With Further Ado #017: When Steve Rude Almost Saved Christmas

With Further Ado #017: When Steve Rude Almost Saved Christmas

Back in the early 90s, we needed to save Christmas and I almost got Steve Rude to do it.

I was in brand management when I was starting out my marketing career. I had the great fortune to be assigned to Nabisco’s OREO brand.  It was a lot of fun.  I worked on the launch of Mini OREO, introduced the Halloween OREO and a Christmas variant with red crème.  In those days, changing anything about Nabisco’s brand was a serious exercise only undertaken with the most serious thought and planning.   This is in stark contrast today, when every season there are several more flavor variants to the brand.

Christmas and cookies always go together, and one of the annual traditions for the brand was to create a collectible OREO tin. These were tins with a wistful, family-focused Rockewellian painting that would be sold with a 16 oz.  package of OREO inside it.  From a marketing perspective it served many purposes: it was one more reason for someone to buy OREO, the retailers had an excuse to build a display and we even had fans who collected them each year.

We typically hired a commercial illustrator to provide the painting of a family eating OREO cookies by the Christmas Tree. They were perfectly fine, but I had the idea that I wanted to step it up with one of my favorite artists.

Steve Rude had burst onto the scene the decade before with his brilliant Nexus series and other comics work.  His work was always exciting and fun to look at fun to look at, but one couldn’t help but be struck by both his brilliant design sense, and his ability to render expressive figures.  Many of the covers would be painted, while the interiors would showcase his impressive traditional comics work.  His paintings are what sparked my idea.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #017: When Steve Rude Almost Saved Christmas”

Star Wars Sunday Funday: Club Starkiller Base

Star Wars Sunday Funday: Club Starkiller Base

If you’re looking for family fun, look no further.


The Galaxy’s hottest club is Starkiller Base.

Located in the upper lower west side of space, this hollowed-out ice planet is the creation of some hardcore Empire fanboys who wanted their own Death Star and figured “Hey, third time’s the charm.” This place has everything: stormtroopers, wookiees, angry Darth Vader impersonators, giant Sith lords in loungewear. And look who’s at the bar. Is that Emperor Palpatine? No, it’s three ewoks in a trenchcoat.

If the bar’s not your scene, head down to the garbage compactor where DJ Phasma is spinning remixes of C-3PO’s Top 100 complaints.

And this Friday, the first hundred people through the door get to see a plucky band of rebels destroy the whole thing with a single critical flaw and the power of friendship.

(Also, droids drink free before 10pm)