19 April 2011

Comic Art Tuesday: Mills, Rogers, and Steve "The Dude" Rude!

Scott Mills (TV Batman)
Sometimes, it's fun to get a fresh perspective on Bat things.  Indie artist Scott Mills grabbed me with his TRENCHES book, a story about WWI, and then entertained me with his SEAMONSTERS & SUPERHEROES.  He did a bunch of little 3 x 3 colour illustrations for me and I included a request for TV's Batman.

I like how Scott reduced Adam West's appearance to this perfect line art.  You know it's Batman, you know it's Adam West, and you know it's fun.

I use to see his commissions of 70's comics and I love his appreciation of Bronze Age stuff.

His aim is true!

Marshall Rogers (Batman)
C'mon, you totally dug BATMAN in the Seventies when Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin tore off and created a string of issues that have reprinted a bat-bunch of times.  Englehart wrote great stuff- he revisited classic villains such as Joker and Penguin, introduced Clayface III, and made Hugo Strange awesome.  Best of all, Silver St. Cloud was a Bruce Wayne flame of value- perhaps the best?

The art team of Rogers and Austin brought a panache and layout that hadn't been seen before.  The world was still shaking over Neal Adams' romantic style of Dark Knight and Rogers/ Austin introduced a cartoon illustration style that retained all the "dark" atmosphere.

The bottom line? Comics could be comics and still work.

Steve Rude (Batman)
 Steve Rude has got to be a man out of time.  He co-created NEXUS, one of the most recognized indie comics of all time, and is the love child of Jack Kirby and Homer Winslow.  He digs superhero comics, but of 1966.  You can find "The Dude" on line pumping out commission after commission of Stan and Jack's best creations.

I loved his WORLD'S FINEST, a Superman & Batman story written by Dave Gibbons.  It has every beat right.  Luthor and Joker are pitch-perfect.  Superman and Batman's relationship is varied, and the art is gorgeous.

What I find interesting is Steve's expressed desire to NOT draw Batman (or Robin or Green Lantern, it seems).  I have always wanted a commission from The Dude and he posted an art sale on his site.  Despite the statement regarding the Dark Knight, I asked if he would reconsider.  He did and I think the piece is breath taking.  The colours are perfect.

Sure enough, it became the cover to his sketch book and his calendar.

Batman sells, baby.


  1. My oh my! How I love these three.

    Firstly I should say kudos to you and your commissions, one of the things I have noticed about some of the stuff you have is you are not scared of breaking from the regular formula and traditional comic book styles.
    This in turn has started to make me think about taking more chances with what I choose.

    It is only recently I have started looking at comic book art more constructively rather than say the title of the book and choices of characters which may make you overlook the artist… and I love what I’m finding.

    I really like that Scott Mills, like you say it is obvious who and what he has drawn, his style is cute and fun!
    A little like Art Balthazar.

    MARSHALL ROGERS!! My Achilles heel… he is my all-time favourite Bat-man artist.

    Did I get the chance to commission him… Yup!
    Did I take up the offer…? Nope, thinking I would a little further down the line, then it was too late!

    You know Silver is the best Bat babe!! She’s smart, sophisticated, beautiful and has the best wedge and flare fashion combo in the whole of comics!!

    Plus she knew who he was on her own merit and helped take down Strange.

    What you have there is perfect! I LOVE IT.

    Steve Rude; I follow what goes on with him via his Facebook page.
    Considering he does no longer want to do much comic related stuff seems a real shame.

    I can’t help but think he is hindering himself.

    You own a beautiful painting which is prime Rude the Dude, if he did a few more things like this, he would be able to get on top of his financial problems a little more rather than the very similar typical girl showing a little but draped in a curtain etc. he seems to favour… and the eBay auctions of pages.

    The first thing I came across by him was a painting of Wonder Woman surrounded by kittens and cats, and there is a variant to it with pups and dogs… that is the kind of thing I would like to own by him.

    But what you have is certainly special in its brilliance and rarity for the day.

    I love comic art Tuesdays!!

  2. Hooray!

    Yes, the WW commissions were requests that came out of the blue, but I think work in ways very few people would have planned.