Robot 6

Steve Rude to focus less on comics, more on paintings due to low sales of Nexus

According to the DudeNews email newsletter, which features updates on comic artist Steve Rude’s activities, Rude plans to focus more on painting in the future and less on comics, as he’s lost money on Nexus since moving to self-publishing. His wife Jaynelle writes:

Nexus: As It Happened

Nexus: As It Happened

The numbers for the last two books are in and they don’t look good. We have been told that Nexus: As it Happened V1 will reach Diamond by the 9th which should be in time for the 13th in stores date. Around June 16th we will receive our Diamond order for 101/102.

Steve has only the cover to 101/102 to complete then the artwork is complete for all of the books as he inadvertently did the trade paperback cover before the 101/102 cover.

Steve is then turning his focus to gallery paintings. Steve is a brilliant artist and we’ve been living hand to mouth for the past 3 years. Losing over $5,000 in the last 2 printings we have been unable to pay our mortgage have have no desire to lose our house.

Steve does plan to continue in comics putting out a book direct to trade every few years and using gallery painting as a means to finance his comic endeavors.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us by ordering commissions or purchasing artwork.

Nexus, co-created by Rude with writer Mike Baron, first appeared in 1981 and has been published over the years by Capital, First Comics and Dark Horse. Rude started self-publishing Nexus in 2006, with issues 99 and 100 of the series.

Blogger John Jakala shares his reaction to the news:

It bums me out to think of a dedicated comic pro losing money and not being able to pay his mortgage due to pursuing his dream of putting out comics. Luckily, Rude is able to support himself through other means, but it’s a bummer to think that an incredible talent and industry legend like Rude isn’t able to make a living via comics. I don’t know if self-publishing was part of the problem, if that made it less likely for fans and retailers to see or order his work if it wasn’t up at the front of the Previews catalog under one of the major comic publishers?

Jakala suggests heading over to Rude’s website and purchasing some Nexus comics, which sounds like a fine idea to me.



The Delays really destroyed this comic book series. Maybe if Steve Rude were to work with another artist and if Rude were to write the series instead – it would work out.

I’m a huge, huge Nexus and Steve Rude fan, so I’m bummed, but I agree that the delays killed any chance this had of succeeding. I thought that Rude Dude was a risky idea to begin with, but only getting two comics out in two, three years was the nail in the coffin.

Drag. Hey, if he puts out an annual trade, I’ll definitely be there for that!

I wondered if delays were a factor in the low sales of Nexus. I know delays were a frequent topic in the newsletter updates, but since I wasn’t following the singles I couldn’t remember how many delays there had been or how significant they were. I believe many of the delays were due to Rude’s health issues, though. But I know delays have frustrated me on other series and lessened my interest, so it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that this was negatively impacting Nexus‘ sales.

And here’s a direct link to Rude’s online store. I remember having this Batman poster back in college but who knows where it is now. Maybe it’s time to order a replacement…

I don’t know the reasons for them, but the delays were major. #99 in July 2007, #100 in February 2008, #101 and #102 were twice solicited as separate issues and canceled before the most recent scheduling as one double-sized issue out in July 2009 at the earliest. Two years for four issues of what had been scheduled as a monthly book.

I hope he finds a format that lets him put out comics in a way that’s profitable to him, since I enjoy them when they do come out.

Not having a pull list, I went to get number 99 within a week or so of when it came out. The local store sold out. Two or three other stores I visited never heard of it. Finally I found a shop with multiple shelf copies and the owner thanked me for buying the first copy.

I didn’t know number 100 came out. I found it by accident browsing at a different store from where I bought number 99 two months after it shipped.

Based on my experience buying the first two parts of the story, I can understand why the sales are poor.

I’ve bought just about everything that Rude has done, and would continue to do so.

Nexus is one of the all time great comic book series. It’s a shame it can’t be kept in print. There must be a publisher who could make money putting it out in trades.

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