iFanboy Upstarts: Aaron Kuder

Every comic artist owes a resounding debt to the artists who’ve come before them. From the ones that paved the way for the current shape of comics to the ones who inspired them to be artists in the first place. Comics legend Art Adams has inspired many artists in the past twenty years, from Image founders like Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld all the way to today’s crop of new artists. Today’s iFanboy Upstart is someone who idolized Adams growing up, but isn’t afraid of delving into his own style as he begins his own professional career as a comic artist.

Michigan-born artist Aaron Kuder made his living in a lot of different ways before he made his way to comics: bartender, rug salesmen, and even a licensed electrician. That all changed when he got a call from an online friend who offered him a chance to take over drawing a book. But let’s step back — Aaron Kuder’s journey to being a full-time comics artist started when he joining the forums for the artist collective Ten Ton Studios. There, alongside future comics pros like Chris Burnham, Nick Pitarra and others, they talked comics and pushed each other’s pursuit of drawing comics through art challenges, submissions packets and samples. All the while Kuder paid the bills working on things besides comics (like the jobs listed above); his first professional work was doing finishes over a pin-up Chris Burnham supplied for 2010’s Elephantmen #25; Burnham, swamped with work drawing comics for Boom!, asked Kuder to help out in order to meet deadlines. Burnham, who was then working on Coheed & Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez’ The Amory Wars comic for Boom! Studios, reached out to Kuder again when he was about to jump off the title for a plum assignment drawing Batman Inc. The Amory Wars needed a replacement artist, and Burnham thought Kuder was an ideal candidate — problem was, Kuder had a full-time job as an electrician. Quitting a stable job (with health benefits!) wasn’t an easy decision, but for Kuder it was a quick one, as he jumped at the chance and took over the series beginning with The Amory Wars #8 in the summer of 2011.

After drawing the final four issues of The Amory Wars, Kuder continued his pairing with Sanchez and did the musician/writer’s The Key of Z zombie book for Boom! at the end of 2011 and into 2012. And by the time Kuder finished that series, he had moved from Arkansas to New York and had caught the eye of both DC and Marvel. Kuder’s first work for the Big Two was doing a fill-in issue of Legion Lost, then jumping over to Marvel to do a two-parter in Avenging Spider-Man seeing the web-crawler cross over with Deadpool and Spider-Ham. Kuder quickly began picking up work as a cover artist, contributing variants to his friend Chris Burnham’s run on Batman Inc. as well as doing the primary covers for Marvel’s current Avengers Vs. The MarvelĀ  Universe miniseries. Currently, Kuder is prepping for his first ongoing assignment — taking over on Green Lantern: New Guardians on both covers and interiors.

Aside from the early inspiration of the hyper-realized work of Art Adams, Kuder’s work shows some European attention to detail along with his ability to draw the settings and backgrounds working in tandem with the characters on the page; somethingĀ  most artists can’t achieve on a regular schedule. Kuder’s got an amazing depth of field and a versatility that’s surprising for someone who hasn’t even been a full-time comics artist for two full years yet. What do you think of Kuder’s work so far, and where do you think he’ll be in the future?


  1. Those just made love to my eyes! 0_o

  2. Wow, that is some great stuff! I especially like the Kraven vs Uder-Man sequence. Great story telling and character design.

  3. i like the zombies and the pied piper

  4. Not my cup of tea, although I do think that Batman piece is pretty rad. I see a lot of Quitely, Gibbons and Corben in his work.

  5. Key of Z was great. I think it’s also the best “comic” Sanchez has ever done… maybe that’s because his wife co-wrote it?
    Consider me on board for anything Kuder does in the future, especially if it’s another effort between him and Sanchez.

  6. I like a Batman with tiny ears.

  7. Almost kind of like Art Adams X Frank Quitely

  8. Wow! Love the Alien Legion piece, though it favors the Stroman designs over the (imho) way more awesome Frank Cirocco designs. I see some Geoff Darrow in the ridiculous amount of detail, as well. Really good stuff!

  9. So glad to see this. I first saw his work in Avenging spider-man and absolutely loved it, specifically his creative character work in the “dream/hypnotism sequence” as shows above.

  10. I’ve never heard of Aaron Kuder, but he has damn good style for action type of storytelling. There’s Adams and Darrow influence in his line art the human form while keeping facial expressions as his own style. And some of Quitely, too. What I hope he doesn’t have is Quitely’s lack of commitment to finishing what he starts.

  11. I think this guy is going to be the permanent artist on Green Lantern: New Guardians, is he not?

  12. Nice.. I had never heard of him.. I’m going to have to keep my eye out for some of his books.

  13. Good stuff. The worlds needs more Quitely/Burnham style artwork. I’ll keep my eye on him.

  14. He reminds me a lot of Chris Burnham with a dash of Seth Fisher.

    Big fan of his work from Avenging Spider-Man and his covers for GL: New Guardians are really beautiful. Hopefully he gets more work (on bigger titles) down the line.

  15. Nice history section up top; I always thought he looked like a better version of Burnham (well, my preference), so it’s interesting to find out how close they’re linked.

  16. Aaron Kuder is a BAD ASS.

  17. I like! I do find it a odd how much cover art he’s done versus interior art though.

  18. Wow. Very impressive. His art’s got a sort of Geof Darrow/Frank Quietly vibe going for it. Very impressive. I’d hate to think how long it took him to do those Zombie pages.

  19. Yeah, I’m definitely diggin’ this guy’s art. Has a Quietly and Darrow feel to it. Awesome.