Steve Rude was born on December 31, 1956 in Madison, Wisconsin. He attended the Milwaukee School of Art and Design, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the Madison Area Technical College.
In 1981, Rude and writer Mike Baron created Nexus, an independent science fiction comic book with a large supporting cast. For the series, Rude designed numerous distinctive alien races, including the Thunes, the Amphibs, the Quattros, the Giz, the Demons, and others. The series ran for eighty issues although Rude did not pencil them all, and seven short, almost-yearly mini-series after the initial series ended.
His first work for DC Comics appeared in Tales of the Teen Titans #48 (Nov. 1984). Rude collaborated with writer Dave Gibbons on the World’s Finest miniseries for DC in 1990. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz has noted that Rude’s artwork “plays on Norman Rockwell’s Americana, while his sleek sequential storytelling owes a debt to the work of Alex Toth.”
Rude drew two intercompany crossovers in the 1990s. The Magnus, Robot Fighter/Nexus two-issue limited series for Valiant Comics and Dark Horse Comics and the The Incredible Hulk vs. Superman one-shot for Marvel Comics and DC. Rude’s work for Marvel includes X-Men:Children of the Atom, Spider-Man: Lifeline, Thor: Godstorm, and Captain America: What Price Glory.
In 2004 Rude co-created and penciled The Moth with writer/inker Gary Martin.
Rude’s own “Rude Dude Productions” was announced on November 15, 2006. It has published new issues of Nexus and The Moth as well as an anthology series. The new Nexus series was Rude’s first work with Baron since the last issue published by Dark Horse Comics. The first Nexus issue from Rude Dude was released as issue #99 (part 1 of the “Space Opera” story), and was set immediately following the last Dark Horse issue. After a few delays, issue #100 was published, followed by the final two issues of “Space Opera” printed together as one double-sized issue.
Rude returned to DC Comics in 2013 and drew the Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill one-shot. The following year, Rude and writer Jerry Ordway produced a Superman story for DC’s Adventures of Superman digital series.