Sunday, May 28, 2017

Odd and Ends

Trying to get back on the blogging horse and blog more often than in the past year. The daily drumbeat here in the studio has changed with the addition of the Phantom comic strip and the fact have basically given up painting for the most part as a result. I have also been rethinking where I want to go and what I want to do as a painter and gallery wise as well.

I haven't even been plain air painting this spring at all and decided to forgo entering any contests at all. I could do a whole post just on the PA contests and my feelings on them---and maybe I will--or not.

I just put together a new watercolor/gouache painting rig so I hope to get back to painting this summer just for me. I also think I needed to completely detox from the MFA which I graduated from in 14---three years ago! Funny how time flies when all you do is work. 

I ran through the annual ASE for PAFA last Sunday after the AS Student show. How the school is fast changing and I think more into what all other art schools are like. I still think the first ASE I saw in 2007 was the best I had seen with the strongest contingent of drawing and painting--the core of the Academy, not what I mostly saw last week, and many changes are coming down the pike at PAFA. I am glad I got to go through the end of the old era, had a few of the older teachers before they retired, but life and the business of art school moves on!

While moving and sorting (the endless purge) I came cross the drawing at the top which I did back in high school. The old zip-a-tone is starting to yellow now, but that was done in 79-80 so much of the work I did then that has zip is also yellowing. The logo "contact" was hand lettered and then pasted on. Its of course a big Wally Wood pastiche/homage as I was and still am a huge fan of his work and earlier on he was  an even bigger influence on my work. 

In the same portfolio I also found this cover rough to Darkhawk No. 9. I also found an assortment of other old art some of which I might post. Funny how you forget drawing something and when you find it it might bring back a specific memory of time.

I'm also posting an assortment of progress work for the two strips. In the strip above my assistant Mimi tightend up the Mozz and Guran figures for me and then I inked them.

Here is this week's Sunday strip. We are finally coming to the end of the storying with Sophie, the band, the kidnapping and the family secret. Its really took a big turn from my original idea I gave to Wilson before he left the strip. Next we will be dealing with the April situation, then who know, at that point it will be a completely new direction as all the old Wilson plots will be wrapped up. I had planned to do a contest to give away some strips but decided against doing that after the deluge of nasty comments by the CK message board. So instead some art will eventually be for sale on Ebay. I still want the comments gone and hope to convince King along with many of my fellow professionals to get them to ax them this year. Yeah, thats for you trolls reading this.

 Here are my pencils for an upcoming week of the judge and below for The Phantom. I enjoy doing the landscapes on both strips and in general the Phantom is more exciting to draw since its a superhero gig. which lends itself to much more interesting compositions than I typically get on the Judge. I try to in general pencil the work just tight enough to ink, leaving some of the drawing to that part of the process. I feel after a year on the Phantom I am starting to get a feel for the characters like I do on the Judge and I think I like drawing Guran the most. He's the comical type so his acting can be a bit broader and the hat is a great iconic thing to use as well.

This video shows me inking on a Judge Parker strip. I have been doing live demos on my Facebook page so keep an eye out.


Unknown said...

Thanks for picking up on the blog again! I love the examples of work in progress. I also value your perspectives on the comic's histories. I had turned to the CK comments for the occasional historical perspective nestled with the absurd negativity, but hope to turn away, now. I was a young Phantom fan in the 60s and am delighted to see the action clarity you bring. But it was your JP work that first drew me into reading the strip back during April's action-packed jungle adventure. Your art has inspired me to pick up the drawing I had dropped when I got very busy on entering undergrad studies in science.

Mike Manley said...

You are welcome William. I am trying to get back into a regular posting habit again on the blog. Yes the CK blog is full of terrible losers who dislike the strips so and think they are comedy geniuses. If you don't like it, why read it every day for years? I have gotten so many people to say they were long time Phantom fans, including my Dad who read him as a kid. Best, M

Unknown said...

Do you still have the Darkhawk cover rough? Is it for sale?

CCG Coordinator said...

Hope you do more blogging Mike! I like this format about the best of any online venues. Seems to provide the most freedom and flexibility to post as you would like. :-)

noname said...

i love reading comic strips, this one is the best!

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william said...

awesome art i like it. i like reading comics
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