Monday, September 27, 2010


It’s been a while since I’ve posted but you haven’t missed anything. I really haven’t had much time to draw at all. Work has been what I always hope for: busy during the day and no late nights. Since that’s usually when I get my drawing done...

Suze and I went on vacation a week ago, back down to Harker’s Island, and had a great time (as did Toonces and Charlie) with her parents. I’d written out an entire post about it but deleted it after realizing it would be a boring read to anyone but us and we were there so we didn’t need to read it.

However, during vacation, I did a lot of walking and, during those walks, I worked the kinks out of the fifth chapter of HAND ME DOWN HORROR. When we got back, I wrote the script out in five days. That’s the quickest one yet. It’s got a few wrinkles that need smoothing but it’s the most action-packed chapter yet and I’m really looking forward to starting chapter six. I’ve got two more chapters, I think, before I’m done. Then I’ll do a quick rewrite to fix some trouble spots. Christian and Todd have been making some nice suggestions—thanks, guys!—and I’m going to be incorporating those. I really hope to be drawing by January.

Speaking of Todd...Todd and Sharon are coming down for a visit next month and Suze and I are really excited about it. Not only are we looking forward to seeing them outside a convention setting (fun but draining), it’s given me an excuse to do some much-needed work around the house. I got the back yard straight (much to my neighbors’ relief) a few weeks ago. This past week, I turned my attention to the inside and I got the second guest room in order. It had become a storage room in the last few years, sort of a catch-all for anything we didn’t know what to do with. Thankfully, it’s now a guest room again and I couldn’t be happier.

In the course of moving the stuff in there to a more appropriate place, I came across some great items. This room was where we were storing Mike’s non-artwork belongings and since I haven’t really looked through much of it since we packed it up, I found some nice surprises.

One of them is this drawing of the Swordsman that was tucked away in a folder full of copies of other people’s drawings. (Mike got lots of stuff from aspiring artists and kept some of it.) Sadly, it was a little damaged (not by me!) but still beautiful. This looks like one of his later drawings and I could swear I’ve seen it somewhere but can’t say where. Still, in case somebody out there hasn’t seen it, I thought I’d post it. I really love this drawing. Not only did Mike nail the character, I love how everything in the drawing, even with a minimum of detail, has real weight to it. Just look at that sword. And I love the lines. He was really varying the line weights to great effect. Damn.

I also found some photos I’d never seen. Lots of them, actually. There were some great shots of Mike, including a bunch of them with the family. I grabbed a few shots off the top to post here but I’ll be posting more in the future. There’s some great shots of Mike with his friends in the biz that I’m sure will be of interest.

This one took me a while to place. As far as I knew, Mike had never met Kevin Smith. Then I realized...that’s not Kevin Smith...THAT’S ME! I’ve struggled with my weight all my life but I think this photo represents me at my heaviest. I was around 300 in this photo and for a minute I didn’t even recognize myself. Especially with the beard. Other than a failed attempt in college, I’ve only had a full beard once in my life. I tried again a few years ago but it came in gray and I shaved it with a quickness. Once I realized who the fatty was, I was able to place the locale. Other photos in the stack confirmed it. This was one of Mike’s signings at his friend Paul Rogers’ old shop in Lynchburg, DOMINION COMICS. I honestly don’t remember when this was but I’m sure I made the trip just to see Mike. I usually only got to see him in person two, maybe three times a year so this was probably an opportunity not to be missed.

I’ll end with this one. It made me laugh out loud. And not just because of my shirt (now long gone, fortunately) my ridiculous shorts or even my pudgy, bearded face. What made me laugh was seeing Mike hoisting our good friend Don into the air...and Don enjoying it. Back then, getting Don to smile at anything was no easy task. I’m having this one framed.


Dewback13 said...

I was thinking about Mike today. Past few days actually. So many of us in class are influenced and inspired by Mike. Thank you so much for sharing these. It really made my day!

todd said...

"treasure" is right, matt!
these photos are gifts!!
love to see anything with mike smiling in them--he had a "smile-for-the-camera" smile and then these two which are the better pure happiness smiles! love
never thought the swordsman was that vital an avenger, just smackin' people with a sword, but damn! he made him look cool, huh?
can't wait to see ya!
don't clean too hard!

Paul Rogers said...

Hiya Matt & Suzanne! Wow, what a blast from the past, I remember that photo very well, Mike, Yourself & your Dad all showed up that day for a fun signing event for Mike's now-famous 'Flash' run...It was a good day, a very good day, that I will always remember. See your guys soon!

Brian said...

I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Mike with predominantly dark hair. He looks soooo young.

As for the Swordsman, he was indeed an odd character, but man Mike did a great job on the sword.

Leanne said...

Love the photos and stories, Matt! Freakin' fantastic Swordsman piece.

Please keep sharing!

Heywood Jablomie said...

thanks for sharing this matt. love the pic of mike with the playboy! that swordsman looks awesome, good find there!

and you def look like kevin smith there, and do not look anything like 300 pounds.