Rusty’s Mother

We’ve met Rusty’s father. But what about Rusty’s mother?

Nancy Duncan model sheet

Nancy Duncan in profile

Rusty’s mother is named Nancy. She’s a no-nonsense silver furred cat with visible (and sharp) fangs and claws. Nancy is a stay-at-home mom, who’s quite busy not only keeping the household spotless, but also keeping an eye on her wisecracking son. When she’s not cooking or cleaning, she can be found parked in front of the television, watching soap operas. It’s not unusual for Rusty or Al to come home and see Nancy on the couch, doing her nai.

In contrast to her husband, the two are polar opposites. As I explained in last week’s post, Al is the level-headed of the two. He’s quite rational. His wife on the other hand is very temperamental. Nancy is quick to fly off the handle and assume the worst in a bad situation. Al is a college graduate while Nancy is a high school dropout. In fact, that’s connected to how the two met – Nancy was stuck in a dead-end job in a local café when she met Al, working at that time in a warehouse across the street.

Another one of their differences is how they deal with Rusty. Rusty’s father believes in doing things for his son’s own good. When he gives instructions to his son, he does it because he’s genuinely concerned about his son’s safety and well-being. Let’s have an example: there’s an abandoned house nearby and Rusty wants to go exploring it. Rusty’s father would forbid it and when asked why, he’d tell Rusty, “You don’t know what’s in that house, Rusty. There could be wild animals living in there. The floors might give way or the walls may collapse. It’s too dangerous.”

Rusty’s mom, on the other hand, is more concerned with power. When she gives Rusty commands, she expects them to be obeyed not because it’s for Rusty’s own good but it’s because of pulling rank. In the example of Rusty wanting to explore the abandoned house, she’d justify her command not to go there by saying something like “Because I said so and that’s the end of it! It’s not debatable and it’s not open to discussion!”

For Nancy, power is her main motivation behind being a parent. Rusty’s safety and well-being would be a secondary concern, if at all. I should also state right now that in spite of her stern attitude, she really does love her son. Some of the readers viewed Nancy as being too much of a bitch.

You may have noticed Nancy’s appearance and that it does go with her personality. Many features on Nancy are pointy – her visible fangs, her visible claws, her pointy ears, and her almond shaped eyes. Even her breasts are pointy. All this is meant to show Nancy’s stern nature. Just as the physical appearance of Rusty’s father was inspired from a cartoon I used to watch, so it was with Nancy Duncan. The idea for her appearance came from the 1987 Japanese and American animated co-production, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater. One of the characters in the show was Catnip, a blue female cat usually cast as a villain in the individual stories. I liked that design a lot so I tried modeling Nancy’s appearance on Catnip. It worked very well.

Rusty and his mom

It’s partly because of his mom’s obsession with complete and utter obedience to her power that Rusty developed his wit. We’re going to see a lot more of that and how she relates to her family and to others as Sunnyville progresses.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.

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