Earl Rintel is a character in the Meshalutian Trilogy novella Cursed is the Ground, part of The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics. He is the husband of Debbie Rintel and father of Ally and Jared Rintel.
Earl, at age 46 and 5’11” weighing 227 pounds, has lived a good long life. He married his sweetheart Debbie Hannella a little late in life, but they knew they were in love. They met when both of them were still young; but put off the wedding until his mid-30s. They had two children together: Ally and Jared Rintel.
An old legend existed that the family was cursed, that the old hag Meshaluta would appear in their dreams to warn them of an upcoming disaster that they had little chance of escaping. One would be “marked” in particular. The somewhat superstitious Colorado branch of the Rintel family, while its memory of Meshaluta was also weak, remembered the accounts of her much more than their Louisiana counterparts, which had almost entirely forgotten about the legend. Debbie’s health began to fade, and therefore her influence over her kids would fade. Unlike Tom and Mandy, who looked out for each other and respected each other highly, the ever-selfish Ally was often cruel to her younger brother Jared. Debbie usually kept things in line, but Earl did little, as he was always away working in the silver mines.
One fateful day, when Earl had to go to work to make enough on his next paycheck to cover for Debbie's hospital bills, school was canceled. He responded by dropping the kids off at Kenny Thrinn's ski lodge, where Trisha Montoya agreed to watch them. As he went to work, his team suddenly found themselves facing one disaster after another in the mines - even being trapped inside. He and the other miners strive to stay alive while rescue crews fish them out. Little does he know that outside the mines, Jared and Trisha are fighting for their own lives from both Meshaluta and the deranged Yenti Roy. However, he does recall some of what Jared said about the dream brought on by Sanction Harlem. Cassie Manning arrives, and speaks to Earl from the other side of the rockslide. She guides him through to search for clues on how to defy Sanction's predictions and aid his team in surviving.
He later learns of Ally's death at the party, and is beside himself how to deal with it. He and Trisha become good friends, in large part due to Jared's influence. When Debbie also dies, Trisha and later her boyfriend are welcomed into the Rintels' fold as close family friends.
Debbie was a devout Catholic and native to the Applestream area. Earl was somewhat apathetic about religion; but figured that so long as his kids obeyed the house rules and weren’t doing anything foolish, that it didn’t matter what he let them do besides - or who their friends were. Earl does not pass up the opportunity given him to be home with the kids while his wife is in the hospital awaiting heart surgery. He will, nevertheless, be away from the kids most of the time. The story's struggles force him to reevaluate his priorities in life.
Earl's struggles to survive in the silver mine were modeled largely after a made-for-TV movie about Pennsylvania miners who got trapped underground and were rescued. Otherwise, he is intended to be a gender role swap of Eva Rintel and a foil of Rick Rintel.