Thursday, February 28, 2013

Riversive Art Center Show

For any of you folks in the Detroit/AnnArbor area, I have a few pieces that are appearing in a show opening tomorrow night. Stop in if you have the time and inclination.
March RAC Exhibit

Artist Reception:
Friday, March 1, 5-7pm
Exhibit Dates:  Feb 28 - Mar 23, 2013

Who doesn’t love a cartoon that makes you laugh
or is thought provoking? 
At one time or another we have all been captured by comics.
We love the powerful combination of pictures and text.
This is an exhibit for everyone!
Participating Michigan Artists:  Dave Coverly, Bruce Gerlach, Phoebe Gloeckner, Birgit Keil, Tony Miello, Mike Pascale, Nate Pride, Jesse Rubenfeld, Harley Schwadron, BK Taylor, Mike Vosburg,
Aaron Warner and Gale Williams.

Riverside Arts Center
                     76 N Huron Street                 
Ypsilanti, MI  48197

734-480-ARTS (2787)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Azrael Aftermath

For those of you interested in the process of how a comicbook story is put together here is a look at my start to finish approach. This is an Azreal story that appeared in Showcase #94, Sept. 1994….geez, that's almost twenty years ago.

I hadn't realized I worked with Alan Grant until I looked at the credits today. Interesting story. Working off his script I turned the story into a series of thumbnail pages where I worked out the staging, composition, and even a good bit of the lighting. The advantage of working off a script is that you know how much copy is going to cover the drawings, and you have the option/responsibility of placing them in as part of the composition.

Next I did a rough pencil pass at the story and did all the hard work of drawing. If there were photos being used (as in the flashback 'Nam sequences) I just made a notation on the page. I was lucky enough then to be working with a talented lad named Paul Hewett who did all the backgrounds for me on this job. As a reward, I cast him as the young tough in the skull baseball hat that Azrael threatens at the end of the story. (Hey Paul, if you're out there, I hope life is treating you well. Drop by sometime.)I got to play the legless wino veteran, which is as close as I ever got to the army. I seem to never get tired of using myself as a model.

These pages were traced off onto boards and passed onto the inker, Ron McCain. Kenny Bruzenak, one of the truly most talented letterers in the business did his part. I'm not familiar with Dave Hornung, but I really loved the muted coloring on this job, and the monochromatic pages he did with flashbacks. I was quite happy when they reprinted this in the compilation book, Batman Knightfall last year. And hey, I even get a royalty check somewhere down the line.

And a bit of a postscript to this story. After I got the art back from DC, I lent all the material shown on in this blog to a friend in Portland to use in an art class.  I of course forgot about the stuff when I didn't hear back for a long while. Years later when I was working on one of the Narnia movies in New Zealand, I would up at a comic convention in Aukland where I ran into the teacher's ex-husband who was now living in Australia and we chatted a bit. A month of two later after I got back to sunny LA, I get a package one day with all of this artwork in it….a nice little surprise. I've enjoyed looking at it again; if anyone is interested in buying the package as a lot, make me an offer.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Domino Diaries 7

Lots of pictures and not many words this week. Above is the first version of the thumbnails for the second Chapter of All Roads Lead to Rome. On the bottom of the page are the amended pages expanding the sequence to eight pages.

Next week, more of the finished pages and the penciled roughs.

Oops...guess I lied about fewer words. Here are the links to the all the digital versions of Retrowood and Lori Lovecraft that Asylum Press has put on the web:

Asylum Press releases FREE Retrowood: H.I. or L.O. #1 digital comic

Feb. 4, 2013 (Los Angeles) Frank Forte announces that Asylum Press will be releasing Mike Vosburg’s crime comic, Retrowood: H.I. or L.O. #1 (of 2) for free on all digital platforms.

The environment is faux Depression era Hollywood, complete with snarling gangsters in snappy suits, the untouchable wealthy , corruptible starlets in sleek revealing gowns, and elegantly designed automobiles set against the poverty and despair of the average joe. And in the middle of all this a world of celluloid dreams is being created. Private detective J. Parker Wrighte, is on an upwardly mobile career path from his lowly dust bowl beginnings, but finding that every advancement comes with cost and compromise. Working for the Kinchay Agency, Parker is investigating a case for Louis Orwell, one of the most powerful men in Retrowood; but at every turn he is continually dragged back into contact with his past, beginning with the murder of his best friend from childhood, Henry Irving. Drunken priests, sadistic nuns, nymphomaniacal wives, with basketball and gambling thrown in…. How can you go wrong with that?

“We’re excited to have Mike on board at Asylum,” says publisher Frank Forte, “Retrowood fits in with our growing list of titles.  After H.I. or L.O. we have a number of Retrowood one shots coming out as well as a new 4 issue series that Mike is drawing right now.”

Retrowood: H.I. or L.O. #1(of 2) is available for free on Comixology, ComicsPlus, Graphicly, My Digital Comics, DriveThruComics, AVE-Comics and can be found on on iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Mac, and PC.


Mike Vosburg's comics career began in the 1960s, when as a teenager he started Masquerader, one of the first comic book fanzines. He began working in underground comics in the 1970s, with creations such as Split Screen, written by Tom Veitch. Later in the 1970s and 1980s, Vosburg contributed to horror titles by Western Publishing and Charlton Comics. His story "Mail Order Brides," published in Kitchen Sink Press's Bizarre Sex #3, was in a similar horror/mystery vein.

Around this time, Vosburg also did various work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He is probably best known for his work from that period on Savage She-Hulk, Sisterhood of Steel, and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. He also worked on the Valiant Comics' titles Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong.

From 1989-1996, for the TV series Tales from the Crypt, Vosburg illustrated comic book covers designed to look like the original 1950s comics. Originally hired to do concept drawings for the wraparound sequence, Vosburg ended up storyboarding the title segment as well as illustrating almost every cover used in the show's 93 episodes.

Asylum Press is a publishing company that produces premium comic books and graphic novels within the horror, science fiction, and action genres. Asylum Press' books feature original, character-driven stories and cinematic artwork by top creators and newly discovered talent that will appeal to not only comic book fans, but also mainstream fiction readers who don't normally buy comics.  Asylum Press delivers high-concept books via a bold new business model that focuses on digital publishing and new distribution outlets in both the American and international markets.

Asylum Press is distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors, Liber Distributors and Tony Shenton and to the Booktrade by SCB Distributors, Ingram and Baker and Taylor.  Distributed in the U.K. by Turnaround Distribution.