You may know Rob Schrab as the writer of feature films Monster House (2006) and Channel 101 (2004), or as the co-creator The Sarah Silverman Program. Perhaps you recognise his name because it was recently announced Schrab will direct The Lego Movie Sequel. I will be honest, until very recently, I had no idea of any of that. For me, the name “Rob Schrab” is synonymous with the comic series Scud: The Disposable Assassin.
Scud was an off-the-wall tale of a disposable vending machine robot whose only objective was to dispose of a target and then self-destruct. After accidently realising the catch-22 of his purpose, rather than killing his target, Jeff, Scud instead incapacitates her. Scud then begins a career as a freelance mercenary to cover Jeff’s medical bills. Not content with unorthodox beginnings, Scud: TDA quickly descends into an Oddball adventure of biblical proportions.
In 1998, Scud: TDA went into an indefinite hiatus after issue #20, due to Schrab growing dissatisfied of the plot. The publisher, Fireman Press, established for the purpose of printing Scud, was dissolved after a falling out with Schrab over rights. Despite this, and to much of the fan’s satisfaction, Scud: TDA was finally revisited in 2008, with a 4-part conclusion published by Image Comics.
At the time of Scud’s heyday, in the mid to late 90s, I was eagerly picking up comics by smaller and independent publishers. Titles including CreeD (Hall of Heroes / Lightning Comics), The Tick (New England Comics Press) and The Sleeze Brothers (Epic Comics), to name a few. These smaller publishers were usually putting out much more unconventional stories, comletely unhindered by the Comics Code Authority and commercial burdens. Looking back, I will admit Scud’s artwork was a little untamed compared to the larger publishers, but the story and energy took you on a ride that was not matched in their titles. However, the artwork did not bother me at the time. The enthusiasm of Schrab and his jam-pack pages, though imperfect, told the story perfectly.
To the dismay of many, Rob Schrab has stated that he has no plans for further issues of Scud or any of its spin-off characters. It looks like, for now at least, he is firmly focused on his film and television commitments. If you happen to be looking for an alternative to the perfectly polished work on the shelves these days, I would strongly suggest picking up some issues of Scud: The Disposable Assassin.