“Unique” is an apt description upon meeting Steve Rude. There’s the obvious physical six-foot-five-and-a-half stature. But more important, there is the inner reality and his work. With observation, the latter two become more apparent and atypical.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1956, Steve began a serious study of his craft when his family moved from Michigan to Milwaukee. After graduating from high school, Steve spent two years at the Milwaukee School of Art before returning to his hometown of Madison where he attended the Madison Area Technical College.
Steve Rude’s career began in 1981 with his and co-creator Mike Baron’s groundbreaking “Nexus” comic series. This space saga catapulted Rude into the field of comics, where he became highly sought after by major publishers. During his first few years in the industry, Rude’s efforts led to numerous awards, such as the 1984 Russ Manning Newcomer Award, the Kirby Award for best artist in 1986, and numerous Eisner’s for artistic achievement. For over two decades, Rude has drawn hundreds of comic’s greatest iconic heroes, and has galvanized the art world as a comic magazine artist and illustrator.
Steve’s desire to better his craft with each new project shows an expressive and caring approach. He holds deep appreciation for the illustrators who have come before him. By studying the works of such masters as Andrew Loomis, John Gannam, Harry Anderson, and Jack Kirby, Rude continues to perfect his talent. The result is an artist with the discipline and training of the grand illustrators from the 1930s to 1950s.
When Steve isn’t working on a project or commission, he practices. He’s constantly learning and honing his already considerable skills. A sketchpad is his constant companion and he fills it as assiduously as an accountant who balances books. He began keeping the sketchpads, which he calls “Logs” (after Captain Kirk’s verbal counterparts), in 1976. Currently, he’s working on number twenty-eight.
These days Steve lives in Peoria, Arizona, with his wife, Jaynelle and their two kids.