Comic book veteran Marco Rudy has a brand new thing. But how did he get to where he is now? Rudy writes for Bleeding Cool: I worked for DC for nearly 5 years, from 2008 to early 2013 – was exclusive for 3 years of that period. It was quite the formative time, as I quickly had to learn to be on a crazy tight schedule, strict art direction, during an event (came in, during Final Crisis and have two issues – well, one and a half issue – and a special, under my credit). It was also where I was given the first gigs that invited me to explore the limits of story-telling (and editorial goodwill) with Escape and The Shield –
These were books that editorial invited me to be creative, or just let me do my thing. And while my biggest credit at DC – Swamp Thing – is the one more people saw the kind of alternative approach to layout and page design I had, that was actually heavily dictated by how Yanick Paquette was going about it. Working alongside him and learning was quite an experience.
Swamp Thing being my last gig (or ongoing gig) at DC, I got offered a Spidey gig at Marvel with magic words around it: Complete Creative Freedom. This is what finally landed me on my voice, My way of telling a story. By literally trying everything I could come up with, to make the story more interesting to look at and well, break my own boundaries, exploit creative ticks here and there, learn, even more, evolve as I went. Each New issue of Marvel Knights Spiderman was a treat, and you could see how more comfortable I was becoming in my own skin.
Creative Freedom remained throughout my continuous stint at Marvel, culminating in what I'm probably most known for – Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier series. Interestingly enough, I had initially refused that gig since I thought coming out of a Dr. Strange Annual book, I was more suited for a more "out-there" book than a street-level character. Again more magical words appear, as Editorial came back to me with "we're aiming for a Steranko-Inspired Nick Fury kinda story" – well, they had me then.
Working on that title was again another opportunity to stretch my creative wings, and I gladly indulged. However, with everything hand-painted, at the end of the equivalent of ten issues, I was burnt out in one year.
Interestingly enough, sometime after that book ended, I pitched a series of ideas to Axel Alonso, then-Marvel EIC. One seemed to land interest enough for me to co-write (with my fellow Dr. Strange Annual partner – Frank Barbiere) and paint a pitch short for a Master of Kung Fu and the MI13 mini-to be ongoing series. Axel really liked it, but it kept being shopped around editorial, waiting for the "right time" to be done something with. A shame; I'd love to have worked on that.
The waiting time got me gearing up more stories, landing on one that had a dreaming robot enter a fantasy land and experience "humanity" in these dreams, enough to eventually break from programming. While that idea is still around and resting for now, at the time, I started investing more and more time in the fantasy side of things that I just kept that side – Thus, RDW came about. Rainy Day Woman. A story about real-life day-to-day dealings and grime, set in a world of fantasy, with Elves and Dragons.
It's curious that my evolution from my early times at DC to today. It stemmed from a desire to experiment more, have more control over my final product while evading conventional storytelling clutches, and accommodating Big Brand editorial constraints.
I went from just penciller to penciller-inker because I wanted to have more control over the way my art looked, inked (I worked with Mick Gray, loved his inks, wanted to do what he did, essentially, but, my way) – same with colors and eventually getting to the part where I felt compelled to tell a story myself, completely on my own terms.
Which better place to be then than Kickstarter, where I am beholden to the audience and the backers? I think it is a great tool for anyone's voice to be heard – if there is an audience and your story and/or art is something that resonates with enough people, it is worth trying.
So that's where we are now, trying to see if this gets enough audience to see it exist. Hopefully, it will.