Rich people wouldn't be that well-off if not for the, shall we say, not-so-rich among us to feed into the system - and that rough-but-realistic inequality is the subject of a biting (and darkly humorous) new satire coming this fall.
In the new AWA Studios series Rumpus Room, created by Mark Russell and Ramon Rosanas, a brash billionaire named Bob Schrunk has a dirty little secret: he has a prison underneath his mansion for people who have mad him mad in some way, and each week he kills one of them to be 'harvested' into a special facial cream that alleviates a horrible skin condition he has.
No, this isn't torture-porn - it's a revenge story like Inglourious Basterds, as one of the newest prisoners is a cop, and she smuggled in a handgun. Or is it...? Like any Mark Russell story, there's more going on under the surface than it initially appears.
"The idea for Rumpus Room came to me as a metaphor for modern American democracy," Russell tells Popverse. "About how it's been weaponized into becoming a referendum on which of us are fit to live and which aren't, and how this has largely succeeded because we feel powerless against the real problems which threaten us all. It's also about how we're all, in some way, captives of the billionaire class, but after a while, we just sort of come to view the terms of our captivity as immutable laws of nature."Here is a six-page preview of the first issue:
"Any project Mark Russell puts in front of me, I’m going to take a good look at it,” says AWA Studios' CCO Axel Alonso. "With Rumpus Room, Mark once again displays his unique brand of black comedic social satire, perfectly complemented by Ramon Rosanas’ incredible storytelling. Rumpus Room is a dark and demented thrill ride that holds up a funhouse mirror image of the world we live in - exactly the kind of very original storytelling we want to do at AWA. I’m proud he’s a continued member of the AWA family."
Rumpus Room #1 (of 5) goes on sale September 20.