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Not an Easy Post to Write...

Cartoonist Rusty Haller has passed away today, as reported by his roommate on his FurAffinity journal. Rusty suffered from diabetes for many years, though it was undiagnosed for some time. He was 45 years old. (I have not confirmed this death announcement with any outside sources yet.)

Rusty had a long and varied career in comics, starting in the mid-1980's, with work-for-hire on Deputy Dawg comics. He did a lot of contract work for Marvel on their licensed comics line in the early and mid 1990's, including titles like Alf, Danger Mouse, and Count Duckula. In the last few years, Rusty had been working on his creator owned series, Ace & Queenie, a charming funny animal send-up of Sixties spy films. The series ran in Furrlough on an irregular schedule, starting in issue #146. He also regularly contributed to Hit the Beach and did regular commission work for his fans.

I just talked to Rusty on the phone a few days ago, and we were full of plans to put Ace & Queenie up on the Radio Comix site with an eye towards a future collected print version. We also chatted about some other ideas he'd had kicking around for a few years- comics that could now come to light, with the advent of web publishing. I'm deeply saddened that all those great ideas will come to naught, and that Rusty's dreams can't be realized now.

Rusty was one of the nicest people we've had the pleasure of working with. He was always upbeat and positive, and he was a solid worker when it came to his pages. A consummate professional, he always welcomed honest criticism and constantly strove to improve his work.

He was a great guy, and I will miss him. His sometimes silly, sometimes serious stories always made me smile.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
He is missed. Such a wonderful guy. I loved his spy comics. They always made me smile. He always left such nice comments on my work and was always a joy to talk to online. ;__;
Oct. 1st, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
Man, I am shocked and so sorry to hear this! I've been following his work for a little while know since I learned of him, certainly his Ace & Queenie work. I knew he'd had some hard knocks of late, but I hadn't realized his own health was so poor! I only had a brief online contact with him, but he came across as upbeat and professional, then and throughout his postings. Loss of a talented gentleman to be certain.

Oct. 1st, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that. I know his work was important to Furrlough over the last three or four years. I only spoke to him once or twice online, but he seemed to have an excellent work ethic, and that I will always admire.
Oct. 1st, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear this! He was always so nice to me and worried about my living situation and everything. This is such a shock. =(
Oct. 1st, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
This was a beautiful tribute and reflection.
Oct. 1st, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
I know this might sound rude, but have you confirmed this outside of FA? (Just thinking about how many times Terrie Smith has been reported dead, or Baron for that matter)

If true - this totally sucks. His stuff was fun.
Oct. 1st, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
I've been trying to confirm it since I found out about it earlier. Though, there are a couple of corroborating stories from friends of the roommate and friends of Rusty...

Believe me, my first thought was "has to be a hoax". But why? The roomie has nothing to gain by that, and neither does Rusty.

(Yup, I remember the Dead Terrie rumors. Heck, once there was a rumor that I'd died in a plane crash AND of AIDS at the same time. Yeesh.)
Oct. 1st, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)

This is a very fatal year. :(
Oct. 1st, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Sad news indeed. I really enjoyed Ace and Queenie.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )