Red “Rusty” Nales

Created by Christopher Mills and Joe Staton

Femme Noir: “Mercenary!”
Red: “Is that some kinda insult?”

His office is in the “crummy burg” of Port Nocturne, on the corner of Whittington and Rabe, overlooking Widmark. He’s got a gat, a bottle of rotgut, a Murphy bed in his office, and a client list that ranges from the usual riff-raff right up to the snooty, high-toned likes of K. Burton Smythe (Boo! Hiss!) of Marlowe Heights.

Yep, he’s RED “RUSTY” NALES, the square-jawed, hard-nosed, tough-talking, me-first private eye, hard-boiled as an anvil, and easily the most name-droppingest P.I.s since Randisi’s Miles Jacoby.

And if you didn’t catch some of the names that were dropped in that first paragraph, you’re probably cruising the wrong site, pally.

Complicating Red’s life is the fact that his cases frequently have him crossing paths (or is it crossing swords?) of Port Nocturne’s mysterious costumed crimefighter Femme Noir, whom he characteristically refers to as “The Blonde.”

The crossover adventure, “The Dingus,” featuring both Rusty and Femme Noir, by Chris Mills and comics legend Joe Staton also appeared on The Thrilling Detective Web Site in our old  Web Comics section… and you can still read it right here!

Mills is the creator of private eyes Matthew Dain and Nightmark, and edited the late, great Noir: The Illustrated Crime Fiction Quarterly. Joe Staton co-created classic comic book eye Mike Mauser.


    (2003, AC Comics)

    • “The Dingus” (October 2003, # 121; also November 2003, Thrilling Detective Web Site)
      8 pages
      Script, Colors and Letters by Christopher Mills
      Pencils by Joe Staton
      Inks by Horacio Ottolini



  • May 17, 2023
    The Bottom Line: There are about 100 P.I.s in Port Nocturne, but square-jawed, tough-talking Rusty, hard-boiled as an anvil, is the best. Now if it wasn’t for “that Blonde”… Read a complete story here.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Chris Mills, as always. November 2003.

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