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|Born||February 1, 1977|
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Penciller, Inker|
Jim Rugg (born February 1, 1977) is an American cartoonist and illustrator from Pittsburgh known for his tongue-in-cheek evocation of 1970s-era comics and pop culture. His graphic novels and comics collections include Street Angel, Afrodisiac, The P.L.A.I.N. Janes and Janes in Love, One Model Nation, and The Guild.
Rugg's influences include Frank Miller, Erik Larsen, David Lapham, Jack Kirby, David Mazzuchelli, Mike Mignola, the Hernandez brothers, Robert Crumb, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, and Julie Doucet. Rugg is also inspired by television shows like The Office and Arrested Development, the films of Wes Anderson, Kobo Abe’s writing, Todd Hido’s photography, and Toba Khedoori's drawings and paintings. He has a BFA in graphic design and painting from a small liberal arts college.
While working as a graphic designer, Rugg met and began working with writer Brian Maruca. The result, Street Angel, was self-published as a mini-comic, where it eventually found its way to the publisher Slave Labor Graphics. The first five issues of Street Angel were collected as a trade paperback by SLG Publishing in 2005.
After the cancellation of a video game project and The P.L.A.I.N. Janes series in 2008, Rugg considered leaving the comics business. His fortunes began turning around in 2009, when he began working on Image Comics' One Model Nation and Dark Horse Comics' The Guild.
In 2010 Rugg (along with co-writer Maruca) released Afrodisiac, collecting stories previously published in anthologies along with new material. (The character first appeared in the pages of Street Angel). The book is a detailed pastiche of 1970s "trash" culture, especially the blaxploitation heroic archetype. The titular hero is an over-the-top '70s-era, kung fu-fighting pimp character depicted in adventures that cross multiple comics styles, from space aliens and flying saucers to dinosaurs to Richard Nixon to Hercules to giant monsters to Dracula. Afrodisiac's production design faithfully evokes the visual style of old comic books, down to faded color schemes and wrinkled, creased covers.
He currently teaches in the MFA Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts.
Rugg was nominated for a 2010 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Minicomic for Rambo 3.5. In 2011, Afrodisiac was nominated for an Eisner Award in the humor category, and in 2015, Rugg won the Eisner for best publication design for Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream.
He served on the Ignatz Award jury in 2006.
- Street Angel (SLG Publishing, 2005) ISBN 1-59362-012-8 — co-written with Brian Maruca
- The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (DC Comics/Minx, 2007) — written by Cecil Castellucci
- Janes in Love (DC/Minx, 2008) — written by Cecil Castellucci
- Afrodisiac (Adhouse Books, 2010) ISBN 1-935233-06-8 — co-written with Brian Maruca
- One Model Nation (Image Comics, 2010) — written by Courtney Taylor
- The Guild (3-issue limited series, Dark Horse Comics, 2010) — written by Felicia Day
- White, Adam. "The Jim Rugg Experience," ComicCritique.com (2005).
- Smith, Zack. "Soul comics: Jim Rugg discusses Afrodisiac," IndyWeek.com (Feb. 3, 2010).
- Jim Rugg at the Comic Book DB
- Manning, Shaun. "Rugg Raps About Afrodisiac," Comic Book Resource (October 27, 2009).