I am having a very hard time writing this...
Rusty Haller, the artist whose work donned the original header of this website and has appeared in numerous postings since the site's inception, died in his sleep last night at the young age of 45.
A good friend, I spoke of Rusty in my March 6, 2009, posting, and featured some of his wonderful art. Rusty was incredibly talented, with a sense of humor that could be silly, suggestive, or oftentimes both, but always funny. He was most proud of his anthropomorphic Man from U.N.C.L.E. meets Hart to Hart comic, Ace and Queenie, which ran in several issues of Furrlough and can be seen on its eponymous website.
The past year has been difficult for Rusty. He was living with his mother when she passed away in her sleep one day. Lack of work lead to his being evicted from his apartment. But it seemed as if his life were on an upswing. He was taken in by a friend in Ohio and had several solid prospects. Just earlier this week, I had referred him to my sister, who had since spoken to Rusty and hired him to design a logo for her.
I cannot help but get angry at Rusty's difficulty in finding work, a situation that filled him with constant worry and I'm sure led to his passing. He was so fucking talented!
I figured the best, most appropriate, way to honor him would with more of his work.
I'll miss him... and the world will miss his art... Goodbye, Rusty...
Rusty's wonderfully demented humor can be seen in this panel from sample pages he submitted to Marvel in the hope of getting work on his favorite title, Ren and Stimpy... Sadly, he never did.
Rusty's work appeared in many comic books, including Marvel Comics ALF and DC Comics Loony Tunes. The above example is part of a spread from Issue #14.
Rusty's work was by no means limited to comic books. He recently designed the art for a Teen Titans coloring book and this piece was featured on the cover of the November 2, 2005, issue of New Haven's free newspaper Play.