The news last week about the return of First Comics makes me happier than it has any right to. Although I haven’t read an incredible amount of the publishers’ 1980s/1990s output–which included a couple of gems, which I have read: American Flagg! Nexus! Those two alone feel like they should earn First a place in most comic lovers’ hearts–the publisher holds a weird place in my heart for being, I’m pretty convinced, the first American indie publisher I ever bought a comic from, way back when.
Broadway | Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the retooled $75 million Broadway musical, took in $1.7 million for the week ending this past Sunday, which is above the $1.2 million the producers have indicated they need to reach to stay viable. The amount made it the No. 3 musical for the week, after Wicked and The Lion King. [Associated Press]
Legal | Robert Corn-Revere, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s general counsel, discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. EMA, which sought to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. He notes that the court drew upon the history of comic book censorship in reaching its conclusion to reject the ban: “Citing the amicus brief filed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, it noted the crusade against comics led by Dr. Frederic Wertham and observed that it was inconsistent with our constitutional traditions. The Court traced the history of censorship that targeted various media directed toward the young and held that restricting depictions of violence could not be justified under established principles of First Amendment law.” [CBLDF]
You’d think with DC revitalizing its entire line of titles this fall that they’d take all the top talent they could get. But for one reason or another, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
That’s the word according to legendary artist Steve “The Dude” Rude, who related in his regular e-newsletter that he was rebuffed when looking for work at DC. Rude left the Big Two a few years back to work on creator-owned work such as Nexus and The Moth, but after neither project failed to provide for him financially as he hoped he was looking to rekindle a relationship with his preffered publisher of the Big Two, DC. Here’s how Rude says it went:
One month ago, I began my contact with DC through an editor that I knew. Having no success, I tried a second editor. Then finally, one of the higher-up “exec” types. So far, one editor has responded–with a polite turn down. The two others I never heard back from. Interesting world, isn’t it?
In this missive to his fans he explained that of all the characters at DC, the ones he was most drawn to currently was Supergirl, Superman, Big Barda and OMAC. But what do you think? Is there a place for Steve Rude at DC or Marvel in the year 2011? And if so, what would you like to see him work on?
Designer and letterer Todd Klein continues his artistic trek through the alphabet — skipping “G,” but he says he’ll get back to it — with another awesome art print, this time teaming up with Nexus creator Steve Rude to offer one titled “Hope.”
“I’ve been a fan of Steve Rude’s work since discovering NEXUS in the early 1980s, and I’ve worked with Steve as a letterer several times, most recently on his self-published issues of NEXUS, which was challenging but also a thrill to do,” Klein said in a post that details the creation of the print (you can find part 2 of the process here). “Steve’s work has always seemed to me to have a classical feel in the figure work, so I thought he might enjoy depicting Pandora and Hope. I asked Steve, above, when we met in San Diego, and though he was hesitant at first, he was intrigued by the subject, and finally agreed to do a print with me.”
Rude joins an impressive list of creators who have teamed with Klein to create prints — Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Alex Ross, J.H. Williams III, Mark Buckingham and Bill Willingham. All the prints, including the new one, can be purchased on his site.
If you like Steve “The Dude” Rude then you’re in for a treat. Although a comics veteran for years, the Dude has kept with the times and keeps a thriving Facebook presence — interacting with fans, talking about new work, and in this case, showing off some new sketches.
Rude recently posted a slew of amazing marker sketches he’s done since the beginning of the year. Some are commissions, some were for conventions, and others for raffles and contests he has from time to time.
In addition to the amazing Superman piece shown at right, Rude has also posted several other pieces including Elektra, Red Skull, several Nexus drawings and even a commission requesting a beefcake and shirtless Scott Free — aka Mr. Miracle!
Rumors began to swirl about a sequel to Wednesday Comics as soon as DC’s weekly anthology debuted in July 2009. But now we finally have confirmation from a contributor that something’s in the works.
Bleeding Cool picked up on word from the Facebook page of Steve Rude that the Nexus artist is working on a New Gods strip for a new Wednesday Comics. Years ago Rude and writer Mark Evanier were in line to do a New Gods series but it fell through (although they did do a Mister Miracle Special sometime back). For Wednesday Comics 2 there’s no word yet whether Rude is writing and illustrating or working with someone else.
The book’s editor Mark Chiarello confirmed last June, as the collected edition was released, that thought has gone into a sequel. All this begs the question — who else is in the book? Let’s put some pieces together …
Earlier in this year Jill Thompson told Newsarama she was approached to do a Wonder Woman strip for the first series but had to turn it down due to working on Beasts of Burden. However, she asked to be considered if Wednesday Comics came back.
During a panel at Baltimore Comic-Con in 2009, Chiarello and some of the contributors to the first series spitballed some ideas of what they’d like to see in the sequel. Read Comic Book Resource’s full report, or follow on for who recommended who:
Creators | Renowned artist Steve Rude has announced that money raised from an online art and comics auction has enabled he and his family to keep their home: “When I saw the bread coming in after Gino made her announcement (this was unbeknownst to the oblivious Dude), I was, and still am, in a mild state of stupefication. The outpouring of generosity was clearly far beyond what Gino and I could’ve asked for. Your contributions poured in from all corners of our planet; the sizeable backstock of comics and Dude related ‘higher reading paraphernalia’ were ordered by the spit-load; and Erik Larson bought his complete Next Nexus 3 issue! All said, we saved the house.” The Nexus creator is still working to regain his financial footing, so he’s selling 2011 calendars and, soon, a new sketchbook. [DudeNews]
Comic strips | Cartoonist Jim Davis has issued an apology for an ill-timed Garfield strip that appeared on Veterans Day. The strip, which appeared in newspapers on Thursday, featured a standoff between Garfield and a spider, and referred to “an annual day of remembrance” called “National Stupid Day.” In a statement, Davis explained that the strip was written almost a year ago, “and I had no idea when writing it that it would appear today — of all days.” [CNN, The Daily Cartoonist]
Creators | Renowned artist Steve Rude and his family are in danger of losing their home, so the co-creator of Nexus is auctioning art in hopes of raising the money to meet a Nov. 15 deadline. [Steve Rude's Facebook, The Comics Reporter]
Publishing | Retailer news and analysis site ICv2.com suggests Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series could close out 2010 as the No. 1 graphic-novel property of the year, surpassing the top-selling adaptation of Stephen Meyer’s Twilight. [ICv2.com]
Digital comics | David Brothers wonders how the rise of digital comics might change comics “culture,” and the Wednesday ritual. [4thletter!]
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:
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.