I interviewed Mike Baron shortly before his comic book “Florida Man” came out. He is more famous for creating the “Nexus” science fiction comic book in the 1980s. He worked on “Star Wars – The New Republic” and “Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy” books.


Tamara Wilhite: You created the comic book version of the Thrawn Trilogy. I am assuming that you know people like Timothy Zahn. Do you have any insight about the fight over Star Wars novelists not being paid by Disney?

Mike Baron: A little. I’ve met Tim at several cons. I would have to comb through my royalty statements to see if Disney has coughed up. I think all longtime Disney fans are appalled at the direction the company has taken: censorship of classic films like Song of the South and Dumbo, choosing their writers and directors not on their ability to do the job, but on basis of ethnicity and sexual orientation, canceling Gina Carrano for expressing mainstream traditional ideas, altering their classic Jungle Cruise so as not to offend. Entertainment is job one. Most people know that. Most people also have the common sense to smell nonsense.

Huh. I just got a check from Disney for a hundred and thirty-nine bucks! I can only conclude it’s for my Star Wars work.


Tamara Wilhite: I don’t know if your latest works count as science fiction related. But how well did your “Florida Man” series do? I know the sequels “Hogzilla” and “Catfish Calling” came out.

Mike Baron: We’re real happy. Florida comic shops can’t keep them on the shelf. We’re about to start the art on the second Florida Man graphic novel, “Hogzilla.” There’s a strong science fiction element in the novel Hogzilla as Tallywhacker, the artificially intelligent mechanical bull, is invaded by aliens with multiple personalities. It’s complicated!


Tamara Wilhite: Your earliest comics like “Nexus” came out in print. “Florida Man” and your other recent works are available as digital comic books as well as print versions. How does publishing an e-comic, if that’s the right word, differ from traditional print publishing?

Mike Baron: I have no idea. I demand physical product. I don’t do downloads. But what do I know? If people want all their entertainment digitally, who am I to say thee nay? They’ll be sorry when the giant alien electro magnetic pulse hits and they’re left with useless junk. There’s a huge dif in looking at your hand-held device reading Punisher, and holding the print copy in your hand. There’s something magical in the way good comic illustration can suck you into the page. Digital readers are jaded. They just accept that as normal, if it’s done well. If it’s not done well, they can see it’s bad art.


Tamara Wilhite: What are the biggest online comic book publishing platforms? And which do you recommend to creators? 

Mike Baron: I’ve heard of Comixology! Otherwise, precious little of light filters down here into the badger den. I can barely operate ths computer.


Tamara Wilhite: You’re working on a new comic series called “Buddy McGill”. What is that about?

Mike Baron: Buddy is the James Bond of Dogs. He starts out as a TSA agent, sniffing for drugs, but when Buddy spots a terrorist boarding a jetliner, he takes action! He rips the disguise off the terrorist and flushes himself out the toilet, using the garment as a parachute. And that’s just the beginning. By the end of the first issue, Buddy has become famous. Artist Fer Calvi is unique. A genius. I’ve included the cover and some pages.


Tamara Wilhite: What else are you currently working on?

Mike Baron: Writing a military sci fi novel with Major Diggs Brown, finishing a second Nexus novel, writing a new Biker, writing 2084, a dystopian future comic, for Martin Pirkl (enclosing some art,) watching Pat Broderick do the best work of his career illustrating Bronze Star, our Western, watching Richard Bonk finish the new Nexus GN Nefarious, coming from Dark Horse next year, waiting for copies of Kelsey Shannon’s three issue Nexus series, waiting to fulfill MONSTER HUNT 2: LET’S GET KRAKEN, the Nexus/Lonestar/Bigfoot Bill crossover with art by Matthew Welch, writing The Saints for Allegiance, and some other stuff.


Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for speaking with me.