If you bumped into Mike Baron
on the street, you'd never guess that he was the part of the creative team that brought comics like Nexus
Mr. Baron is a fine gent who currently lives in Colorado. I had the good fortune to attend a class taught by him on producing your own comic books. Never one to pull punches, he outlines the trials and horrors that await the new artist and writer in the comic industry while still balancing how creative and rewarding it can be.
Mike Baron was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He had a passion for Science Fiction, astronomy and (according to several websites), mass murders. He attended the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a Bachelors in Political Science. After graduation, he looked around Wisconsin for a job. He didn't find anything interesting, so he moved to Boston. He worked as an editor and writer for two Boston papers until 1977. Mike moved to Phoenix and worked in insurance, but he had other plans for his future.
Mike had been working on his writing skills, and by this time he was quite the skilled author. He met Steve Rude, a well-respected comic artist, and they decided to go into the comic business. They created Nexus, a cosmic avenger who hunted down mass murderers. It was a huge success, particularly for the comic boom that was happening at the time. Mike ended up winning an Eisner award for his work on Nexus, and has been nominated for many additional Eisner, Kirby and Harvey awards during his long writing career.
In addition to Nexus, Mike co-created Ginger Fox, Feud, Spyke and First Comics biggest series, the Badger. His work on Marvel's The Punisher and DC's The Flash revitalized both series during their flagging years.
Mike branched out from comics to write screenplays and books. Some of his titles include:
- Heir to the Empire (Star Wars) 1991
- Dark Force Rising (Star Wars) 1992
- Last Command, The (Star Wars) 1993
- Witchblade: Demons just published in January 2003
Mike is famous for supplying a set of panel thumbnail sketches along with his scripts. He always pokes fun at his own artwork, but it makes sure his ideas for the script are clear so the artist can create what was meant to happen in each panel. It may explain why Mike and Steve were nominated for so many awards when they were working on Nexus.
Mike currently continues to write comics, books, short stories and web articles for several online 'zines. I made it a point to tell him about Everything2.com, so hopefully he will stop by for a visit. If you're in Colorado, make it a point to attend one of his classes. They're a real eye-opener into the inner workings of the comic book industry.