The Rough & Tumble: STL Filmmakers Trade Scripts for Speech Bubbles in New Comic Book



The 1980s produced fantastically fun movies. Take Sixteen Candles, The Goonies or The Breakfast Club -- each one is considered a classic of the era.

But for Jim Ousley and Oscar Madrid -- the RFT MasterMind Award-winning duo behind buddy cop mockumentary Hooch & Daddy-O -- nothing can match watching Sylvester Stallone use scissors to slice his pizza in 1986's Cobra.

"When we were kids we loved that scene, we were like, 'Aw, that's so cool!'" says Ousley. As filmmakers, he and Madrid spent more than a decade tapping the same blend of goofy seriousness they found in '80s action flicks. Their newest project, a crowd-funded comic book, is no different.

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Titled The Rough & Tumble, Ousley and Madrid's attempt at a full-length comic book resulted from their ties to St. Louis-based Ink and Drink Comics, which publishes semiannual anthologies from local artists and writers.

"We really fell in love with the whole process," says Ousley, who also moonlights as a writer for "It's different than screenplays, and we thought it would be awesome to do our own book."

But Ousley and Madrid -- who both work as business analysts by day -- aren't really the drawing types. So they've enlisted local artist Benjamin Sawyer to the illustrate the five stylistically diverse stories, covering the gamut from romance to horror. Last week they launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 for the book's production.

The campaign video shows off Ousley and Madrid's endearing yet perverse camaraderie: It's the kind of bond two grown men can share if neither has matured since 1986.

Those who've encountered Ousley and Madrid's previous work will recognize the return of detectives Jerome "Hooch" Hendrickson and David "Daddy-O" Mandlebaum, as well as the star of their most recent film project, The Bloodfest Club.

"We had so much fun writing for Sonny Kane," says Ousley, who played the metal-head hero in The Bloodfest Club's theatrical trailer. Though its script has been optioned, Ousley tells Daily RFT that he and Madrid couldn't wait to flesh out Kane's character -- a high school janitor who battles the forces of darkness.

See also: Bloody Hell: Local Film The Bloodfest Club Rolls Out Trailer

"We wanted to give Sonny more of a heartbeat," says Ousley, "to make him seem a little bit more real, and give him some more subtleties that you wouldn't find in other heroes of that nature."

Ousley, Madrid and Sawyer will be at Left Bank Books this Friday to promote the Kickstarter campaign for The Rough & Tumble, which has so far raised $1,800. Sawyer will be offering portraits, and Ousley will be whipping out his haiku skills for those interested.

Ousley was gracious enough to send Daily RFT a few selections of his haikus, including these two gems:

Grown men and women Broken bones, screams, and much blood "Thanks for shopping Kohls!"


The Rough and Tumble If Charles Bronson were alive He'd say "Buy this book"

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at

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