The Duke Takes On Fremont Street
East Fremont Street in Las Vegas has been the focus of scrutiny for almost a decade, especially after billionaire Tony Hsieh decided to invest hundreds of millions into redevelopment there.
But the street is getting a new look, too, in a different way - through a comic book.
It’s called “The Duke of Fremont Street: Las Vegas Treasure Hunter.”
The Duke, whose real name is Ron Wall, wrote the comic book and the art is by Carlos Valenti, who has penned art for everything from Mickey Mouse to Futurama to Bart Simpson comics.
If you are in Las Vegas, you may have noticed Ron Wall around town.
He's known as “The Duke of Fremont Street" and he's known for his fedora, vintage pin-striped suit and driving a 1938 Buick Century.
The Duke’s adventures – or maybe a heightened view of those adventures - are the subject of the comic book.
“I decided to do the book because a few people asked me to do the comic book. They thought I was such a character that I would be ideal for it,” the Duke told KNPR's State of Nevada.
But instead of trying to get the book published by a large comic book company, he decided to self fund the project. He has printed 20,000 of the first edition, first print.
“I own 20,000 of these. If they sell great, if they don’t I own 20,000 of these and if sell one of them or I sell 20,000 I consider it a success because it is part of my legacy and it’s part of my message,” he said.
The Duke's message includes being comfortable in your own skin and chivalry - always.
“I’m all about respect, manners, honor, integrity, moral clarity things that are somewhat lost in the shuffle today,” he said.
The comic book begins downtown on East Fremont but he plans to write about all his adventures, which have taken him to six continents.
The Duke likes downtown Las Vegas.
“I prefer downtown. It suits my temperament. I believe in old Vegas and I believe in vintage Vegas,” he said.
In his mind, Las Vegas is still the old Vegas of yesteryear where everyone dressed up to go out to dinner. He believes the fashion of today has "deteriorated."
As for his name, The Duke said a friend gave it to him and it stuck.
“Years ago, one of my friends were celebrating my birthday at a strip club that has been gone for a while called Glitter Gulch. When I was having this party, I was dubbed at this party the Duke of Fremont Street and it just stuck from that point on,” he said.
“The Duke of Fremont Street: Las Vegas Treasure Hunter”
By Ron Wall (aka The Duke of Fremont Street), with artwork by Carlos Valenti
The Duke of Fremont Street (aka Ron Wall), author, "The Duke of Fremont Street: Las Vegas Treasure Hunter"