“If men were benign, there would be no need for superheroes.” – Mike Baron.

Mike Baron is a comic book creator. He launched the science fiction comic “Nexus” in the 1980s. However, he’s been busy releasing a variety of comic books and novels ever since. And I had the opportunity to interview this prolific author.


Tamara Wilhite: You’ve contributed to a number of best-selling science fiction comic books. What was your role in the “Star Wars – The New Republic” and “Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy” books?

Mike Baron:  I adapted Timothy Zahn’s best-selling novels, to my mind, among the best Star Wars novelizations. It was an easy job. Each novel yielded six comics. I only used Zahn’s dialogue. Since he writes in such a visual manner, they were easy to envision. I wrote those comics by drawing each page out by hand. I’m not a professional artist, but I’m good enough so that artists and editors can tell at a glance what I’m doing.


Tamara Wilhite: Your comic book “Nexus” won every industry award when it came out. It received six Eisner awards. What other awards did it get? And why do you think that is?

Mike Baron: Steve received the Russ Manning Award for best new artist. We both got Inkpots. Nexus was something new in science fiction comics. It came out of left field. The depth of characterization and world-building brought us many fans. The mix of serious drama leavened with funny animal interludes (Clonezone) won us a lot of fans.

Everything we did up through the nineties is available in hardbound Archive editions, or in the smaller Ominbus-size.


Tamara Wilhite: How many books are based off the “Nexus” comic series?

Mike Baron:  Individual comics? About one hundred and fifteen. Steve has tried publishing it himself, but he’s not a publisher. He is going to re offer the Sunday newspaper strips in a more manageable size next year. I scripted those comics, but he changed all my dialogue. We came to an understanding. He’s free to offer his version of Nexus, virtually all of which is based on my writing, and I’m free to offer my own versions. Thus, I am offering a new three issue series from Splatto Comics next year drawn by Kelsey Shannon. Richard Meyer commissioned these books and is crowdfunding them.


Tamara Wilhite: “Nexus” is far from your only comic book. “Florida Man” comes to mind. Disclaimer: I contributed to that crowdfunding campaign. What other projects are you working on, and how many of them are crowdfunded?

Mike Baron: Florida Man was a novel before it was a comic. I conceived it as a comic series, but when I finished five scripts, I realized I had a very detailed outline. I wrote the novel. It is by far my most successful novel. The sequel, Hogzilla, is out.

Florida Man



Tamara Wilhite: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from crowdfunding comics?

Mike Baron:  I know nothing! If it weren’t for my wife Ann, I could never run a successful campaign. Ann ran both the Q-Ball campaign, and the Nexus novel campaign. Chris Braly is running our Florida Man Graphic Novel campaign. Chris is a professional video guy. The video he created for Florida Man is far and away the best video of any crowd-funded comic ever. It’s still open. Florida Man is the funniest comic ever made. I guarantee you will laugh out loud.


Tamara Wilhite: The big names in comic book publishing are in decline. That’s demonstrated by the layoffs at DC Comics and others. How are you managing to succeed? What makes you stand out or attract an audience?

Mike Baron:  I know how to entertain. I know how to grab readers by the throat. My first three rules of writing:

  1. Entertain.
  2. Show, don’t tell.
  3. Be original.

These may seem simple, but they have eluded most comic creators.


Tamara Wilhite: What else are you working on?

Mike Baron:  We are about to offer a Badger novel. I’ve included the cover. I have written a Nexus/Lonestar/Bigfoot Bill crossover that Matt Weldon is illustrating. I have written THIN BLUE LINE, a graphic novel about the police that Joe Arnold, a full-time police officer is illustrating. It is a nuclear bomb. Jeff Slemons, an accomplished artist in his own right (www.jeffslemons.com) is inking and painted the cover over Joe’s layouts.


Tamara Wilhite: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Mike Baron:  Working on a third Florida Man novel, When Calls the Catfish, and finishing up the eighth Josh (Biker) Pratt novel.


Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for speaking with me.