Near the start of the decade, cartoonist Royden Lepp launched Rust through Archaia. The story of a young boy named Jet Jones who one day crashes onto a family farm being chased by an enormous war robot, Rust is a story about the tragedy of war, familial love, and what it means to find a home. Over the course of three volumes, we’ve witnessed Jet grow up and seen the mystery of his past unravel before our eyes. Now, with the release of Rust Vol 4: Soul in the Machine, all our final questions will be answered.
Today, BOOM! Studios officially released a gorgeous trailer for Rust put together by Lepp.
When asked about the origins of Rust, Lepp told Comics Beat that “Rust was originally a pitched as a video game for a studio I was working for at the time. There was a very loose action/adventure story, but that’s it.” Later on though, it started to become a graphic novel that Lepp worked on over the course of several years, watching the story take shape as one “about family and loss instead of a genre action/adventure.” Lepp admitted that at first, he “honestly wasn’t sure where it was going” and “had to resolve to writing it for myself instead of for an indistinguishable audience.”
When Lepp first started working on Rust more than nine years ago, it was actually at Harper Collins until they cancelled their foray into the graphic novel market. He admitted that at that point, he “collapsed from an exhausting schedule and took a year off.” Only after that did he have the opportunity to sign the book to Archaia.
So with all those challenges, it’s not surprising that Lepp admits being done with Rust feels “a little depressing at the moment. I used to come home from work every day and face the next page on my screen. There’s always been another page for the last nine years. Now my computer is off, there are no more pages, and I feel little lost in the evenings. I need to adjust over the next few months and decide what’s next for me but completing this huge project has been incredibly satisfying. It’s something I may never achieve again. At the moment it’s a little more bitter than sweet.”
In the end though, Lepp hopes that readers get something special out of Rust; something ” a little different than what they’re used to reading.” He hopes that, ultimately, Rust will remind readers about “what is true, honest, and beautiful about life. It doesn’t have to be the best story or the best art, but if for a moment they say to themselves, consciously or not, ‘This is how life can be,’ then I’ve succeeded.”
Rust Vol 4 hits comic store shelves on 2/21 and bookstores on 2/27.
Rust Vol. 4: Soul in the Machine
Original graphic novel
Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer/Artist/Cover Artist: Royden Lepp
Format: Sepia-toned; Page count: hardcover edition – 192 pages; softcover edition -176 pages
Price: Hardcover edition – $24.99; softcover edition – $14.99
On sale: Comic shops – 2/21; bookstores – 2/27
Synopsis: Seven years in the making, the breathtaking conclusion to Royden Lepp’s Rust graphic novel series is here! As an unprecedented robot force closes in on the Taylor farm, Jet Jones must embrace his true identity if he’s to defend the family he loves.
Alex is the Managing Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at Papercutz. He is your go-to fella for creator interviews, conversations about comic book structure, and general DC Comics nerding. Currently geeking out over movies, too.