in celebration of all things mike, here is a bunch of stuff i found in my "mike file"--yes, i actually have one--that i thought i'd share today. some you may have seen, some might be new, but they're all cool...
mike's thing and she-hulk
at some point back in 1999, just as mike and i were ending our all-too-brief run on sensational spider-man, i was working on a thing/she-hulk one shot called "the long night". it was a story i wanted to tell and editor jaye gardner not only got the project approved and off the ground in record time, he also got me my artist of choice, the young and, in my humble opinion, promising bryan hitch. we got going on it and it was great! and then bryan flaked on us. a couple times really. and before i could try to salvage it one last time, it was cancelled. then, a few weeks later, when we were looking for something for mike to do until we would start our run on the doomed-at-the-time hulk, it was resurrected, with mike on board to bring in the second half of the book. both mike and i questioned how...hinky the book was gonna look with two very different styles on the first and second halves, but, hell, we were still working together, we didn't care!
then it got cancelled again. mostly 'cause marvel was just then starting to feel the coming bankruptcy.
back then mike was working out all his layouts and pencil work on regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper and then blowing them up for inking. he only got two pages of this story done before we were told to stop, but because i was such a geek and a dragon man fan, he gave me this pencilled page. i love it.
at shows i would often sit next to mike--and later between mike and craig--and be able to watch as he did sketches for fans. i learned early on not to shake the table and, after awhile, began spotting the blacks for him on his inked pieces. anyway, like all artists, myself included, when mike didn't like what he was doing, he'd sigh very loudly and crumple the page up, frustrated by himself and by having to start all over. i get it. i do. but to those of us that are just marveling at what you do, even the discards are gems. so i made it a rule with both mike and craig--i get the mistakes. they don't do it often, but when they don't like something, i get it.
here's a blue pencilled indiana jones that i rescued from crumpledom a few years back. still cool, am i right?
mariposa--fly by mike
when we went to paris and angouleme back in 2000, we were riding high on the (european) popularity of tellos. there were literally lines out the door for us and we felt like the beatles landing at idlewild airport in '64. and in europe they expect the writer to do sketches too. so my head was down when this beautiful girl started talking to me and when i looked up, i was captivated. this girl, elena, who told me that here nickname was 'fly'--short for butterfly, told me she was from barcelona and we quickly started to flirt--rather publicly--to everyone's amusement. not having a camera handy, i remembered that my best friend sitting here next to me had spent a (grueling) summer doing those caricatures that you get at six flags or wherever and made him my personal camera while i continued to chat with fly. he actually welcomed the break--he drew so many sketches that weekend that his eyes were a bright red for a month--and we enjoyed letting someone else be in the spotlight for a little while. here's how my picture developed... *
i don't know if you can see this.
these are scanned from horribly faded and deteriorating fax pages that have been sitting here in my folder for years. so, apologies.
this is april nightmares, a comic strip mike was so eager to do and i can't even remember where this appeared. negative burn? all i have are these poor copies--i don't think i ever got a copy of the book.
mike was thrilled for the opportunity to do his own story...and then talked himself out of it halfway through. why is confidence such an evil bitch? he gave me some unnecessary props at the end you'll notice, but all i did was cheerlead him on--he had it all, just needed to have somebody to shut that voice up in his head.
this is quick and cute.
smell ya later~!
* our host, thierry mornet, did find a camera later