Superheroes got their start in newspaper strips, and Steve Rude is looking to bring them back.
Over the weekend, Rude and his wife Jaynelle launched a unique Kickstarter to produce a weekly newspaper strip featuring new story-arcs from Nexus and The Moth. With a goal of $30,000 (and already reaching the halfway point in less than a week), plans are to produce a weekly strip that can be mailed directly to you. It’s scheduled to begin with a 35-part serialized Nexus story by Rude and co-creator Mike Baron, and then followed by a Moth serial by Rude and writer Gary Martin.
“The American newspaper strip, once a highlight of weekly entertainment in people’s lives around the world, has been dying,” Rude tells Newsarama. “The once-prominent adventure strip has all but ceased to exist. The full-page version of this format died in the 50’s. Wouldn’t it be exciting to bring it back for people to enjoy once more?”
The newspaper strip will be available in two formats: either a physical 8-page 17x22 broadsheet-style newspaper mailed on a weekly basis, or an online version. Currently they have no plans to go through a distributor such as Diamond, but they are offering “retailer edition” packs with a 40% discount for a one-month subscription or 60% for a year subscription.
The inaugural strip will be a new Nexus adventure by Rude and Baron featuring the titular hero going out to save a farming world.
“The Nexus strip opens peacefully enough on a farming planet, whose life-dependent crops have suddenly become uprooted by enormous, razor sharp spikes. They’ve erupted over the entire planet and people panic. From this predicament, a call goes out to someone they believe can help them: Nexus. Mike Baron writes, and I co-write along with doing the art and lettering.”
After the conclusion of the Nexus series, Rude’s other superhero the Moth returns in a new serial by he and writer Gary Martin. Although the Moth isn’t as popular as Rude’s other signature creation, the cartoonist has revisited the hero on several occasions for its mix of humor and strongman theatrics.
“I would describe the Moth as a 20-something, physically gifted, power-lifter type who eventually gets corralled into joining the circus. His twin brother is his physical and mental opposite: a wise-cracking midget who thinks like a 10-year old,” Rude says. “In creating The Moth, I wanted a situation that might actually justify someone going out into the real world wearing a costume. The flamboyant outfits of the circus provided the basis for that to take place. The Moth stories have equal parts cliffhanger tenseness and quirky humor, much of it due to the writing style of our scribe, Gary Martin. When fused with my artwork, these whacky circus characters become so eccentric, I spend half my time laughing at what they’re saying.”