Russell “Rusty” Haller was an American cartoonist and illustrator who had been working professionally since 1987. Rusty passed away in his sleep in September 2009 and was discovered by his roommate.
Spanning his career, he worked for several major comics publishers including Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics, Disney Publishing, and Archie Comics. He was also the creator, writer, and illustrator of the anthropomorphic romantic espionage and adventure series, Ace and Queenie. Rusty was an associate artist with the independent comics publishing company Atlas Unleashed! www.atlasunleashed.com. As a comic book Artist, one of Mr. Haller’s particular specialties is anthropomorphic characters — sometimes known also as “Furry” art. He often confessed a love of creating characters with both animal and human physical characteristics who speak, think, and behave as human beings.
Self-taught, Rusty’s first published work was back in 1987 for a small Connecticut-based publisher, Spotlight Comics on a Deputy Dog story for Mighty Mouse Holiday Special #1. He contributed to a Terry Tunes comic (in an assignment he landed though Jim Main at Main Enterprises). Soon after that Rusty landed work at Marvel Entertainment’s line all-ages comics, Star Comics penciling such titles as Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, Heathcliff, and Alf. Additionally, Rusty produced a number of illustrations for Marvel Age, working for editor Jim Salicrup.
During this time he also acquired work at DC, where he worked on Tiny Toon Adventures, Looney Tunes, and Animaniacs. Additionally, he worked on the Flintstones comics and various Harvey titles for comics publisher Archie Comics. His artwork was published by numerous independent and small press publishers including Radio Comix, and the Comicboook Artists Guild. In 2005, Rusty created Ace and Queenie, which first appeared in print as a feature in the monthly anthology comic Furrlough. Ace And Queenie appeared in 13 issues of Furrlough from 2005 until the magazine ended its run in 2009. In the four years that Rusty had been producing Ace and Queenie for Furlough Comics he had generated over 150 pages of printed art.
Rusty worked on Nat Gertler’s Licensable Bear™ comic, with a number of the strips he produced appearing in The Licensable Bear™ Big Book of Fun! trade paperback. Until his passing, Rusty had continued a long tradition of his by posting his latest art at DeviantArt and also at FurAffinity.
In addition to his comicbook work, Rusty worked as a freelance illustrator in the fields of book illustration, advertising, magazines, and newspapers (including The New Haven Register and Play).
He illustrated an observational book about the Netherlands, its culture and its inhabitants entitled
The UnDutchables by Colin White & Laurie Boucke which was published by White-Boucke Publishing, Inc.
Rusty continued Ace and Queenie until his sudden passing leaving his online strip for us to remember him by, which can be found on the official Ace and Queenie website: http://aceandqueenie.com. Beyond just creating new stories of Ace and Queenie, Rusty’s goal was to collect and republish Ace and Queenie as a graphic novel, and to continue the stories as a series of all-original graphic novels. Rusty is an honorary member of the Comicbook Artists Guild (CAG), a networking organization of independent comics creators, and was a regular guest at the annual multi-genre convention ConnectiCon: www.connecticon.org.
Date of Birth: August 12th, 1964
Birthplace: New Haven, CT
Date of death: September 29th, 2009