Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Secret Agent Corrigan

Below are two pages for the 22 page Secret Agent Corrigan story I am drawing for King Features which will be printed overseas in a collection which reprints the classic strips by Al Williamson and Archie Goodwin. I think they also print the strip by Bob Lubbers who did thge strip before Williamson and also George Evans who took over the strip after Al left to do the Star Wars newpaper strip.

As many of you know who have been reading this blog for a while I shared Al's studio along with my buddy Bret Blevins for a while back in the late 80's and he is a big influence on me artistically, so it's fun to get a chance to work on the strip he did so well. Al had undoubtedly the best existing collection of classic comicstrip art in existence today which included many classic strips from Raymond, Foster and more. I used to spend each night late into the wee hours studying his amazing collection as well as making copies on my xerox machine. It was a real education studying his collection as well as watching Al work.

The deadline is really tight on this as I was jammed with so many projects of late and once on slips it's like the dominos falling. Unlike Al who used a lot of phot ref for his work on the strip, I just don't have the time or budget on this to do so, though I wish I did. If I ever do another story I'd like to try and use a bit more photo swipe like Al did, even going so far as to pose and shoot the photos myself using freind and family as Al did. In his studio set directly behind him was a room he had build which contained his Art-o-Graph or "Lucy" as they were called in the old days. It is a projector you can put drawings or photos in and enlarge them and trace them off undernaeth. Al had stack and stack and stack of photos he used over the years which he had taken to use in his work. many featured him as both good guy and bad guy and many featured family and friends set up and lit to get drapery, and difficult angles as reference which you need in the very realistic style Al worked in. Most of the classic strip artists like raymond, Starr, Drake, Prentice (to whom Al was an asssistant) did this.

It's an era that has really come and gone. The Phantom I belive is the last adventure strip in the daily paper these days.


6 comments:

Dominic Bugatto said...

Congrats on getting the gig.

Looking good.

Esteban Pedreros said...

Mike... watching the pages you've posted, I see a lot of Eduardo Barreto's style in yours, have you two worked together?

Mike M said...

Thanks guys. Esteban, Nope, not influenced by baretto at all, but I do like his work and have inked him on Elvira. I think it's that we are influenced by the same artists...

Andreas said...

Looks great! Mike, is the "overseas publication" the Swedish Agent X9 comic?

Mike M said...

Andreas, Yes, it's the Swedish X-9 magazine. I was able to find a little pick of it on line at the publisher's website, Egmont.

Andreas said...

Gret, since I live in Sweden and already subscribe to this magazine ;) Agent X9 is a really nice comic, an anthology book that is published 13 times year. Each issue is 100 pages in b/w and the contents vary, from newspaper strip classics like Modesty Blaise, Agent Corrigan, Rip Kirby to European action/thriller comics (mainly from France). I'm really looking forward to this, the pages look great.