INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
This time around, I take a look at artist Rudy Nebres, who did some excellent work during the 70s and 80s but never became a household name.
Rudy Nebres is something of an anonymous comic book creator. He was among that tidal wave of Filipino creators who hit the American comic book scene in the 1970s, but he never achieved the popularity of Alex Niño or Tony DeZuniga. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason for this, but one likely factor is that he never had a long run on any title or character.
Like many of his contemporaries, Nebres got his start at DC with a handful of stories scattered through the various horror anthologies, beginning with House of Mystery #210.
Nebres migrated over to Marvel, and made significant contributions to their black and white magazine line, with notable contributions to Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Nebres’ eye for anatomy and his fluid inks helped infuse his action sequences with some incredible style.
Unfortunately, Marvel’s magazine line went the way of the Dodo bird. Nebres moved into color comics, and was often assigned the task of ‘embellishing’ or providing the ‘finished art’ over the layouts of the likes of Carmine Infantino, Jim Starlin and especially Gil Kane on John Carter, Warlord of Mars. I feel that Nebres added an organic and almost feminine quality to Kane’s work, and that they suited each other quite well on that project.
During this time, Nebres contributed plenty of solid work to Warren’s line of black and white magazines including Eerie, Vampirella, 1984, 1994 and the Fighting Armenian strip in The Rook.
Nebres found work all over the place during the 80s, with further contributions at Marvel, some work on Archie’s Red Circle relaunch as well as some of the new, independent publishers such as Pacific and, more recently, CrossGen.
I am not sure exactly why Nebres does not have a larger body of work. He did go on to work for Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios, migrating into the world of storyboards and commercial art, cutting down on his funnybook stuff. Perhaps it is due to bad timing, as his skills may have been best suited for the fantasy and horror genres, which saw a decline in popularity not long after his arrival on the scene. It’s too bad, as he never got the recognition he deserved.
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