minis to sell. I'm going to print out some pages from the graphic novel I'm currently illustrating if anyone wants to check those out and give me some feedback.

In the meantime, the above image is a panel from an upcoming comic I drew for Dark Horse Presents. Will post more info on that when the comic goes online. July maybe. Not positive.

If you're in the LA area this week, be sure and pick up LA Weekly (May 8-14 cover date), I did the cover art which I'll be posting in the next day or two. Here are the sketches I submitted to the editor:

LA Weekly roughs
Next week, on Thursday, May 14th at 7 PM, the talented and awesome Cecil Castellucci and I will be appearing at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for their "Behind the Books" series. Registration for the event is free. The talk is ostensibly aimed at teens, but it's open to everyone, and I don't imagine we'll say anything that would inappropriate for any age group. We'll be discussing our working process, themes in our work, taking questions, signing books, and generally having a wonderful evening of interaction with readers. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, please consider attending! Also, Cecil will be attending TCAF and she will be doing a panel or two as well as a reading (I think).

Finally, online journal, Pop-Damage, reviews the Street Angel short film.

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Date:2009-03-27 07:14
Subject:Race car manga and funny animal comics

Here are some pages from my sketchbook. I've developed an interest in funny animal comics and older animation drawing. So these sketches are based on a lot of sources including old Harvey comics and Preston Blair's How To book on animation drawing.

I have 2 questions for anyone reading:

1. What are some good funny animal comics? What's worth tracking down? What's available in easy to find and afford reprint volumes? Recommendations, please. Thanks.

2. I'm illustrating a new graphic novel, and the script at one point references race car manga. The writer and I were joking about this, but is there a sub-genre of race car manga out there? If so, what are some titles? I could only think of Speed Racer, which I've never read but watched the cartoon as a kid and LOVED the movie. Here's a link to see some cool race car comics, this is Rodd Racer by Toby Cypress. Beautiful comics I think. Another good one is Alex Toth's One for the Road - a collection of comic strips Toth did for Drag Cartoons, Big Daddy Roth, Hot Rod Cartoons, and CARtoons in the 60s.

Funny animal practice

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Date:2009-03-26 06:39
Subject:Pittsburgh City Paper illustration

I did an illustration for the cover of Pittsburgh's City Paper this week. It's about US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan's controversial tenure here in Western Pennsylvania.

But more interesting (to some people maybe), is a story about the Mandrake Project. I went to school with the band's guitarist, Kirk Salopek. Mandrake Project CD-release with Ishtar. 9 p.m. Fri., March 27. Rex Theatre, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheatre.com

City Paper cover rough
Pittsburgh City Paper 3/25/09

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Date:2009-03-25 07:18
Subject:A new graphic novel beginning

These are sketches and test panels for a new graphic novel that I am illustrating. I am in the early stages of drawing it, so no finished artwork for you yet. As the project rounds into shape, I'll post more information and artwork and whatever other goodies I come up with here.










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Date:2009-03-24 06:32
Subject:Monster story

Afrodisiac Monster story page 2

Afrodisiac Monster story page 3

Afrodisiac Monster story page 4

Afrodisiac Monster story page 5

This is a comic Brian Maruca and I started working on after I did the Cold Heat Special 4 with Frank Santoro. We had been kicking this story around for a while, and when I saw the Cold Heat Special's format, I thought it was perfect for a monster story. After these first 4 pages, I got busy with other work, and never had a chance to finish it. But that's okay because we found a new, better home for it, and now I'm in the process of drawing a new, better version of the story. I'll have more details as we finish it up and it gets closer to publication.

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