Saturday, March 7, 2020

Rusty and Company by Mike R.

Some Dungeons and Dragons campaigns are super serious. They are over the top intense with lots of political intrigue and massive consequences for each mis-step of the Player Characters. There may be a damsel fair that needs saving, or an imminent invasion coming from just over the horizon. There will almost certainly be a need for gallantry and derring-do. Life and death will hang in the balance with every die roll and you'll have an extra character rolled-up and stashed in your Player's Handbook just in case the worst happens. I've played in those campaigns. They're a hoot.

You know what else I like though?

Campaigns full of hi-jinx and hilarity. Campaigns where zaniness is a daily occurrence. Campaigns where nothing is as it seems because it's all funnier. Campaigns like the one depicted in Rusty and Company by Mike R.   (By the way, does anybody know what the R stands for?) I mean seriously, what could be funnier than a campaign where the PCs are a Rust Monster, a Mimic and a Gelatinous Cube.

No, really. I'm asking because I don't know either.  Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks for all the help guys. *smirk*

Seriously, Mimic is my favorite. He's the one who usually speaks for the party, since Cube doesn't have a mouth and Rusty really only thinks about eating metal. I mean, that's what rust monsters do, soooo....


It makes sense right?

Listen, I'll be the first to admit that Rusty and Co. is not really for the guy who thinks that the Battle of Helm's Deep was a relaxing waltz through easy-land. If you're the kind that demands grimdark, well there are definitely things out there for those tastes. If, on the other hand, you're the kind of person (like Mr. Jimbo my own-self) who likes to watch the gag reel, or the guy who refuses to take himself too seriously, then you NEED to start reading Rusty and Company.

The art for this comic is freaking gorgeous. I loved it from the second I discovered it. It's lush, well detailed and rendered in amazingly bright colors. I can't get over how well this thing looks. It's weird. I grew up in the days when comics were either purchased from your Local Comic Shop (whom I loves and respects) or printed in your local newspaper (which actually do still exist even if they've become way more expensive than they used to be.) In short, they were always in hardcopy. The weird thing is, even if it was a Steranko, no comic in 1985 ever looked this good. And yes, I know that the reason for that is technology but for an old fart like me, it's easy to appreciate something this gorgeous.

I love the way Rusty and Co. is organized. If you've ever played Dungeons and Dragons, or really any tabletop role-playing game, then you get how it works. The heroes go off on an adventure. Whilst (I got to use whilst in a sentence. Five points for Jimbo!) doing so, they encounter many different things, some good, some bad, some ugly. They overcome the obstacles (probably) achieve their goals (hopefully) and return none the worse for wear (who am I kidding?) to find that all is good in their favorite hang out (or possibly that the town has been razed by marauding orcs) and toss back a few good beers in the presence of their companions (unless of course, the orcs got the inn when they sacked the town or they're a bunch of broke level ones who are happy to be able to afford cheap swill.)

Mike R. sets his web-comic up pretty much the same way. He calls them “levels” just like when you level in your favorite RPG, but each level is an adventure onto itself. As they make their way through challenges using methods not always available to the common adventuring group (I mean, can your rogue rust a lock and then eat it?) we're entertained and often surprised. Mike R. likes to think outside the box and it shows in his writing. Then again, I suppose my first clue should have been when his comic featured the cast that it did.

Between levels/adventures we're treated to Critical Missives, an interview/letter answering interlude. The art is not as gorgeous (it's black and white for one thing) but I'm pretty sure he does it for a break and there's nothing better than Mimic answering questions. If he was any funnier, he'd be the Rock. I love reading Critical Missives if for no other reason than because it's a good way to chuckle and get my Rusty fix while Mike works out his next level.

My only real gripe about Rusty and Co. is that it's only a once a week web-comic I mean, I get the fact that I get to read it for free and that Mike R. probably has other things going on in his life and that I should probably stop complaining...

I saw you all nod when I said “stop complaining.” You're not ALWAYS supposed to agree with me, only when I want you to. I mean honestly, please catch up.

...But honestly, it's a long time between Wednesdays. I mean, I suppose he needs his time to make the comic as well as he can and he's doing an amazeballs job, but I'm a whiny fan (you weren't supposed to agree with me here, either. *SIGH*) and I'm going to cry uselessly until my nose gets plugged and my head hurts just because I can. I mean, it's my blog, right?

Of course, I see you all thinking out there. You're wondering if, over the course of roughly two hundred comics, whether the group expands to include more than just the three characters that I've named and who they might be.

*Looks over right shoulder*

*Looks over left shoulder*

Lean close and I'll whisper then answer in your ear.

*waits until you lean in close*


Haven't you people learned that I don't do spoilers? Sheesh!

Bottom Line: 4.75 out of 5 Lost N00bs

The first Rusty and Co comic (and you really should start at the beginning) can be found at this link.

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