Drawn to Southern California, spring 1965, by the lure of a career in Comic Art, Mike spent his first 14 years in comic books, comic strips, and TV animation. Beginning as RUSS Manning’s assistant on MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER and TARZAN comic books (at the end of their working relationship Mike lettered and inked the last 6 months of Russ’s TARZAN syndicated Sunday strip and the first 4 months of the daily and Sunday syndicated STAR WARS, late 1970s) and then inking and pencilling for Western Publishing (Gold Key). Mike inked such West Coast talents as Sparky Moore, Mike Arens, Paul Norris, and Doug Wildley.
His drawing asignments were on TARZAN, SPACE GHOST, coloring books, puzzles, etc. for Western and doing layout on network animation series like SPIDERMAN. At Gold Key he wrote/adapted and drew SPEED BUGGY, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KIDS, TARZAN, MAGNUS, and designed and executed covers for Hanna-Barbera TV ADVENTURE HEROES, etc. Mike contributed to James Warren’s CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPERELLA magazines and began drawing the comic panel CRUSIN’ record album covers (over 2 dozen to date), many of which he’s scripted.
For East coast firms, Mike inked artists Don Heck, Steve Ditko, Ramona Fraden and others, but during this period he is best known to comic fans for his decade as letterer/inker for legendary Jack Kirby at National and then Marvel.
From late Spring 1979, Mike spent the next 14 years on staff with the Walt Disney Company in the creative department of their Consumer Product/Licensing division, addressing the areas of book publishing, comic books and strips, and all forms of themepark and licensed merchandise as a character artist/product designer, performing as idea man, concept and final line artist, and sometime inker.
At Disney, Mike designed and art directed the DICK TRACY and 3-D ROCKETEER comic book Music Company read-alongs. He created the “new look” that launched the massive WINNIE THE POOH licensing program in late 1993. Featured in a 43 minute video “How To Draw Pooh” sent to over 40 licensees, Mike takes no small amount of pride in the fact that POOH soon (and still) outsold Mickey Mouse worldwide.
June 1993 Mike left his staff position to spend the next 7 years full time free lancing for The Disney Store’s creative group, becoming their “Main POOH Man” and creating 3-D products utilizing Disney characters.
Since Spring 2000 Mike has functioned as an Art service doing pencil work on a wide variety of projects, including creating character Orthographic Turns and environment “floor plans” for computer game animators, DIGIMON products, on screen icons for FOX FAMILY CHANNEL and FOX KIDS NETWORK, READER RABBIT work books, RESCUE HEROES toy packaging, etc.
Spring 2001 found Mike and Laurie, his lovely wife and concept collaborater, returning to his birth state, Oregon, settling in Medford, and in the process returned to his career roots. And in the last few years he’s found time to ink such luminaries as Steve Rude and Eric Larsen, to name a couple. Mike continues to create Disney character art for limited edition collector pin sets and does “recreations”. He strongly believes that his passion, attention to detail and accuracy, and his commitment to integrity will keep him at the board for a long time to come.
Feel free to contact me with you questions, comments, feedback and commissions.