Ruinworld Rewards Both Rags And Riches
May 10, 2018
by Vince Brusio
Some choose to serve beer over counters, others risk life and limb to secure treasure that can buy a kingdom. Pogo and Rex are two young adventurers that would rather secure a plot of land than a full flagon of ale. That doesn’t mean they’re very good, though, and when their quest for riches involves a third and fourth wheel, things go sideways in Derek Laufman’s Ruinworld #1 (MAY181180) for BOOM! Studios. Walk with us, and try not to be a liability.
Vince Brusio: Ruinworld introduces us to Pogo and Rex, and the two don’t seem to be evenly matched if they’re to function as a dynamic duo. Pogo, for example, vomits at the sight of a skull. Rex hacks his way through gore like Conan the Barbarian. So how do these two manage to forge a partnership despite how they seem to be so mismatched when it comes to their intestinal fortitude?
Derek Laufman: Pogo and Rex are brought together by circumstance. Rex is a season veteran in the art of “Ruin Hunting” while Pogo was just a farm boy weeks before we’re introduced to them. It's more of a mentor and student relationship than a true partnership. Rex is reluctant to be stuck with Pogo but you’ll learn more about why they are adventuring together later in the story.
Vince Brusio: Barri, a scavenger, comes into the fold to act as the glue for Pogo and Rex’s adventures. His biggest problem seems to be the threat of someone ripping off his legs because he’s not exactly the most competent adventurer. What’s his story? Why does he choose this life?
Derek Laufman: Barri’s father was wrongfully imprisoned when Barri was only a young boy. Something we get a glimpse of in issue #3. This event would set Barri on a course of poor choices throughout his life. After losing his mother, Barri was left to fend for himself and took to the art of scavenging. RuinWorld’s class system has put the bugs near the bottom of the list so jobs are scarce for someone like Barri. Scavenging is a less dangerous but also less rewarding choice of work as most of the valuables lie in dangerous temples guarded by formidable creatures. Those items are usually sought by the more skilled “Ruin Hunters.”
Vince Brusio: Who are the other characters that are interested in Rygone’s treasure? These are the brutes that are all-too happy to pull off Barri’s legs. What’s their beef with him? Are they at the top of the food chain, or do they serve a master as well?
Derek Laufman: Throughout the Ruinlands, usually told to children as a bedtime story, is the legend of “Rygone the Pirate” and the horde of treasure he amassed and hid away hundreds of years ago. In a society where the economy is built around treasure this is something most know about in one way or another. In an attempt to increase the amount of items he can carry during his scavenging trips, Barri obtains a “Pack of Holding” on loan from a pawn shop owned by a pirate named Fargus. Fargus is a feared thug of Trader Town who only answers to his own thirst for wealth and power. As most of us know, buying big ticket items on credit can only lead to problems if you are not ready to pay the bill when the loaners come collecting. This is where Barri finds himself in regards to Fargus and his henchmen when we meet him in the first issue.
Vince Brusio: Before we’re even out of the second issue, we’re being introduced to even more characters like Kale. You have an extensive roster of talent to use in this story. It puts the title of “Ruinworld” more in focus. There is a “world” of critters seemingly running around, and everyone has a story to tell. How long has this project been in development?
Derek Laufman: RuinWorld has been in development since 2016 where I’ve worked on it in between freelance jobs as a passion project. After stepping away from game development, I had a need to create something entirely on my own and I had been wanting to get back into comics for quite some time. It all started with one page. That first page you see in the first issue with Pogo and Rex staring up at the keep. As cheesy as it sounds, that was me at that time, standing there, looking at this open ended adventure and it really excited me. All I had to do was just go inside and see what happened. From that day on I spent many late nights and weekends developing concept art for environments and character designs to populate it. Every character or place I create in this world I have this little nugget of a backstory for it in my head. It helps everything feel alive to me and my goal is to try and convey that same feeling to the reader. It’s a world with endless possibilities and stories to tell.
Vince Brusio: What was the inspiration for Ruinworld? Why do this book? What do you get out of it? What’s the immediate return, and what do you hope to see happen once the final curtain falls?
Derek Laufman: It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing that inspired RuinWorld. I grew up watching movies like Star Wars, The Secret of Nihm and the Dark Crystal. Ducktales, He-Man and Thundercats were some of one of my favorite cartoons as a child. I love all of the Legend of Zelda games and The World of Warcraft took a big chunk of my life at one time. All of these things swirl around in your head and make up this “soup” for lack of a better term that feeds into the inspiration. RuinWorld gives me the opportunity to push and challenge my imagination. It’s scary and at times daunting, but when you can get over those hurdles and be proud of what you’ve created, it’s an amazing feeling. My goal is to not just create a story that people enjoy but to hopefully become part of someone else’s “inspirational soup” that helps to send them on a path to create their own art one day. When this story arc is over, I hope readers walk away wanting to see more of RuinWorld. I have a lot of cool ideas kicking around in my head. I hope people come away wanting to read more of those stories in the future.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.