Thursday, July 15, 2010

"New" Mike Stuff

I should be writing. I finished issue three of THE HAND ME DOWN HORROR last week and am two pages into issue four. But that's kind of cheating because those two pages are actually a scene I wrote for issue three but had to cut for space reasons. But I'm officially past the half-way point and that's pretty gratifying. It's also significant because I've written some of the toughest stuff in the book. The stuff I had the most difficulty figuring out. Nearly all the major players are introduced and all the dominoes are set up. Now I get to start knocking them over. While the dialogue most definitely needs what Hollywood calls a "polish", I'm pretty happy with the way things are going. And Johnny is finally starting to become proactive. Get some, Johnny!

You know, whenever I talk/post about writing this thing, I hear Stewie Griffin's voice in my head: "Got a, got a, got a nice little, nice little story you're working on there...your big novel you’ve been working on for three years. Huh? Got a, got a compelling protagonist, huh? Got an obstacle for him to overcome, huh? Little story brewing there... ?"

I have to laugh. Because that running gag on FAMILY GUY hits pretty close to home. But I'm not taking this whole thing too seriously, despite my reaction to BOOM!'s new Dracula series coming out. (I was pretty freaked out, to be honest.) While I plan on finishing it and would love for it to see print, I'm approaching it as more of a fun diversion than something my future depends on.

I've actually gotten the chance to do a little sketching as well but nothing I'm too happy with. I've gotten a little rusty and I'm on my third attempt at the same character. I'll probably finish it up tomorrow and post it for the weekend. I'm using the brush pen exclusively to see if I can get a bolder look. Wish me luck. I'm also thinking about throwing my hat in the ring on Dean Trippe's PROJECT ROOFTOP Captain America costume contest. Christian told me about it and I've been mulling it over. Not sure I've got the design chops for that though.

But this post is called "New Mike Stuff" and since most folks who are nice enough to stop by here from time to time were Mike's fans, I'd better not keep them waiting any longer. The other day, Suzanne and I were braving the heat to do some overdue yard work and I stumbled across a box that's been hiding in plain sight in the garage for the last three years. It had a bunch of random items in it but, under some Xerox's of some Frank Cho drawings Mike had, were several pages of sketches Mike had done that I don't think he ever posted. It seemed evident (and I have since confirmed it with Todd) that these drawings were done in preparation for the TELLOS line of action figures that were in development but sadly never released. There were about 8 in all and I'll post them all eventually but posting photos on this thing is a pain in the rear. So I'm going to ration them out over several posts.

These are two of the TELLOS figure pics. Looks like Mike had Chuck Wojtkiewicz helping him out on that model sheet for Jarek. He did some really nice inkwash on that.

And this one I had no idea about. When I sent it to Todd, he told me that he had a pretty good idea what that was for but since it involves some ideas of his and Mike's that never saw print, I'll leave it up to Todd whether or not he wants to come out with it.

I have to say that finding these drawings (and the ones I've yet to post) was a real treat for me. I had thought that I'd seen all of Mike's drawings at this point. Todd had already seen these before but they were new to me. It really put a smile on my face. I hope you like them (Of course you do!) and will make sure to post the rest of them for you to enjoy when I get the chance.

I do want to point out that Suzanne and I really haven't been careless with Mike's artwork. We keep all his work safely in a dry, climate-controlled environment. I promise we haven't just been storing it out in the garage!

Okay, back to work!



Paul Rogers said...

Hiya Matt & Suzanne! What a great find, it's good to see more of Mike's work, and this I have never seen! BTW, I've got a few more pieces by Mike that I'm not sure you've ever seen, from the era of me begging 'No Mike, really, you've got what it takes to be a great comic book artist...Come on do me a Rogue Sketch/She-Hulk Sketch/Storm Sketch' etc., circa 1992 or so, 'cause I knew that he had it in him to be a great comic book artist. We all knew it was true and we were all right. I hope to see you guys in Richmond on August 8th at the Virginia Comic Con if not sooner. Love you guys, Paul.

Warren said...

Thanks for sharing, Matt. :)

PJ said...

I don’t doubt you keep your brother’s legacy well - I just really wish you’d put together that book thing with the old blog sketches.

PJ said...

Oh, and you know what...

It’s so nice to see Mike‘s work - it always looked so loose, fluid and organic even though he labored over it.

Brian said...

Better than putting on a pair of pants you haven't worn for a while, reaching into the pocket, and pulling out a $20.

Glad to hear The Hand Me Down Horror is progressing and even more glad to hear that you are having fun with it as the vast majority of us, in keeping up with work and the have to do's of life, tend to put fun at the back of the line.

We need to make more time for fun.

Dean Trippe said...

Looking forward to your entry, Matt! Thanks for posting these "new" pics. Totally made my day. :)

Leanne said...

Wow, how did I miss this post?? (Because I've been slacking, that's why!)

Thanks so much for sharing these drawings, Matt. Mike will always be my main source of inspiration-- these pieces are awesome. SO cool seeing sketches I haven't seen before!

And I'm glad to hear that The Hand Me Down Horror is progressing so well-- can't wait to see/hear more about this!

Joe Alexander said...

Matt--thanks so much for sharing this! A truly cool thing to do---like a new entry in Mike's blog-"Entry ###"

Also, your Deadman rocks!