Jim Rugg Of Hulk Grand Design Monster is going to be at Gutter Pop Comics on April 16, 2022. This is your chance to meet a legendary artist.

by Welcome 716

Jim Rugg is coming to Buffalo on April 16, 2022

The Man

What are you doing on April 16? Coloring the last few Easter Eggs to get in the Easter mood? Mentally preparing for all the Easter brunch you’re anxiously waiting to consume? Well, that’s all well and good, and those are great ways to spend past days that happened to fall on April 16th, but this Saturday isn’t like the others. No, this Saturday, Jim Rugg, hot off his masterclass retelling of the first half of The Hulk’s history, is going to be doing a signing at none other than Gutter Pop Comics, so you know it’s going to be a smashing time (I’m sorry, but I had to do it).

The Myth

For those not familiar with Mr. Rugg’s work, it’s honestly rather difficult to describe due to the fact that the man is nothing less than a bonafide chameleon when it comes to the comic art form. He can do it all! Take, for example, Hulk Grand Design Monster (which he not only drew but wrote himself an incredible feat when trying to streamline 40+ years of continuity for Marvel not so jolly green giant). Rugg effortlessly switches styles depending on the era and what’s happening in The Hulk’s history at the time. From Hulk’s early appearance that Rugg interprets as a romance comic a la John Romita Senior or a bit deeper in the book where Rugg captures the explosiveness of many of Hulk’s battles with a level of dynamism a la Jack Kirby. There’s even a point in the book where he seamlessly incorporates The Hulk animated tv show from the 70s. Even though I framed Mr. Rugg as an all-encompassing chameleon of the comic book art form, I’d be amiss if I didn’t recognize that Rugg does indeed have his own style. It’s cartoony (which makes sense. He is a cartoonist.) with very detailed and expressive characters and expressions. His true skill, however, lies in his ability to incorporate that style into whatever framework he wants. Take, for example, the fact that in Hulk Grand Design Monster, despite all the style change-ups, he still focuses on the aspect of The Hulk’s history, not being a romance but a tragedy.

The Legend

At its core, The Hulk may be the most doomed character Lee and Kirby ever created. And Rugg never loses sight of that. Granted, the history presented here is far from a happy story, but that sense of drama/tragedy is always present whenever The Hulk/banner are shown. You can see that sense of isolation and anger in every panel, and that’s what makes Mr. Rugg special.

However, Jim Rugg isn’t just known for The Hulk, far from it. For the last decade or so, he and frequent collaborator Brian Maruca have been making some wonderfully absurd send-offs of the comics medium. like they’re strange ode to the 70s with the gorgeous looking and insanely irreverent Aphrodisiac. They even made the idea of a homeless preteen girl fighting ninjas work with their comic Street Angel (I don’t know how they did it, but they did, and if that doesn’t say talented, then I don’t know what does), so if you’re a Hulk fan, a Jim Rugg fan, a regular old comic book fan that likes to see different examples of craft done at a high level in the medium we all love so much, or your just looking for another reason to get over to Gutter Pop Comics (like you need a reason, but this certainly is a good one), head on over on the 16th! Painting eggs and mentally preparing to gorge yourself on delicious food is good and all, but trust me, this is going to be better!