Arvidland.com The online home of Arvid Nelson, writer of Rex Mundi & Zero Killer

About

Picture of me

Hi there!

My name is Arvid. I'm a comic book writer. This is my site! Yay.

Rex Mundi is a project I worked on for about ten years. It's a quest for the Holy Grail told as a murder mystery. I also created Zero Killer, set in a world destroyed by nuclear war in 1973. My next Big Project is The Band of the Crow, a novel based on my love of Celtic and Norse mythology.

In the meantime, I'm doing work for lots of publishers, including Dark Horse and Dynamite Entertainment. I'm also working on an illustrated novella through Radical Comics with Joseph Kosinski, the director of the upcoming Tron: Legacy movie.

I am proud to be an adherent of the Bahá’í Faith. I became a Bahá'í in college. Aside from the tenets of my religion, I have but two creeds in life: 1., pie > cake, and, 2., metal > punk. Metal RULES.

I’m also married to the beautiful and lovely Robyn Nelson, née Sklar. I studied Kempo for about fifteen years, and I took opera lessons all through high school. I just started taking MMA classes, too, so beware: I will rock your world when it comes to karaoke, jump-kicking, or submission grappling.

Be my friend! And if you want to drop me a line, please do: arvid (at) rexmundi (dot) net.

The Arvidland Manifesto

Arvidland is the best way to stay informed about all of my projects. I'll also post little snippets now and again about things I like. I'm going to try to keep it interesting (don't laugh). I promise I will never, ever post pictures of cats in Halloween costumes, or the excruciating details of my adventures making a peach cobbler. Or whatever.

I also promise – and I've already been guilty of this, but no more – to stay positive. There's more than enough negativity and nastiness on the Internet, thank you very much. Any time you see a new post, it will be because of something I love, not something I despise.


last update: 03.07.13

Comments (35) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Bonjour monsieur,

    Yes i’m french, and parisian “de surcroit” !
    Well, i’m a big fan of uchronia, steampunk, alan moore, and lovecraftia (and marvel comics in my young days…), whatever I never heard of you and Rex Mundi until …
    One day we went to a hard-discount-shop which solds lots of items for home decoration and while my wife was looking for kitchen hardware i stumbled into a special price offer of comics near the exit (in between curtains and cd’s storage furniture)
    I discovered (for a very interesting price) the french edition of the first volume of rex mundi (semic books) ! (I also bought ruse n° 2and 3 n° of the authority)

    waoou ! uchronia ! Paris 1933, no french revolution and a beautiful europen map . Moreover the hero was a detective called sauniere. ahaha what a joke! I suppose not a lot of americans know the story of the real abbé Sauniére and his templar treasure mystery. “cerise sur le gateau” ,I saw at the end of the book some newspaper articles “d’epoque” le journal de la liberté”.

    I’ve only read two chapters but I’m already becoming fan

    bravo for your work !

  2. Merci, monsieur le Comte! Would you believe I had the idea for Rex Mundi whilst gazing at the church of St. Germain des Prés in Paris?

    I believe a new publisher is going to be re-issuing Rex Mundi in the near future… expect it soon!

    Never mind the oddity of a comic written in English, set in France, and then translated back into the language the characters are supposedly speaking in in the first place…

  3. Ah St Germain des Pres, one of the places I like the most in Paris, in a street near (rue Dante) you can find 5 or 6 shops with imported material of sci-fi, fantastica, comics, mangas etc… but no kitchen hardware !

    Have you heard about la Brigade Chimerique ? it’s an uchronian french comic on europeans pulp heroes in between world war I and II. The subject is why have all the europeans superheroes from this period have disapeared ?
    Reallly it’s a little and beautiful pearl. I don’t think it has been puiblished in us or elsewhere, but let me show you the link to their site, and tell me what you think about the design and the spirit.

    http://www.brigadechimerique.com/index.php?pid=1

    à plus…

  4. The Chimerical Brigade – I’m guessing that’s how you’d pronounce it – looks fantastic! It hasn’t been translated into English? C’est domage! Ah, comics really are better in Europe, especially France. The creativity and the quality of the execution is orders of magnitude over and above all of the garbage we pump out here in the United States.

    How I wish I could speak/read/write French at a level above that of a Neanderthal! I’m a European trapped in an American’s body.

  5. Oh la la! don’t be so cruel to yourself and your nation (at least for what regards comics).
    When I was young (in the 70′s-80′s, I discovered marvel comics and it was a real evasion from all the very “conservative” comics here in france. A whole universe of heroes…. it made me dream and escape frome reality. In France we have heroes, but no super ones. This is a translation of the author of Chimerical brigade introduction “The frustration is without mystery: not only there is no super-hero in France, and more widely in continental Europe, but it seems impossible to create one which is not a tribute, a parody or an imitation weakened by the major figures of the US comics. Something “lack” in our imagination, we can’t say what exactly. There are many readers and authors to have felt this lack.”

    As we say : we dream of paradise, and paradise inhabitants dream of our place.

    a+

  6. See, monsieur Comte? French people are so terrific they even understand and appreciate American comics.

    Hah hah. I’m kidding, of course, I do realize American comics have a lot to offer. I suppose it’s just like anything else: most of it is garbage, but there are a few priceless gems lurking in the muck.

    Thanks for that translation, it got me thinking. Superheroes are uniquely American, aren’t they? Just like gigantic transforming robots are uniquely Japanese.

  7. and just like good wine is uniquely french….
    and just like good beer is uniquely belgian….
    and just like good pizza is uniquely italian….
    and just like good music is uniquely british….

    I shouldn’t but i’m showing you the unique real french super-hero
    http://iheartjq.com/?p=1

    More seriously, as France “exception culturelle” is thank god protecting us from USA cultural invasion, yes we can ! i’ve recived the not-traduced-in-french following chapters of rex mundi from amazon. But i will not read them until christmas as they are my presents. By just giving an eye thru it i’m impatient … I think you are the only one who have reached the goal of having a serious and beautiful uchronian comic. Moreover you have “saupoudré” it with sherlock-holmes, ocultism; detective story, etc which gives it a whole very intersting taste.

    Speaking of detective, have you been influenced in some way by your predessor edgar allan poe in writing the story of a french detective (i’m speaking Auguste dupin of course) ?

    Have a good christmas and don’t be to cruel with the turkey :-)

  8. Would you believe I’m a vegetarian? Absolutely no turkeys died as a result of me on Thanksgiving. On the other hand, it was The Holocaust of the Brussel Sprouts.

    I love that French super hero! And I absolutely agree with you, the British really do music better than anyone else. How I love British electronica.

    I really appreciate your praise of Rex Mundi! I’m absolutely nuts about Poe, but Julien’s character is actually more based on hard-nosed American PIs, like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. That was sort of the “big idea” behind Rex Mundi; doing an American-style noir detective story set in Europe. I mean, whether it’s Father Brown or Sherlock Holmes, European-style detectives are always three steps ahead of the police, who are basically good but also bumbling idiots, missing the size 13 bootprint outside the window or the bloody handkerchief shoved up the chimney flue or whatever.

    That’s what I like about American detective fiction: the cops are just as smart as the gangsters. And just as dangerous. By the time the main character gets there, not only have they already figured out exactly what happened… they’ve already been paid off, too.

  9. Bonjour et Bravo …

    I had a good surprise when I went to my comic store next week. Rex Mundi is reedited in french and was on a good view just on top of the new comics. Moreover your Kull book hardcover in french was not very far from it. It’s arvid invasion of France !

    I’ve seen that it is publicated with an other story of a certain frere Mathieu, pity it was not on original U-S printing of REX.
    Well i hope you will have great success here.

    I’ve recently craeted a blog to promote things I like : comics, movies, music etc to my friends far or near. I’ll be pleased if you visit it as my last post is on Rex Mundi . I’ll try to put on our two posts by week.
    http://we-can-utopia.blogspot.com/

    Longue vie au Roy

  10. Bonjour de nouveau

    I’ve discovered a video reportage on the launching of Rex Mundi in France. Congratulations your are comic of the week …
    http://arkham-comics.blogspot.com/
    It happens that the book store where it is filmed i situated on the same street where a certain Baron Marcel Brassac was arrested for sorcellery (read in journal de la liberté n°99) That’s strange isn’it ? here’s the proof
    http://arkham-comics.blogspot.com/2010/08/le-41-rue-broca.html
    Well I’ve more or less convicted my brother in law of becoming a rexmundi adept.
    I’ll do an official and world wide announcement of the french publication of N°2 in my blog that has changed adress :
    http://we-can-utopia.over-blog.com/article-rex-mundi-d-arvid-nelson-57673662.html

    vive le Roy

  11. Thanks for the alert, Seigneur St. Germain — I wish I understood more of what they said, but my French even worse than my Spanish. If my Spanish is at Neanderthal-level, then my French is somewhere below Australopithecus. That’s so wonderful the shop happens to be on the street of one of the Atget photos I used for le Journal. The New York Times just did a piece on Atget, in fact.

    Love the new look for we can utopia.

  12. Good evening Mister Nelson,

    this will be a short message, because I only want to say that I love Rex Mundi! For me, it is one of the greatest series I have ever read and made 2010 to one of my greatest Years as a Comicfan!

    Thank you, for bringing us this little treasure between all the Superheroes!

    But one question is still in my mind, ok two, mabye three questions: Was the ending of the final volume planned? For me, it felt a bit rushed.

    What was it about this special persons in the fifth volume(you know, at the prologue, in the castle)? I was very confused as I read this, and I miss the connection to the rest of the story.

    And are there plans for another Volume of Zero Killer or at least in the same universe? It was an interesting setting, more interesting as the actual story I think and there is so much potential!

    I excuse me for my bad english and say thumbs up again, for a really good job, which deserves more attention:-)!

    With friendly greetings from Germany

    Rafael:-)

  13. Hello, Rafael, thanks for the kind words – I’ll (try to) answer your questions in order:

    1. The ending for RM is something I had in mind for a long time. It might make more sense the second time around, if you care to re-read Rex Mundi. If you don’t, or if you do and it still doesn’t make sense, please accept my apologies.

    2. “Ishmael”, the short story at the beginning of Book 5, is meant to show the connection between Julian and Lorraine. Lorraine’s mistress is Jewish – so is Julien, if you’ll recall. In Judaism, religion is “passed down” through the mother. It’s also a retelling of the story of Hagar and Sarah, Abraham’s mistress and wife. On an allegorical level, Julien represents Islam, and Lorraine represents Christianity.

    3. I’m hoping to do another six issues of Zero Killer. God willing, it will happen!

  14. Hi again,

    1+2. Dont take me wrong, I love the ending, I just thought the mystery of the Vampires, would be solved too, as the other mysteries.

    The rest is fitting after all and I like the whole symbolism at the end(David is walking over water, Genévieve with the sun in the background, she gives birth in a place full of dead people, relatives of the great religion – believing in god of course – are united. At least, I thought all this was symbolic) and how you let it end loud and noisy.

    Is in english the short story with Isabelle called “Ishmael”(beacause, I mean this story)? I just thought this was a little tribute to Bram Stokers Dracula and a bit Carmilla (in German “Carmilla von Karnstein”). And Isabelles Mistress was jewish? For me, the Cross seems to be very christian, but maybe I have to read it again.

    3. Sounds good! Then, I wish you luck:-)!

    With friendly greeting form Germany

    Rafael:-)

  15. Oh! Rafael, forgive me, you were talking about Dark Horse Issue 6; I thought you meant Dark Horse #13.

    To tell you the truth, I had to write two fill-in issues – #6 and #13 – so we could stay on schedule. It was never part of my original plan; I tried to fit them in as best as I could.

    I thought a vampire story would be fun; if magic exists in Rex Mundi, then why can’t vampires and who knows what else, too? And it seems reasonable to imagine the blood of David would be especially tasty to vampires.

    I think it’s better not to try to explain or conclude every little thing – one of my favorite movies is Kind Hearts and Coronets. It has a great ending. For me, the best endings are the ones that make you keep thinking; instead of taking the ball away from readers, give them a racket and toss it back at them.

  16. And hi again!

    Ah, now it beginns to make sense:-)!

    For me, the storry of RM is a big puzzle and everything the characters say and everything they do is part of the greater mystery, but the Vampires were not fitting at all. Now I can put them aside and enjoy the rest of the story^^.

    And I think we have the same thought about them: It is a world where magic exists, so why not Vampires too(this was also my explanation and the Griffin proved it)?

    And I fully agree with the choice of your ending, because so can the reader decice by himself, what he believes and what not(terrible sentence, sorry).

    It is better than showing us the great pyramid with the eye, which saying some crap like(see below)

    “David, out! Bad Messia, bad! Sorry for all this kids,but it is in his blood to overreact. By the way, I’m just a Alien from another dimension and Maria was a One-Night-Stand. Sorry for that, I was very ve-ry drunk.

    So…eh…tata!*puff*”

    Hmm, but I have to admit, that this scene would be very funny, but maybe I have just a bad taste of humour:-P.

    Thank you, for your patience and answering all my questions.

    I wish you luck and cross my fingers for the next Volume of Zero Killer:-)!

    With friendly greetings from Germany

    Rafael:-)

  17. I’m glad that cleared things up, Rafael! No wonder you were confused.

    And! I’m so happy the griffin attack struck you as well integrated. It was one of those scenes I’d been planning in my head for a very long time.

  18. Allah-U-Abha!! Hi Nelson, how are you doing, i just read that you are a Baha’i and that is awesome. i became a Baha’i 2 years ago and i was curious to know if anything in your commics have any influence from the Baha’i writings or history. thanks

  19. Jose! Allah-u-Abha! Sorry it took me so long to approve this comment. I was sick as a dog, flat on my back for the past week! Now I can breathe again.

    Religion is really important to me (of course!), so it’s a running theme in just about everything I write! Rex Mundi in particular. It’s partly an allegory about the advent of the Bahá’í Dispensation. If you get a chance to read it, drop me a line, let me know what you think!

  20. Any updates on the Rex Mundi project? Still on? Is Deep still in?
    Thanks

  21. It’s still going! It’s still on! I just saw the latest version of the screenplay, and it’s terrific. Brian and Lee, the demented geniuses who wrote it, achieved the impossible. It’s true to the spirit of the comic in every way, but different enough to stand on its own.

    I can’t blab too much more or the producers will hunt me down like a filthy animal. Deservedly. But I’m very excited about how far it’s come.

  22. We have a Friend in the same artistic discipline as you in our community. Currently he is working on a work dealing with Mona and the Children. He is originally from Madagascar and now lives in the suburbs of Paris. Would you like to contact him?

    wonderful to hear about you.

    regards,
    jan

  23. Madagascar, wow! Please do give pass along his contact information. Thanks for the tip, lovely to hear from you!

  24. Hi Arvid,

    First of all a heartfelt sincere thanks for the supremely awesome Rex Mundi series. I reside in Mumbai, India and if there is one story that introduced me to .CBR files then it has to be Rex Mundi :-) . Now before you decide to sock my jaw, allow me to tell you the reason why. The local comic store has some great titles but not in continuity. So I picked up Rex Mundi Vol. 2 & by the time I came to the fifth page, I decided to buy the whole series. But no luck. And this is 2009. Ergo, CBR files was the way. Having said that I am picking up the Omnibus Vols as & when they release. I look forward to reading your thoughts, which hopefully I presume you have comitted in some extras section ;-)
    As the story goes, and I do not exaggerate, this was once in a lifetime ethereal experience. Yes I was emotionally overwhelmed. The last time I was close to being blown was when I completed the PC game Gabriel Knight 3. Rex Mundi was divine. I have had some beautiful memories associated with Rex Mundi like the weather for instance. It always would rain & it was over the weekends. My wife & me discussing Genevieve, the old testament… Beautiful days they were.
    Once again I thank you for this soul food called Rex Mundi. And of course we are all excited about the movie… God bless…

  25. Aaron, this is one of the nicest messages I’ve ever received. Consider yourself paid in full for every single page of Rex Mundi that you read. And I do appreciate you picking up the omnibuses when they come out – it really does make a difference to me! Yes, there are going to be new introductions by yours truly in both of them.

    Piracy is such a sticky issue. I know exactly how frustrating it is to go into a comic book store only to find they have every single volume of a series EXCEPT the one you’re looking for. Been there many times myself. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to keep up with comics living in Mumbai. So I forgive, thee, my son. Go ye forth and sin no more. :)

    The fact that Rex Mundi means so much to you means a lot to me, Aaron. It was a real labor of love, and I’m glad that love jumped off the page when you read it.

  26. Picking up on an old thread from 2009, @Rvid & @comte de st germain: after championing it around to some comics publishers, I translated the Chimerical Brigade. It’s slated for release from Archaia in November, and I’ll be doing a brief piece on it for my column at the VanderMeers’ Weird Fiction Review.

  27. Congratulations! Remind me and I’ll post about Chimerical Brigade (great title) on Arvidland when it comes out. I know this has been a long journey for you. It must feel great to have arrived at this point!

  28. Just read Rex Mundi (v1) and wanted to state I enjoyed it greatly- sorry for being a late comer.

    I find a great many of the concepts well fleshed versions of (I forget if I am using the term appropriately) Uchronia with the ‘what if’s’ of history offering variables, but I greatly enjoyed the story thus far- even without magic, it would still be a great noir style piece.

    Keep producing, so I can keep reading! :)

  29. Better late than never! I just appreciate you appreciating it.

    Your art looks great – you’ve got a real knack for tone.

  30. Hi Arvid,

    I was catching up on my pile of comics here since I was swamped these past few months. I started reading one of my favorite monthly comics, Dar Horse Presents and was really satisfied with this August issue. But it was the Rex Mundi story that stuck out the most to me. I enjoyed it so much that I rushed to wikipedia to see if more stories were published elsewhere and discovered that Dark Horse released an omnibus just a couple of months ago! Added that to my wish list then found this site. I am very excited to dive into this new world and even more excited that Johnny Depp’s production company has been working on a filk adaptation for all these years.

    Another reason why I appreciate the people responsible for Dark Horse Presents!

    Great stuff, Arvid! Happy to be a new fan of your work :)

    Cheers!

  31. Aw shucks, thanks Alex. I hope you like Rex Mundi.

  32. Hi Arvid,

    Really enjoyed Rex Mundi vol 1, but having trouble finding Oblivion for purchase. What’s the best place to purchase your works from in the US? Looking forward to picking it up.

    Thanks

  33. Alas, not sure about Oblivion. I haven’t really been in contact with the publisher or the filmmakers for a long time! To be honest, I’m not even certain when the book is coming out. Wish I had more information for you, believe me. As soon as I do, I’ll post an update right here.

  34. Any updates on Rex Mundi movie?
    What is next step?
    Thanks

  35. Sigh! No updates, no, but the project is still very much alive. Wish I had more to report!


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