Mike Mignola and Me

I had the great pleasure of working with Mike Mignola once in my career. It was way back in 1991 while I was writing and drawing X-Force and the schedule was getting heavy and after the initial 7 issues I needed a break. X-Men editor Bob Harras had some potential fill-in artists in mind, one of which was Mike Mignola whose work I loved. Bob wanted me to stay on as layout artist for the issue as well as provide a framing sequence to keep the flow of the book. DC Comics had been practicing this for some time, utilizing Kieth Giffen as a layout artist on Legion issues he couldn’t fit into his schedule, helping to unify the look of the book.

The phone rang a few days later and the gentleman on the other end said ” Hi! It’s Mike Mignola. I think your layouts are fun. I’m looking forward to working from them.” I told him I’d tailor the book to his strengths and that was it, we were off to the races. I lost these layouts for awhile and as a result I wasn’t able to use them in the recent X-Force collections from Marvel. I thought I’d share them here on my website. You can see where he changed the gestures and cropped some shots while staying faithful to the composition. I learned a great deal from how he handled my layouts, especially the way he lays down shadows and spots blacks. Great memories. Funny note, afterwards Mike told me he never, ever draws downshots, or anything from a bird’s eye view. You’ll see that he adjusts anytime I call for a downshot. Having followed his work for years, I can confirm that he rarely, ever, ever veers from that commitment. Enjoy!