It’s no secret that we at FreakSugar are big fans of comic book writer Mark Russell, who has entertained readers with thought-provoking tales such as Not All Robots from AWA Studios and Second Coming from AHOY Comics. And now that line of work continues, as today, AWA Studios just announced Mr. Russell’s newest upcoming comic for the publisher. In Rumpus Room, debuting this September, Russell, along with co-creator Ramon Rosanas, tells the story of Bob Schrunk, a tech billionaire with a terrible skin condition, who will go to whatever lengths he can to hide his affliction from the world—including murder… and worse.
According to Russell:
Rumpus Room is a parable for how in American civilization, on some level, we’re set against each other by forces that are too powerful for us to reach. It parallels the underlying assumption of American life as well: ‘I can’t do anything about the real things that are destroying me, so I’ll take all my rage out against the people who cross me.’ Rumpus Room is about this misguided anger that we all have and how it weaponizes us against each other.
And that weaponization has high stakes. According to the press release, Schrunk kidnaps those who have run afoul of him and grinds up their bodies to create a cream to treat the aforementioned skin condition. However, Schrunk may have miscalculated when he captures his latest victim: a cop with a secret.
Needless to say, we’re all in. What will happen to the nefarious billionaire and his prey? We’ll find out when Rumpus Room debuts this fall on September 20th from AWA Studios.
Check out the full, official press release below, along with the stunning art included in today’s announcement:
Scares. Squirmy satire. Skin cream. From the keen mind of Mark Russell (NOT ALL ROBOTS, EXIT STAGE LEFT!: THE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES) comes RUMPUS ROOM, the upcoming satirical thriller series distributed by comics publisher, AWA. Created by Russell and artist Ramon Rosanas (ANT-MAN, STAR TREK), RUMPUS ROOM tells the story of Bob Schrunk; technocrat billionaire, collector of bad art, and victim of a hideous skin condition that can only be treated with a highly illicit and definitely not FDA-approved face cream that must be…harvested. The first issue of this original, 5-issue series will be available on Wednesday, September 20.
“RUMPUS ROOM is a parable for how in American civilization, on some level, we’re set against each other by forces that are too powerful for us to reach,” explains writer Mark Russell. “It parallels the underlying assumption of American life as well: ‘I can’t do anything about the real things that are destroying me, so I’ll take all my rage out against the people who cross me.’ RUMPUS ROOM is about this misguided anger that we all have and how it weaponizes us against each other.”
After winning the Eisner Award for “Best Humor Publication” in 2022 for his first AWA title, NOT ALL ROBOTS, Mark Russell returns to the comics publisher with his second original title. Expertly walking the tightrope between horror and humor, the Eisner, GLAAD, and Ringo Award-winning writer takes aim at the foundations of the American social structure and incisively dissects it alongside the feeling many share that things are going okay for you as long as you’re doing better than the people around you. As scary as these scenes may be, perhaps the scariest thing of all is how it turns the mirror back on the reader.
“Any project Mark Russell puts in front of me, I’m going to take a good look at it,” added Axel Alonso, Chief Creative Officer of AWA. “With RUMPUS ROOM, Mark once again displays his unique brand of black comedic social satire, perfectly complemented by Ramon Rosanas’ incredible storytelling. RUMPUS ROOM is a dark and demented thrill ride that holds up a funhouse mirror image of the world we live in – exactly the kind of very original storytelling we want to do at AWA. I’m proud he’s a continued member of the AWA family.”
In RUMPUS ROOM, a new-agey technocrat billionaire named Bob Schrunk keeps an assortment of people who’ve offended him in some way imprisoned in his subterranean “rumpus room.” Every week, his prisoners must vote out one cellmate to a horrible fate: their bodies ground up to make the not-over-the-counter facial cream that hides Bob’s morbid skin condition. Bob is in total control, but there’s just one thing he doesn’t know: his most recent “guest” is a cop, and she’s carrying a concealed gun.
AWA’s RUMPUS ROOM is created by writer Mark Russell and artist Ramon Rosanas. The series is colored by Ive Svorcina (THOR) and lettered by AndWorld Design (FORAGER), with covers by Tony Harris (IRON MAN, STAR MAN). Coming off the success of his crowdfunded book of cartoons, Bunkbed Mishaps, Russell has also illustrated hilarious child-like art variant covers for each issue. Issue #1 will be available Wednesday, September 20, both digitally and in stores wherever comic books are sold. For more information on RUMPUS ROOM and other content, visit AWA Studios on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and AWAStudios.net.