Something long-dormant beneath the surface of Ylum comes alive, triggering a visit from the planet-devouring Gourmando and his mysterious ally. With powers far beyond those of even Nexus himself, this unstoppable being banishes Nexus to an unknown realm-and the only way out is to face one’s worst fears! Mike Baron and Steve Rude deliver a new Nexus adventure in this special collection that also includes the full pencils and inks.
- Rude Dude Productions, August 2021
- ISBN: none
- 12″ x 17″, 320 pages, hardcover
- $175 USD
- Order online: eBay
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
A large hardcover collection of The Coming Of Gourmando in its three iterations: final published in colour, pencils only, and inks, in that order. This allows you to look at the comic in its stages of production. Also included are extras about the process from Steve Rude and Mike Baron, along with a comic strip that appeared with the original newspaper printing and some promotional pages for other Steve Rude work.
This was solicited through Dark Horse in 2019 as an “Artist’s Edition” but was then crowdfunded in 2020 with the final product shipping in August 2021. Along the way, it morphed from a straight collection of original art to this “Deluxe Edition” that contains more published material. The original story was first printed in tabloid form, i.e. a large newspaper. I couldn’t locate the dimensions of the original art but I would say they are larger than the printed 12″ x 17″ size of this book.
Scan quality varies greatly, page by page. Most pencil pages are great, but getting into the inked pages and some are very soft or blurry while the next page is clear and highly detailed. It’s very noticeable in the word balloons. The marker used for the lettering seems quite light on a lot of pages. Rude’s pencils are a bit rough so you can see how he goes from that to details in the inks. Gradients are visible in some of the blacks. Light use of correction fluid. Margin notes appear throughout, and we see Rude’s title and page indications along the top of every page, but they’re usually cut off. Interesting to see the use of red pencil and red ink for effects.
The design is bright and bold for the pages that also appear in the trade paperback of this book. The original art sections don’t need any design as we’re presented with but art. The chapter dividers work well with panel art and the black text on a tan background. Page numbers appear along the bottom middle of every page, and it overlaps with notes and other page items occasionally. The page numbers would have worked better on the outer bottom edges, but that’s also where the original art had its page numbers. There are notes from Rude at various points on the original art to highlight the production and offer another glimpse into the creative process.
Production is mostly good. Hardcover with a sewn binding of a thick glossy paper. The cover edge seems to have glue issues, and my copy had a paper defect at the top right center. The book comes in a large sealed bag.
I’m of two minds on the choice of glossy paper for the original art. It works well with the inks, making the pages pop. But the pencils seem to suffer on this paper, but how to produce a book with different paper? I prefer to see original art on the same type of paper as the art, which in this case would have been matte paper. Paper stock is a highly divisive subject of AE format books.
No video flip through at this time, as I haven’t figured out how to get rid of the glare on glossy pages.
I ordered this book immediately through its first crowdfunding effort because I’m a fan of Steve Rude and had experienced his pencils and inks from Flesk Publications and their Nexus Chronicles. This volume one of The Newspaper Strips suffers from production and design issues, the largest being some poor scans. As well it tries to be all things to all readers, but the extra material doesn’t really enhance the original art pages and would have better served not appearing in the deluxe edition. Perhaps future volumes could have only the pencils and inks but include a copy of the trade paperback so readers could get the full experience of all material and compare the final printed comic with the original art.