This past week I ordered, and recieved, the latest installment of one of my favorite Sci-Fi characters, Ruby, the Galactic Gumshoe. You may not have heard of Ruby, she's the main character in a series of audio adventures, basically "radio plays" produced by ZBS Foundation since the early 80's. Here's how I described her in a pitch outline I prepared awhile ago (more on that later):
Ruby, Galactic Gumshoe, follows the adventures of a “smart, saucy, and sassy” futuristic detective on the planet Summa Null in the 25th century. In this ultra modern setting of media overkill and out of control commercialization, Ruby, Galactic Gumshoe, accompanied by the eccentric archaeologist, T.J. Teru, and the lovable thief Rodant Kapoor (pronounced Roe-dent), weaves her way through a bizarre mix of hi-tech, mystical and humorous adventures.
Ruby’s world is laced with fantastic locations such as Magnifico, the City of Malls, Kismet, the inflatable nomadic city, and populated with a kaleidoscope of offbeat characters. These include Angel Lips, a sexy android. Moliere, chief of the “pun” loving Mole People, who love to dance the tango. Monet, an Aurorean, a race that “lives for aesthetics”. And/Or, the “techie” from the Digital Circus, an renegade underground performance group. And many, many, more.
In her trusty “talking” air car, Mustapha, Ruby navigates across a vibrant world of Scuzzies (cyber-punks), Slimeys (genetically engineered assassins) and a host of other alien oddball characters. Case after case finds Ruby matching wits with Techo Witches, Zoot Mutants and “dark forces” from this and “other” dimensions fighting for the hearts, minds, souls, and pocket books of the masses.
Ruby is “one tough cookie”. Self-confident and independent, she’s a neo-classic gum shoe, like a Sam Spade meets Han Solo in a female form. Highly intelligent and resourceful, Ruby is still basically a woman of action. Armed with her sharp mind and rapier wit, Ruby is more than a match for any human or alien foe who crosses her path. But Ruby also possesses a special gift; she can slow down time. This comes in handy when you need to dodge a laser blast or the swing of a bad guy’s energy-blade, allowing her to sidestep danger and returns the favor with a blast from her “Smith-Asahi Godzilla Blaster” with a signature response, “here’s a kiss for ya”.
All this is great stuff! ZBS Foundation has produce tons of Ruby stories, the last being Ruby 7, and other original productions. I started buying Ruby adventure on audio cassettes and immediately fell in love with them. So much so, that I tried to get the rights to produce an animated series, and I actually did secure the animation rights for about two years. But, as luck would have it I couldn't get the project sold. The first Ruby audio series was done as two minute episodes which actually aired on public radio, during rush hour drive time. I thought they were perfect for webisodes. I pitched them as such, at the height of the Web 1.0 crash. Bad timing on my part. I remember my last pitch meeting was the day after "9/11". Needless to say a lot of projects faded away at that time. My Ruby was one of them. So, the animation rights are now in the hand of other producer. But I still hold out that I'll get another chance. (Just for record, I haven't seen one bit of info from the other guy in the two years he's had the rights. I'm hoping no news is good news, because I think ZBS's Ruby deserves to be out there, even if I'm not the one doing it.) ZBS is one of my inspiring, creative heroes, so, please visit ZBS Foundation website for more info, and support them by buying their stuff.
Here's the animatic I did for my Ruby animated series pitch. It's an adaptation of the first audio episode. This is the first time it is being shown online, although the storyboard has been on my website for several years. I just never got around to posting the animatic. With picking up the latest adventure, I decided, why not! By the way, I also did a series of Dragonfly Flipz books of this short. If, I ever get the chance, I'll print that up someday. (By the way, ZBS and the media right owner has a copy of this animatic and flip books, just for the record)
Ruby, the Assassin
Some time after finishing on the Ruby pitch I came across this other Ruby, " Ruby, the Assassin" featured in demos for ATI graphic card. I be curious to know if these guys knew of the ZBS "Ruby". The episodes are very well and worth checking out.
I thought of approaching ATI and seeing if they'd be interested in having Dragonfly Flipz book adaptations done of the episodes. I still might do that.
Rubi - Wet
Just to add to the mix, here's a third "Ruby" or Rubi. This Rubi is the lead character in a new video game coming out next year called "Wet". It looks interesting in "Kill Bill, kind of way. I don't know much about it, but the trailer looked cool. (Warning: Mature content)
Three Rubys for the price of one.