The Nexus of Comic Books and Comic Strips


By the 1980s I had pretty much given up on superhero comic books, preferring non-spandex adventure, western, detective, and humor comic books. Pretty much. Of the few I continued to follow were a couple of Mike Baron comics. The insane Badger, and Baron and Steve Rude‘s science fiction hero Nexus.

One part victim, one-part hero, Nexus is forced by his dreams to act as executioner of the most violent mass-murders in the galaxy.

In the decades since they created Nexus, Mike and Steve have regularly returned to their hero.

A few years ago they went the Kickstarter way with a new comic strip version of Nexus. That was available digitally, or as in a color newspaper comics section measuring 17″ by 22″ – replicating the size and grandeur of the comics sections of old. Those issues can be previewed courtesy ComiXology.

Mike Baron mentioned the project in an interview:

I wrote 66 pages which The Dude (Steve Rude) is working on, I think the 7th paper just came out. If you want to get this you have to go to, all the details are there. It’s an amazing product and it’s enormous, it’s 17” x 22” because Dude wanted to resurrect the form and feel of the old Sunday newspaper supplements, so that’s what he’s done. But it’s printed on real high quality paper and a stunning printing job, because he’s a perfectionist.

Steve Rude did an interview at the time of starting the Kickstarter effort – he wasn’t happy with syndication:

I’m not the first one to think this up; there are a lot of guys migrating to the world of comic strips because they couldn’t find work in the comic book world because that world was setting certain parameters and barriers. The problem, however, with the comic-strip field is the syndicates. The syndicates do not care about the adventure strip; either it doesn’t make enough money or whatever. They also promote things poorly. This was all relayed to me by friends of mine who are currently working on prominent comic strips for the syndicates.

So I despise the syndicates for letting these things die on the vine in the first place. They don’t treat their people well, and as far as I know the money isn’t that good in the first place. So I wondered, why am I waiting around for anyone to give me a yes on this “Nexus” comic strip idea? There’s nothing holding me back, so I just started it.

So that’s why I decided to dive into this, my dream job of bringing our characters, Nexus and The Moth, back in a different format to get people excited over it again and to get back to the thing that begot comic books in the first place: the comic strips. That’s exciting to me. And bypassing the syndicates is even more exciting to me because we don’t need them anymore.

The newspaper strips, as well as a new story, are now being collected in book form as reported by Outright Geekery and Comics Beat.

Unfortunately the book won’t be full broadsheet newspaper size. The regular edition will fit comfortably alongside your other graphic novels at 6-5/8″ x 10-3/16″; while the Artist’s Edition will measure an impressive, tabloid-sized 12″ x 17″.

Nexus Newspaper Strips Volume 1: The Coming of Gourmando is scheduled for Winter 2020 release.