KEITH DALLAS: The late 1980s were a particular heyday for you. At the time you started writing Flash in 1987, you were also writing Nexus, Badger, Robotech Masters, and Marvel had you on The Punisher.
MIKE BARON: I was a busy boy.
DALLAS: [chuckles] Can you describe your career at that point? What was it like writing all those titles?
BARON: Well, there was a lot of confusion.
DALLAS: How so?
BARON: [pauses] Keith, at the time I was making a lot of money, and I was doing a lot of cocaine.
BARON: As a result, my work was not the best that I could have done. I have gone through a lot of changes since then and I look back at that period with mixed feelings.
The cocaine definitely contributed to my "over-writing." I don't think I was taking my writing subjects as seriously as I do now. However, I took Flash very seriously and that's the reason I stopped writing the series [after issue #14] because I just ran out of ideas and I couldn't vamp it.
DALLAS: It was around this time that you were nominated three years in a row for an Eisner Award for your writing on Nexus.
BARON: My work on Nexus has never suffered.
When you do cocaine, you think you can do any damn thing. Often, I just would grab a sheet of paper and start telling a story and make it up as I went along, panel by panel. But you can't do that really. You need a real solid idea and solid characters to build a story around.
For the record Baron's work on that Flash overlapped with Nexus #33-46 and The Punisher #1-9. I think his work on those two runs, and on Flash were actually the BEST work of his career. Maybe because he was "over-writing" instead of "over-thinking." Much of his later work seems to suffer from being worked to death and drained of all improvisation.
Drugs are bad, kids. But am I wrong in thinking that Baron's self-proclaimed cocaine phase was also the time when he did his best work?