Webcomic / Rusty and Co.

Rusty, Mimic, Cube

"Okay, forget the lockpicks... Does anyone have HANDS?"

Rusty and Co. is a comedic fantasy RPG-Mechanics Verse webcomic by Mike R., based on Dungeons & Dragons, about a literally monstrous trio of adventurers. With the charismatic Mimic, absurdly cute rust monster Rusty, and the silent yet deadly Gelatinous Cube, the three set out in search of fame, fortune, and experience levels — and every adventure, they ally themselves with an Action Girl for at least part of the level. Difficulties that would be obstacles to more conventional adventurers of course pose no problem for these three, whereas other more usually simple endeavors create challenge. Hilarity Ensues with a side of Lampshade Hanging.

Can be found on its own website. Has a Character Sheet.

Rusty and Co. provides examples of:

  • 419 Scam: Calamitus falls for one hook, line, and sinker in a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot strip.
  • Accidental Pervert: While Mimic was transformed into a stool, Roxanne unwittingly sits on him. Although his "let me explain" spiel implies he was transformed into a stool so that stuff like that could happen, just that he didn't expect Roxy to sit on him.
  • Action Girl: It seems that each level has at least one, including the Princess, Madeline Goodlaw, Roxanne Casbaugh, Prestige Perkins and Stabs Doogans.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Level 5 has a good one (riffing on V for Vendetta).
    Prestige: Prestige Perkins, practiced practitioner of practical prestidigitation, at your service.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Rusty, opening level 7.
  • Alt Text: From level 1:18 on.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The dwarf's quest is to recover one of these.
  • And Then What?: During the Critical Missives between Level 6 and 7, Calamitus asks Ezra what would she have done has she and her brother succeeded in destroying reality by summoning that obscure eldritch god. She plans on doing it again.
    Calamitus: Won't you eventually run out of mind-destroying horrors that few have ever heard of?
    Ezra: Not as long as there's an Internet!
  • Animesque: More and more along with the Art Evolution.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Besides common skin-tones for humans and close-to-human races (dwarves tend to be darker and elves paler), many other coloration are possibles for other races (derros are blue, Y.T. the lamia and the siren are green, Schmetts the fairy is light purple...) or even for technically human characters, from various magic effects (like Malevolus who is purple-skinned, or Dorilys who's green).
  • Art Evolution: After the first chapter (or level, as it's called), the artwork becomes more streamlined. This gets lampshaded in a bonus strip, with a Shout-Out to The Order of the Stick.
  • Art Shift: Pulled off due to the Belt of Genre Changing.
  • Aside Comment: Roxy, while looking straight at the audience:
    Roxy: Something tells me Presti's not going to thank me for this rescue.
  • Aside Glance:
    • Prestige, after seeing the capabilities of Stabs.
      Prestige: I was just chased by brain-eating monster mobsters, and that was still the scariest thing I've seen all day.
    • Mimic manages the exploit of doing an obvious one while lacking eyes:
      Madeline: Have you seen any monsters acting weird?
      [beat panel]
      Mimic: Yer gonna have t'be more specific than that.
  • Ass Shove: A Funny Background Event in #4.8. Mimic disguises himself as one of the Pixie Chicks' speakers. Roxy plugs her guitar into him.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This is what results from Rusty getting hold of the Belt of Genre Changing.
    Rusty: EAT TOKYO?
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Cleave-Hand. This also doubles as Hook Hand.
    • Handsome D'an the illithid, who's carrying a huge axe with him.
  • Badass Boast: Of the villainous variety:
    Calamitus: Do you think mundane matter could best my formidable necromantic powers? I have transcended the limits of mere flesh and blood...and I will shatter your bodies and dance upon your entrails!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The illithid mobsters.
  • Bait and Switch: At first, it looks like the Royal Guards are out to get Mimic for revealing the secret behind Madeline getting her wings as a paladin. Turns out it's just to arrest Robespierre for roughly manhandling Calamitus three panels ago.
  • Bar Brawl: Madeline ends up starting one in her first appearance.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Princess' first outfit, and the Pixie Chicks'.
  • Baseball Episode: Level 8 is titled "Wait... is he seriously doing a baseball episode?" Sure enough, Robespierre, Mimic, Stabs and her brothers are getting roped into such a game in the arena, to the horror of the Halflings (who were expecting good old Gladiator Games instead). However, it appears to be gnomish baseball... which, at a glance, is baseball mixed with lots of gratuitous violence.
  • Beat Panel: Plenty.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Inverted. All the female coprotagonists eventually happen to end up bloody, some from serious injuries.
  • Beggar with a Signboard: In the beginning of Level 8, we see a down-on-his-luck Calamitus lying in a dark alley with a signboard reading "Will perform EVIL 4 gold!"
    Alt Text: The court got Calamitus for practicing Necromancy without a license... took everything, even his material components.
  • Be Yourself: Mimic's advice to Dirk. Stabs comments on the irony of a mimic advising it.
  • Big Eater:
    • Rusty's solution to just about everything is "Eat <metal thing relevant to problem>?"
    • Cube can eat a horse wholesale.
  • Bland-Name Product: Who doesn't want a can of Cloaker-Cola and some Gummi Behirs while listening to music on their Eye-pad and checking Feysbook using Druid?
  • Blinding Bangs: The Pixie Chicks. Used to great effect to hide the fact that one of them is really Roxanne.
  • Blob Monster:
    • Gelatinous Cube
    • the Gibbering Mouther
  • Blood Sport: gnomish baseball
  • Brain Bleach:
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Plaidbeard: ...razzafrazzin' heroes...
    ...razzafrazzin' mimics...
    ...razzafrazzin' mimic heroes...
  • Brick Joke:
    • The dwarf from level 1, who gives the first quest, is killed by Gelatinous Cube, gets better, and is killed again by Cube is seen at the very end of level 4, in the aftermath of the Big Bad battle. It's never explained how he got better a second time...
    • Madeline purchased a "magic" hoe from a gnome. On Level 5, that guy tries to sell more cutlery.
    • Madeline finds a hay fork and thinks that it's a Trident of Warning. 10 months later she turns out to be right — it detects piranhas.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In the cave with Stabs.
  • Calvin Ball: The rules to Gnomish Baseball are unclear at best. It seems to be principally baseball with elements of soccer. Oh, and it's deadly enough that clerics with resurrection spells are kept on hand.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Plaidbeard, the dwarven pirate.
  • Characterization Marches On: Mimic started out with a Noo Yawk accent that got dropped after a while.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Or Chekhov's Badger Launcher in that case; introduced along with Presti in the beginning of Level 5. At the end of it, she uses it to kill V'innie.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The barbarian ("Robespierre SMASH!") reappears. So far, twice.
  • Cliffhanger: Level 6.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Ezra can regenerate wounds, but not her clothes, which get more and more busted as the fight goes on.
      Ezra: That dress was vintage.
    • Similarly, Madeline's armor and gloves are badly damaged by the end of Level 6.
  • Con Man: Or con gnome, to be precise. This is how Madeline got her hoe, which she originally thought was magic.
  • Conspicuous CG: The elder god in Level 6. As is usually the case in webcomics, intentionally used to make it looks more otherworldly.
  • Convenient Questing: Mimic explains to Madeline that you follow the closest lead.
  • Cool Horse: Parodied.
  • Cranium Chase: Ezra is decapitated three times by Madeline, each time putting back her head on her shoulders (though after a Staircase Tumble for the third). Then again by Cube, who counters her regeneration by putting it backwards.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Grinner in Levels 6 and 7. Very little seems to get past him.
  • Curse Cut Short: By a well-placed Written Sound Effect.
    Handsome D'an: I don't care! Shoot them up their <DING>
  • Cute Monster Girl: Y.T. the lamia.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of Level 6. The Grinner has just completely defeated the group, leaving Madeline near death, Rusty desperately running away with her, and Mimic and Cube captured.
  • Fetch Quest: Dorilys with paperwork for the games.
  • Finger Poke of Doom:
    • Subverted (in a literal sense) with a magic spell.
      Calamitus: Well, that's the good thing about magic. [...] It's handy.
    • And again by Prestige. It's not the finger that's deadly, it's the Melf's Acid Arrow being emitted by it.
  • Flat "What.": Typically in the form of "...really."
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • Used against the vampires, both to break a dominate and to get around regeneration powers.
    • Roxy against Dinkum — gives him a check that will clear in a few days IF she survives, to ensure he wants her to.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Critical Missives in-between chapters.
  • A Friend in Need: Madeline goes looking for a rope to help Rusty.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In Level 2, the Land Pirate ship can be seen launching a literal plot-hook at Mimic. The Alt Text lampshades this.
    • While Princess talks privately to Cube in Level 4, an elf is in the background trying to plug her guitar into an amp. Hilarity Ensues. Even more Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize this was Roxy, meaning she's accidentally gotten Mimic back for the stump trick.
    • In Level 7, as Madeline and Roxanne converses, Stabs is swarmed by multicolored fey butterflies. In a later panel, Stabs is singed and smoking from the spell Prestige used to get rid of the swarm, and the wizard is smiling sheepishly.
  • Genre Roulette: With an item called the Belt of Genre Changing... you can guess what happens.
  • Genre Savvy: It's a RPG-verse. They're savvy. Not only can they read the rules, Mimic explains Convenient Questing to Madeline.
  • Giant Squid: There's a kraken in the moat of the two vampire hipsters. And he wears puppets on his tentacles.
  • Golem: Calamitus's giant metal golem.
    Rusty: Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue Eat statue???
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Played for Laughs...
  • Head Turned Backwards: After demonstrating that having Ezra's head lopped off isn't going to stop her, Cube counters this by letting it fall backwards on her neck, and her regeneration power immediately glues it in position, putting a serious damper on her combat capability. Until her brother turn said head the right way, in a move that would be a Neck Snap if they weren't undead.
    Koenig: Keep your head straight, dear sister.
    Ezra: I'm never drinking from a twist-off bottle again.
  • High-Class Glass: Card Shark the Derro sports one.
  • Hulk Speak: Krog; Robespierre
  • Hurricane of Puns: At the beginning of Level 7:
    Stabs: If we go through the Ed Wood, there's a 60% chance of zombies.
    Detour through the Elijah Wood? 70% chance of orcs.
    The Frankie Valley? 90% chance of grease.
    Don't even ask about the River Phoenix.
    Alt Text: The Natalie Wood is very pleasant, but it was in the wrong direction.
  • Heroic Second Wind: The Grinner mocks this concept after kicking away Mimic after the gnoll had just killed Madeline. He then makes to stab him, but ends up accidentally cutting the rope holding Cube prisoner afetr Mimic turned into a chair to dodge impalement.
  • Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: Offered as advice in the Critical Missives.
  • Idea Bulb: A light bulb with Mimic's lips on it is used to illustrate the troll captain coming to the understanding that the ball he's holding, and that require alcohol to dissolve the mimic glue on it, might be the mimic in their opposing sport team. Yes, trolls are slow on the uptake.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "Level" chapters.
  • Impaled Palm:
    • Stabs to a Derro.
      Card Shark: Ma'am, I believe pinning your opponent through the sleeve is more traditional.
      Stabs: Do you have any idea what kind of day I'm having!?
    • Madeline stabs a girallon through the palm with her pitchfork to perform a throw.
    • Cube stabs Grinner with Maddie's borrowed pitchfork through the palm just as the gnoll is trying to gloat.
    • And just afterward, Stabs throw a knife through Grinner's hand... just as he's holding a lit stick of dynamite. That really ruins his day.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Mimic accidentally does this to Gelatinous Cube when he sees another cube.
    Rusty: Awkwaaaaard.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: A troll barges into the hospital to settle scores with a patient.
  • Kirby Dots: Trails of interlocked dots accompany the creation of Anti-Madeline. Also seen around the amplifier when about to tear up reality.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The wight in the forest claims he used to be one.
  • Knights and Knaves:
    • Done with two talking doors. Mimic's solution? Become a third door.
    • Parodied again later (in level 5), with two even more obnoxious doors. Rusty's solution is deliciously straightforward, and hinges on his ability to eat metal.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Just as they have Roxanne and Rusty cornered, when the Princess enters the fray, the derro, upon checking their dossier, walk away. (The Princess was marked "Do Not Engage", "Extremely Dangerous" and "Run.") Slobber doesn't though, [[spoiler:and it turns out Roxanne was impersonating the Princess after running off while asking Rusty to keep the big pug busy.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Malevolus is about to have a "You shall not pass" moment, then he looks at the adversaries and does the math.
    Malevolus: ... And if you want to reach the Inner Sanctum, you'll need to go...
    ... through... [looks at Rusty, then Cube, then thinks about what happens when the both of them go through him]
    ... that tunnel there, then hang a right, then the next right, then straight on to the big doors.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Much of level 7 is around lava like this. D&D rules take the blame.
  • Literal Metaphor:
  • Luminescent Blush:
    • Happens to Gelatinous Cube of all people.
      Madeline: Wasn't he green a moment ago?
      Mimic: Okay, seriously, ya gotta stop stickin' your hand in strangers.
    • Also to Madeline herself, every time she mentions Derek the Cleric. When she's actually facing him, the blush spread to her whole face.
    • Rusty gets one after he eats Roxanne's underwire.
  • The Mafia: Complete with illithid (mind flayer) members.
  • Matter of Life and Death: Clerics can only use healing power for this during gnomish baseball, because otherwise they'd run out.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Well, Gnoll-mashing. Cube of all beings does it to Grinner, with the help of Madeline's pitchfork impaled through the gnoll's hand. Rusty, Roxy and Presti are tremendously enjoying the show.
  • Modesty Shorts: Madeline is sensibly wearing (anachronistic) biker shorts under her leather skirt in her first appearance. (In the second, she's wearing winter clothes, making the matter moot.)
  • Monster Adventurers: The whole starting concept of the webcomic.
  • Musical Theme Naming: The Derro minions are named Steak Knife, Card Shark, Con Job, and Boot Cut, which is a Red Hot Chili Peppers reference (specifically the song "By the Way").
  • The Need for Mead: Ye Olde Proverbial Hook is a repeating location.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Despite falling in lava, Madeline manages to swipe Mimic from Grinner's hands, who was holding him hostage, from behind him before engaging the gnoll in battle. A shit-ton of dynamite do her in, though.
  • The Nose Knows:
    • When the Princess defends her smoking, Mimic points out that monsters hunt through smell.
    • Stabs can recognize that Prestige is a cop by smell alone.
    • The guards to the Inner Sanctum of the Tentacallis Dungeon are grimlocks, who are blind and hunt through smell.
    • And Madeline can smell Character Alignmentinvoked.
  • Oblivious to Love: Derek the Cleric doesn't seem to realize the meaning of Madeline's Luminescent Blush when she's facing him, mistaking it for a medical condition.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel:
  • Offscreen Crash:
    Mimic: Boris Vallejo ain't gonna paint that.
    Roxanne: Exit Grinner, stage right... er... and stage left.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Presti accidentally bursts into Don Polpo's dining room.
    • Presti again, when she sees the Magic Missile built by the Tentacallis.
  • Oh My Gods!: Literally used by Prestige Perkins after Mimic and Cube save her.
  • Only One Name: Averted for Madeline, as Zar's psychic ability in strip 7-16 addresses each character by their last name (if not previously revealed). The paladin's name is Madeline Goodlaw. (Rusty hasn't a last name, so Zar tries to formalize it to "Mr. Russell".)
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Zar tells Madeline that the pitchfork is this. In reality, its magical powers apparently derive from Madeline's belief in them.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Subverted.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Roxy's a subversion, but when more elves appear, they scorn her for it.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: They're quite friendly to their fellow monsters.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The Princess uses this. She really should take off her hat first.
    • Used again by Prestige. It's her ability to fake an illithid's smell that helps pull this off.
  • Pie in the Face:
    • From a bugbear channeling Fozzie Bear in Level 6.
    • Later, in Level 7, Mimic gets a "right-side-up cake" in the... box from Madeline fumbling.
  • Pirates: Plaidbeard and his crew. Played as a comical type 1.
  • Point That Somewhere Else: Plaidbeard to Madeline's hoe.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: After the vampires in level 6, a new enemy attack.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Prestige saying "Buon Appetito." to V'innie just before making him eat a badger at point blank.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: Madeline's quest hooks, courtesy of Derek the Cleric.
    Mimic: Am I on Dr. Seuss's Candid Camera?
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Zar's advice naturally comes in handy later on during the party's mission to rescue Cube and Mimic.
    Zar: Miss Casbaugh: A word in the right ear does wonders. Miss Goodlaw: We learn little from victory, but much from defeat. Mister... Russell [Rusty]: Don't get lead by the nose. Miss Perkins: Go for the jugular. Miss Doogan: Remember your magic words.
    Perkins: Um, I think you mixed—
    Zar: No, I didn't.
    • Later on, Presti does go for the jugular (actually "juggler") when she and Stabs get cornered.
    • Stabs uses her magic words, which is "bribe" for halflings like her, on one of Burnum's goons) and gets Cube's location.
    • Roxanne, after getting stabbed by Grinner, whispers a word, in which her enemy leans over to catch what she was trying to say]]. And then she shouts a word (GOODBYE) into his right ear, greatly disorienting him with the Shout spell she learned from Presti earlier in the Level as a result to buy some time to get Presti free.
    • Rusty was not to get lead by the nose of Burnum's cannon. Rather, he gets the (lead) cannonball from its back, thus saving Roxanne from getting blasted while squaring off against Slobber and the cotton candy elemental holding Prestige inside it.
    • Madeline... does land in a situation where da feet reveal something. Whether that's all of the prophecy remains to be seen.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The vampires do this, though you can mix it up for them.
  • Pun:
    • Rampant in both the Alt Text and the comic itself. Naturally, this filters into the comments section.
    • The wight in the forest pulls a horrible one:
      Mimic: Yoiks! Who're you? We don' wanna hurt youse!
      Wight: I... was once... the White Knight.
      Wight: But now I am... the Night Wight.
      Mimic: A'ight, well... now we wanna hurt youse.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This. dress. was. vintage."
  • Punctuation Shaker: The illithid mobsters: T'oni, R'occo, D'an, S'al, S'ammy, V'innie, B'enny, J'immy...
  • Railroading: Parodied with the land pirates' ship, which runs along a track... just after a "plot hook" is delivered by artillery.
    Mimic: An' here I thought "on rails" was jus' an expression.
  • Reality Warper:
    • Anyone who gets their hands (or tentacles, or whatever) on the Belt of Genre Changing effectively gains this power.
    • The Python, once amplified. (Another Madeline story. Do they attract her, or does she attract them?)
    • To a minor degree, Madeline herself. At the very least, she's demonstrated the ability to turn random objects into extremely powerful magic weapons.
    • Dorilys to a greater degree, her weapon of choice appearing to be "unfortunate accident".
  • Rebel Relaxation:
  • Rebus Bubble:
    • Leeloo-Madeline shortly ponders this way about the effects of Plaidbeard and Mimic struggling for the Belt of Genre Changing.
    • Sir Malevolus is quick to realize that
      [Armored Malevolus] + [rust monster] = [unarmored Malevolus] and
      [Unarmored Malevolus] + [gelatinous cube] = [skeleton Malevolus]...
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
  • Retcon: Yuan-Tiffany the yuan-ti became Y.T. the lamia, due to a legal dispute.
  • Rule of Three: Ezra puts her head back on three times.
  • Running Gag: Mimic's suggestions that the group "disguise ourselves as common, unassuming pieces of furniture". He's always ignored.
  • Schizo Tech: Electric guitars and soda machines accompany your traditional fantasy fare. Oh, and a Magic Missile.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Sir Malevolus cuts and runs from the threat posed by Rusty and Cube.
  • Seashell Bra:
    • The monster adventurers meet a siren wearing them in Level 1.
      Mimic: By th' way, nice seashells.
      'Siren: They're just B-shells, but thanks.
    • The "Monster Guide" page also mentions this about the siren: "Don't ask what keeps the seashells on."
"They're just B-shells, but thanks."