Some are going to say this post is off topic. I am going to strongly disagree. This post is about the comic strip artist Ron Ruelle. Full disclosure requires me to tell you that I have known Ron since we were in 3rd grade together. However, any potential conflict of interest is assuaged by the fact that I think he is an arrogant S.O.B. (just kidding*)
So, why is a post about a comic strip artist, whose characters have included various animals and angst ridden guys, not off topic for a music blog? Well there a number of reasons… for one, the aforementioned artist is one of the significant influences on my musical life. In high school, he wrote record reviews for our school’s award winning (no kidding) newspaper. It was through his reviews that I was first introduced to X and other cool bands.
During college, we stayed in touch and traded notes on the latest discoveries in the world of music. In those days (oh so many years ago) one had to work hard to find out about obscure bands. (i.e. no internet facebooky stuff).
After college, Ron and I eventually both ended up in Nashville and we could frequently be found in front of the stage at cool shows…
As for his comics… You can find information about and BUY the books he’s published here:
So yeah and rock and roll – he named a cockroach character in his college strip after the lead singer of the Germs. His syndicated strip At the Zu (umlauts intended) featured a slacker lion with a Kurt Cobain hair-do.
Ron’s college strip – Stoner’s Aquarium was ground-breaking and pretty darn funny. While in college, he began doing a recurring strip for the Knoxville News Sentinel’s college insert called Stoopid Zu (there should be umlauts here as well, but I’m too lazy to figure out how to add them.). Stoner’s Aquarium is available on his site.
During 1991 and 1992, when Ron and I were not perusing the aisle’s of local record stores. He was cranking out some incredible ideas. In 1995 he began writing a daily strip called At the Zu (he hated the name just like Charles Schultz hated the name Peanuts). That strip ran from 1995-1998. He then continued on his own site as Darwin & Company. You can grab the collected At the Zu and Darwin & Company strips at his site or here:
A later strip – Food, Shelter, Cable written under the name Rex Silo (so now you know) was more adult-oriented. The main character of that strip has kind of a Burris Weems/Holden Caulfield quality – I think.
Most recently, Ron has been participating in the annual Denver 24 Hour Comics Challenge. You can purchase years 2 through 4 of 24 Hour Comics here:
This fall Ron published a compilation of his contributions to the comics challenge which you can get here:
So, do yourself a favor – check him out. It’s only rock and roll, but I like it.
*****so not… wait what was I saying?….