Life as a teenager is tough wherever you live. There's the parental rebellion, the pressures of school and society, the ever-constant worry about how you can live up to the expectation of your parents. For the son of the Annville, Texas sheriff, it was just that much tougher.
Sheriff Root's son was everything that disappointed him. The boy was disobedient, lazy and unmotivated. He listened to rock and roll and rap, dressed like a slob and let his hair grow long. Even worse, his best friend was a guitar-playing pot smoker nicknamed " Pube." In the sheriff's mind, there was nothing wrong with him that a few beatings couldn't take care of, but all the beatings in the world didn't seem to have any effect on the boy. He was a reject at school, and unwanted at home.
So it was probably no wonder that he tried to kill himself.
It was all Pube's idea, really. They boys both idolized Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, and, like so many disaffected teens, believed that only he understood their pain. When Cobain died, Pube convinced his friend that death was the only way out of the mess their lives had become.
They stole the Sheriff's shotgun, got good and drunk, and went out to do the deed. Pube blew the back of his head off. Root's son, however, only succeeded in nearly blowing his face off. His father's only comment, as his son lay bandaged and medicated in the hospital was, "Shoulda put it in your mouth, you dumb little fuck." Those were the last words his father would speak to him for a long, long time.
While the boy was in the hospital, Pube's sister Catherine came to visit, and to find out what had driven the boys to do such a terrible thing. His reponse - "Nobody cared" - drove her into a rage. She accused him and her brother of being self-absorbed idiots whose actions showed a massive disregard for the people who loved them. She fled from his hospital room in tears.
The episode, on top of everything else that had happened, triggered a profound change in his outlook. Where before he had been a depressed, apathetic loser, he was now ready to do everything in his power to be the perfect son. He came home from the hospital, disfigured and optimistic, ready to start a brand new life. Unfortunately, his mother had left the family, and his father refused to talk to him. Still, he tried. He asked his father about his day, he told about his own. He looked forward to the day when he and his dad could go out together and fight crime as father and son.
That day eventually came. Sheriff Root was called out to investigate a mass murder done by an unkillable cowboy, the Saint Of Killers, but he didn't know that his son was hiding in the backseat of the police cruiser. When the he saw his father being held at gunpoint by an unkillable cowboy, he ran out, shouting "Duh kuh muh duhh!" translated to "Don't kill my dad!" It was a standoff, brought to an end only by Jesse Custer's Voice of Command. He forced the Saint to holster his gun, and then to summon an angel. The angel told them all a terrible secret - that God had abandoned His creation. He gave his news, and the vanished. Looking at Root's son, one of Custer's companions.....An Irish Alcholic Vampire named Cassidy said, "That fella's got a face like an arse." But the boy was only concerned about his father.
Once the scene was over, Custer let them all go, but to Sheriff Root he said, using his Voice, "You're gonna go fuck yourself."
The EMTs told Root's son that, while it was an hour too late to reattach his father's penis, they should be able to extract it from his colon and he would be able to lead a normal life. At that point, finally, Sheriff Root spoke to his son. He asked the boy to bring him his gunbelt. Overjoyed, he did so, ecstatic at the possibility that perhaps now he and his father would be able to have the life he had so long dreamed of.
Sheriff Root promptly shot himself in the head.
His son was horrified. He ran out into the rain, weeping and covered in his fathers blood. He vowed to take revenge on Jesse Custer, and said that if he had a face like an arse then he would be - ARSEFACE!
"Juhz. Vunh. UHFUH!"
Justice. Vengeance. ARSEFACE!
With his father's gun, Arseface traveled across the country looking for Jesse Custer. He traveled by bus and by car, hoping for the chance to get his vengeance and telling his story to anyone who would listen - and who could understand. Which was pretty much no one, but he told them anyway. The memory of what a rotten son he had been helped focus his desire to avenge his father.
Eventually he got a hold of a motorcycle and leathers, and was terribly imposing until he took the helmet off - people tended to throw up a lot around him, and he could empty a restaurant almost instantly. But he was no nearer his goal. He had no idea where Jesse Custer was, and no clue where to look for him.
Until Jesse Custer found him. By accident, really, but in a diner in New Jersey, Arseface finally came face to face with the man whom he held responsible for the death of his father. He had him at gunpoint, dead to rights.... until Custer started laughing. And so did his friends, Tulip and Tulip. Arseface was humiliated and furious.... and couldn't pull the trigger. Custer stopped laughing and saw the boy for who he was - a kind, good soul who got a whole lot of suffering that he didn't really deserve. Custer took pity on Arseface and invited him to join them in the diner. They listened to his story, and since he had nowhere else to go, they invited him to go along with them to New Orleans. It was a genuine road trip, filled with bad music and terrible singing.
Once they got to the city, he tagged along with them while they looked for Cassidy's friend Xavier. At one point, Cassidy and Jesse took Arseface to a whorehouse to help him lose his virginity - a feat that was only possible as long as the lucky lady kept a bag over the boy's head. New Orleans was good to Arseface - he got some sex, good gumbo, alcohol, and he had an encounter that would change his life forever.
A balcony band in the city saw him in the crowd and invited him up to sing with them. Why they did it will probably never be known, but he joyously accepted. He jumped up and started singing - for lack of a better word - to the crowd. His lyrics were incomprehensible mush, but the crowd ate it up. They cheered for more, and he gave it to them. And thereby attracted the attention of Georgia Records' producer, Gene Sergeant.
Arseface Makes it Big
Sergeant was looking for the new voice of youth in rock music, and in Arseface, he reckoned he'd found it - it was impossible to understand, but it had passion, and that would sell records. He approached the young man and vowed that he would make him incredibly rich and famous.
And he succeeded. Very quickly, with the backing of Georgia Records and Sergeant's creative promotion, Arseface became a household name. His records sold out instantly, and he became a superstar. Teenagers around the country and around the world caught Arse-mania. He rocketed to the pinnacle of fame and power.
But such a meteoric rise led to an equally meteoric fall.
It started with the suicides. It was just a couple at first, but a trend seemed to be emerging - a few teenagers shot themselves in the face with shotguns in an attempt to emulate their hero. Some survived, but most did not, and their parents immediately turned to the law to assuage their pain. Unlawful death suits began to pour in, demanding millions in compensation for the deaths of their children. And they all wanted a piece of Arseface. Even worse, Gene Sergeant had been using the controversy to increase record sales. Knowing that there's no such thing as bad publicity, Sergeant delivered statements - all in his client's name, of course - insulting everyone he could think of, up to and including the Pope. This worked for a while - Arseface's name stayed in the news, and his records stayed in the charts.
In the end, however, such techniques could only succeed so far. There came a point where Arseface's fame was due to collapse, and it was at that point that Gene Sergeant left the country with all of Arseface's money. Arseland, the musician's massive estate, was reposessed, along with just about everything else he owned. He was back where he began - alone.
He started traveling again, looking for a place to call home. He ended up in the small town of Salvation, Texas. While he was there, he stopped a group of men from harassing a young, one-eyed woman named Lorie Bobbs. He gracefully accepted her thanks, and went to have lunch at Jodie's Bar & Grill. There he met the small town's biggest employer - Conan Quincannon, a man who had come to town to try and make up for the depreidations of the his brother. With a suggestion from Lorie, Quincannon offered Arseface a job at his waste processing plant, which he gladly accepted. Not only that, he fell in love. More or less. Young Lorie, it turned out, had an interesting visual disorder, wherein her brain retranslated visual signals from her eye as soon as they reached her brain. So where other people saw Arseface as a hideous, disfigured monstrosity, she saw a handsome young man.
He gratefully accepted her heart, happy to finally be loved.