Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Comics Review: RUMPUS ROOM #1 Gets Straight to the Point


STORY: Mark Russell
ART: Ramon Rosanas
COLORS: Ive Svorcina
LETTERS: Andworld Design
COVER: Tony Harris
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Mike and Laura Allred; Mark Russell; Tony Harris
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2023)

Rated: “Mature”

Rumpus Room is a new five-issue miniseries from AWA Studios.  It is written by Mark Russell; drawn by Ramon Rosanas; colored by Ive Svorcina; and lettered by Andworld Design.  The series pits a group of prisoners against their jailer, a billionaire who needs their organs and fluids.

Rumpus Room #1 introduces Bob Schrunk.  He is a tech billionaire, collector of bad art, and sufferer of a terrible skin condition.  That condition can only be treated by a special face cream that comes from deep in the bowels of his Rumpus Room.  Enter Erica Hernandez.  She is looking for her missing sister, Olivia, who apparently worked for Schrunk's company – not that he'd care.  Erica is about to discover the awful truth.

THE LOWDOWN:  AWA Studios' marketing recently began providing me with PDF review copies of their comic book publications.  Rumpus Room #1 is the latest.

I was a huge fan of writer Mark Russell's 2015 reboot of DC Comics' decades old weird comic book series, Prez (1973-74).  Luckily, Rumpus Room is in the vein of the cleverly satirical Prez, only darker, as well as being uncomfortably plausible.  It has an accent that recalls the meanness of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), but elements of Rumpus Room seem more Clive Barker than Anthony Burgess.

I love the work of the late English comic book artist, Steve Dillon (1962-2016).  In Rumpus Room, artist Ramon Rosanas captures the concise layouts and simplicity of composition that Dillon used to create conflict, tension, and intensity with substance rather than with sound and fury.  I find Rosanas' storytelling mesmerizing, so much so that by the end of this series, Rosanas may have me back on that crack pipe.

Recently, I found another celebrity comics creator whining about the horrid state of the American comics industry.  Maybe, if more readers stopped dry-humping the dead horse that is the Marvel/DC Comics slab of the market and focused on what a publisher like AWA Studios is doing, they'd be happy comic book readers.  So, dear readers, let's enjoy the good stuff, like Rumpus Room #1.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Mark Russell's unique brand of comic books will want Rumpus Room.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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