Rumble: A Lackluster Hero and an Angry Scarecrow Team Up for Revenge
John Arcudi, best know for his work on B.P.R.D. and the second run of The Mask that formed the basis of the Jim Carrey film of the same name, is back with a brand new series from Image, Rumble, that is part horror, part comedy, and all exciting.
Teamed with James Harren and the legendary Dave Stewart, it’s an exploration of mythology and hero myths in a down-and-dirty way.
The central protagonist is Bobby, a young bartender. Bobby is your typical no-account hero. He’s a little cowardly, not all that bright, and he’s really got no prospects in life aside from maybe joining the army in the hopes of impressing a girl.
Nothing to write home to mom about—until a scarecrow wielding an impossibly large sword falls into his life, the murder of a local man on his mind.
Arcudi is a man interested in mythologies, and boy with a magic sword is certainly one of the oldest tales. That said, he’s keen to try and explore what is truly the similarities in all the world’s epic tales.
“I will say that all mythologies are factored into Rumble,” says Arcudi. “The question I asked myself was, ‘What if all mythologies are true, but the differences we see in each pantheon turned out to be just the way separate cultures interpreted them?’ So what you’ll see in Rumble is a sort of mish-mash, and some totally made-up stuff that could fit into that hybrid universe.”
One of the things that makes Rumble stand out from the rest of the comics is that it deftly mixes the grotesque with the comical (something to be expected of a Mask veteran, of course). There are severed limbs and truly gut-turning demon designs, but there’s also the slovenly way that the majority of the characters are drawn. Exposed beer bellies, ridiculous Duck Dynasty beards and other aspects lighten the gritty, red tone of the book, making it both more relatable and offering a safety valve—of laughter.
“Life can be pretty scary and funny at the same time,” says Arcudi. “It never made sense to me that genres had to be all one thing, so when James and I talked about the book, we decided we wanted Rumble to reflect that. What might be horrible in the morning can be funny by noon. We didn’t want to lose that tension in our book.”
Like a lot of the great books coming out of Image these days, Rumble is a creator-controlled property. And Arcudi and Harren plan on keeping Rumble going on for a good long while. More of their own personal mythological commentary is set to make an appearance in the upcoming third issue, and while they have a definite conclusion in mind, they are more or less open to how they plan on getting there.
“Image is absolutely the best place to try something different!” says Arcudi. “I would be very much surprised if any creator working with them would tell you differently. Image just wants good stories done well. That’s it! No weird constraints. And the whole process is transparent. We’ve learned so much in the few months working them. Really, I think I speak for James when I say we couldn’t be happier.”