on February 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm
My name is Nick Dupree, and I’m the artist and writer behind Superdude Comics.
Artist’s statement — Nicholas F. Dupree
When I was 9-years old, a botched back surgery left me in horrible pain and clinging to life in the hospital. To help myself cope, I began drawing and coloring ”Superdude” comic books with pens and crayons.
More about this at “Why is it called Superdude Comics?”
I had always created drawings, and my Mom always said that even the earliest scribblings were ”sequential,” a panel or snapshot of people and things amid intense change. Both parents being art teachers, I had excellent opportunities to grow artistically and understand images very early on. I still believe that my understanding is only beginning.
Today at age 33, much of my artwork is still comic art, webcomics, “sequential art,” though obviously with progressively more complex images and themes, exploring the fear of the other entwined with American politics and sanctuary for mutants in the action comedy Bunnies in Space (2012) and the futuristic noir adventure spin-off Bun Detective (2014-present) which delves into even darker territory, such as official discrimination against mutants and people with disabilities, and space and high-tech making economic and social survival of a marginalized community possible.
I’ve always made paintings that look at the juxtaposition of supposed opposites that become entwined: cold and hot, artificial and organic. In the May 1st painting “Self-portrait from side,” the ventilator tubing is part of the human, the same colors, part alive. With its expressionist brushstrokes and colors, the tubing becomes the same substance, the artificial becomes organic. Since 2011, I’ve increasingly focused on painting, self-portraits, and portraiture, like the Faces series (2014) documenting people with disabilities and others in community in a unique and colorful style. Curator Susan Surface connected an article I’d co-written with anthropologist Zoe Wool, Life Support, with earlier self-portraits and other New York artists’ works that highlight the connection between the human and the technological in the May 2014 show More-than-one-and-less-than-two at GordilloScudder gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The show in Brooklyn displayed portraits that preceded and foreshadowed the Faces series, which is, in a way, also “sequential art.” When we speak of disability, it’s a change or difference in ability, and survival beyond that change. The Faces series is just a snapshot or panel of people amid the rapid scroll of time.
More about my comics
In 2011, I began working on historical fiction, writing, drawing and inking “Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders vs. Zombies” about TR confronting a zompocolypse in 1898 New York City. Early 2012 saw the birth of “Wild West Apothecary,” a historical fiction comic that centers on mid-19th century medicine, the Civil War in Missouri, the WILD WEST, an apothecary shop, immigrants. I’m still interested in using comics to bring the past to life and introduce students to history, and teaching other subjects.
I did (2013-14) “Story of Samson,” a verse-by-verse illustrated adaptation of the primordial Hebrew superhero story that precipitated all the others.