a serialized digital story written and illustrated by Tim Demeter

It's easy to get lost midway.

Welcome to Rustpunks! Launching in 2018, Rustpunks is an illustrated young adult story built for mobile devices. It combines elements of design, comic books, prose and interactivity in a brand new way. In time, all of the episodes will available below, with a new episode added each week. Rustpunks is still in production but Episodes 1 and 2 are available now as a preview. Please enjoy this early look and leave please some feedback on Facebook or Twitter.


 Select an Episode to begin.
Rustpunks Episode 1Rustpunks Episode 2
Rustpunks Episode 3 - Coming in 2018
Rustpunks Episode 4 - Coming in 2018
Rustpunks Episode 5 - Coming in 2018

Many more episodes coming up!
They call it the Rust Belt now. Once, it was the industrial heart of America but those days are gone.
Wandering through these wide open spaces and past the decaying factories is the Faire and Square carnival. This group of lost souls travels from town to town, delighting children and grifting their well-meaning parents with gaffed games that promise plushy prizes. Among them is “Balboa” Dalton. Bo for short, is a drop out and a runaway with a chip on his shoulder and a bad attitude to match. He’s left everything behind in search of adventure and his missing father. He’s not the most popular carnie on the Faire and Square show but everyone must admit that no one is better when it comes to reliving a small town mark of the contents of their wallet.
In one of these small towns is January Monroe. She wakes up every morning and sees the same kids in school she’s seen every day since first grade. She walks past the same vacant buildings. She’s dating her best friend and wonders if it’s because she loves him or just because he’s there. Every day is the same.
Until the carnival comes to town.
  • Is Rustpunks appropriate for younger readers?
    YES! Rustpunks is written as young adult fiction and is appropriate for anyone who enjoys Harry Potter or Hunger Games or the like.
  • When does episode 3 of Rustpunks come out?
    Sometime in 2017 but still TBD. This is a preview launch of the site. 5 episodes are complete but I want a larger buffer before I launch. Feel free to hassle me to get to work on Facebook or Twitter.
  • How often does Rustpunks come out?
    Once it launches, there will be a new episode of Rustpunks weekly. There will be breaks though. The release schedule will be kind of like a TV show that way. If you prefer to binge read the episodes, wait for those breaks. You will be able to sign up for a reminder when binge reading chunks are ready.
  • How can I read Rustpunks?
    The episodes are built in HTML 5 and will open in any up to date web browser. They are designed for easy reading and sharing. They’ll open on just about anything but I recommend a smart phone or tablet held in portrait mode. They’ll read fine on a computer screen or even a TV but I’ve designed them with mobile in mind.
  • How long is a Rustpunks episode?
    Each episode of Rustpunks is a little story all its own with a beginning, middle and end so the length of an episode will vary a lot. Some weeks will be short, some will be long.
  • How many of episodes of Rustpunks will there be?
    Too early to say. The whole story is written but it hasn’t been divided into episodes yet. The short answer is a lot.
  • Will there ever be a printed version?
    I’m not going to say NEVER but it’ not in the current plans and given the variable size of each episode it would be challenging. If you’d like to own some of the artwork episode prints will become available eventually.
  • Can I buy my own plush bear as seen in Rustpunks?
    Yes! They are Plushzilla bears, made by hand from an artist in my hometown. Click here to see what is currently available.
  • Will you be re-publishing more old Reckless Life stories?
    Yes. All of the Reckless Life stories will be made available and archived in time.
  • How can I support Rustpunks?
    Paetron and Kickstarter campaigns will be made available if readership warrants it. For right now, the best thing you can do to keep me motivated is read, share and leave a note on Facebook or Twitter.
 About the Author Tim DemeterAbout the Author
Tim Demeter is a writer and illustrator with a particular interest in interactive entertainment and media, gamification and digital art. He is the creator/author/illustrator of the popular Reckless Life webcomic which ran from 2002-2007 on the Modern Tales family of websites. He went on to become editor of the Graphic Smash action webcomic anthology as well Clickwheel, an early experiment in mobile comics. He was done digital work in conjunction with 2000AD, publisher of Judge Dredd, and other popular sci-fi comics and served as Marketing Director of Little Bahalia an award-winning digital children’s book publisher.
He lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife Jen.
 Join the Rustpunks Community!

5 months ago

Well, you 20 likers, it's almost 2018 and I just updated the site -- to say that Rustpunks will be launching in 2018 instead of 2017. My goal was to have 10 episodes ready for launch and while I'm happy to report that six are done, that ain't ten. Partly this is because I flipped this project on it's ear. This time last year I was doing static PDF "comic" pages. Now we're doing full-on interactive episodes. I think the wait has been worth it and I'm rolling now with a productive 2018 ahead. Thanks as always for liking this page before it's actually launched and a happy Thanksgiving to all (20) of you! ... See MoreSee Less

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7 months ago

Tabling at Discovery World today. You can see episodes 3 thru 5 if you come and ask! ... See MoreSee Less

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11 months ago

Episode 3 is done. The only place you can see it for now is on MY phone though. Starting to cruise now. ... See MoreSee Less

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Pretty disappointed in Jessica Jones season 2. Loved season 1 and I religiously read Alias back when it first came out. Why they didn’t run with something from the books is beyond me. There are so many great arcs to start from.

Back in the before times I was quite the purist about promoting Reckless Life and wouldn’t sell prints of characters that aren’t mine. That sort of idealism is a younger man’s game. Just ordered a whole mobile printing station so I can do Rustpunks style art live and on the fly.