Interview: Mike Baron
by Drew Bittner
Review by Drew Bittner
Date: 03 May 2012
Links: Mike Baron's Website /
SFRevu: You're coming back to comics in a pretty big way, with new releases of both Nexus and The Badger. Considering it's been awhile, what would you say to a new reader to introduce them to one or the other character?
Mike Baron: I would say, Nexus is a space opera. Nexus is a cosmic avenger who dreams about mass murderers, tracks them down and kills them. Nexus combines science fiction, superheroes, comedy and drama with compelling visuals to tell a story that will live forever.
Badger is a multiple personality, only one of whom is a costumed superhero--The Badger. While Badger is generally lighter in tone than Nexus, Badger also combines comedy and drama in new ways. Badger is also about the martial arts which we strive to portray accurately. I encourage new readers to Google these characters. Google me. But never, ever Google yourselves!
SFRevu: How did you come to create these guys? Was there a moment of clarity when you thought "heck yeah, THAT is who they are!"?
Mike: Steve Rude and I originally presented Capital Comics with a dystopian future tale. Milt took one look and said, "nahhhhh--give us a costumed superhero!" I brainstormed twelve pages of Nexus based on the premise that every time he shows up somebody dies. That is an in-built dramatic mechanism. Of course we have played infinite and surprising variations on that theme dealing with the nature of guilt, evil, good, and existentialism.
When the boys expressed interest in a second character, I walked down State Street. It was Badger Barber, Badger Brats, Badger Sports. And suddenly it hit me--it was the Badger!
SFRevu: You're considered one of the founding fathers of independent comics. how do you feel about your place in comics history, then and now?
Mike: I'm proud of my accomplishments but I don't think about history.
SFRevu: What was the first comic you read?
Mike: Uncle Scrooge
SFRevu: You're most closely associated with Steve "the dude" Rude. You both started out as a couple of guys in Wisconsin. Do you have any anecdotes to share about being a couple of young guys who wanted to create comics?
Mike: Oh honey, don't let me commence! There are a number of anecdotes in the upcoming RUDE DUDE documentary (Google it) that Ian Fischer has directed. I won't repeat that one so let me think...
SFRevu: Is there anything about the comics world--books or creators--that holds your interest nowadays?
Mike: I don't read many new comics. I'm always interested in what my friends are doing.
SFRevu: What would be your ideal legacy, that in 50 years a reader would look back and say "that's what Mike Baron was all about"?
Mike: I could do worse than be remembered for Nexus and Badger. But let's not rush the Reaper!
SFRevu: Anything you'd like to add? (you can include links to your site or ordering info...that's always good)
Mike: Currently my site's a mess--www.bloodyredbaron.net--but I'm getting a webmaster and cleaning it up. I hope to turn it into a serious blog. I encourage people to friend me on Facebook--Michael A. Baron--that's where the action is.