Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wheels on the Bus (Rock Opera Music Video) for Brainzy

This is the first puppet music video we made using my characters Floyd and Roly for!  Brainzy is an educational suite of games for grades Pre-K to 1st for Math and Reading, and I have been proud to be Creative Director on the project (creating all the characters, the world, setting the style and assembling my team, etc).  The music and vocals are by Garry O' Neal, and the puppets were created by Kanja Chen!  You can see more of the videos that we have made for Brainzy including Teaching Moments here: ! --Mike

Friday, August 16, 2013

I am honored to be a part of the upcoming "Day of Innovation" at the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa CA!  We will be there from 11am to 3pm making and talking comics and doing sketches, hope to see you there!  This is absolutely our favorite museum to visit even when we are not appearing as guests, they are always rotating out at least 100 Charles Schulz original Peanuts strips (man from the 1950s through 1960s which is my favorite period) well worth the price of admission (let alone visiting Snoopy's Home Ice next door for some ice skating and food at the Warm Puppy Cafe, terrific exhibits, and memorabilia)!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Oar Else!" Card Game ready for Advance Sales!

I am very excited that the card game I did all the artwork for including the box art, "Oar Else!" is ready for advance sales at the Flatcar6 Studios Online Store!  As I have more time I will take pictures of the advance copy I received from Julia Huff (the owner of Flatcar 6 Studios and one of the game creators) , the game itself is terrific and really has a unique game mechanic that makes it a ton of fun to play!  Please spread the word!


Saturday, August 04, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Final Post: The Loot!

For my final post on San Diego Comic Con 2012, I am sharing some of the fantastc "loot" that I acquired!  This drawing above is my most favorite thing, an original "Fat Freddy's Cat" by Gilbert Shelton (which I would not have gotten if my wonderful sister had not gone and waited in line for me since I was stuck at my table when he was signing)!  He is one of the great underground cartoonists (one of the great cartoonists period), right up there with Crumb, and since he lives in France it is super hard to get a sketch from him...this is the greatness that is San Diego Comic Con!!  My terrific brother also gave me a signed copy of the "Freak Brother's Omnibus"...I am a spoiled little brother of course.

Ramona Fradon is a phenominal artist and draws just as good today (if not better) than she did on her incredible runs on Aquaman, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, etc!  She was doing these incredible drawings for only $25 a piece (the best deal in the con for sure, and from a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame 2006 no less)!  I had her add in the caption "I'll Always Love You, Olivia" to this great Aqua Lad drawing for my daughter (21 mos old) to go with a drawing we got a few years back of Aquaman (my wife Melissa was in "love" with Aquaman when she was a kid, ie the Aquaman on Superfriends, and I had Ramona inscribe her drawing as if it was an old boyfriend of hers).  Now Melissa and Olivia have matching professions of love from the 'Aquateam' :)

I bought the Artist's Edition of Groo the Wanderer  by Sergio Aragones in San Diego (cover above), at only $100 it was a steal and Sergio was signing them with awesome drawings as usual (below)!  You need to have this in your collection, these Artist Editions are awe-inspiring and seeing Sergio's artwork at full size is humbling & inspiring at the same time!  12 x 17 with four issues reprinted from Sergio's original artwork, plus the remake of Groo's original appearnce by Sergio in the late 80's (the original artowrk was lost at some point), and a section of Sergio's rough layouts that go with a few pages printed in the book! 

The PEANUTS booth is always a favorite stop at SDCC, and this time my brother picked up this great shirt (above) for my daughter Olivia, they always have the greatest retro artwork on their product exclusives (from the 50's and 60's).  Below is a terrific felt banner I bought for my daughter, it also came with 5 buttons to place on the banner (in the star sections) showing diff characters in sports action poses.  For $20 it was a bargain since I had been wanting to buy an original felt banner from the 60's but they tend to go for a lot more than this on Ebay!

Finally I am caught up with all I wil most likely post about San Diego up I will be at Sac-Con in Sacramento CA on Sept 30 2012 with a table and doing my lecture on "How to Successfully Pitch an Animated Cartoon," and hopefully if I land a table I will then be at APE con in San Francisco Oct 13-14, 2012...I will keep you posted!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Comic-Con 2012, Part Two!

Montage of some of the sketchcards I did over the weekend!

I have been to many San Diego Comic-con's over the years, but since this was the first time I actually had a table there it felt pretty special (although I was really going through "baby withdrawal" since at 5 days it was the longest I had been away from my 20 month old daughter since she was born).  I met a lot of great people and I am thankful for everyone that stopped by and took a chance on my book or on some of my artwork, there are many great artists and booths at SDCC so it is a big deal when someone chooses to spend some of their time looking at you work!  I can't wait for next year and already put in for an Artist's Alley table again (I really hope to be in the same spot with Ron and Ryan again, but it is never an easy thing to get placed by people you request so I can only remain hopeful).  I may do a third post to go over some of the great things I bought or received while at Comic-con as well...such an inspiring place, I hope to see you there next year (or at APE con in SF later this year)!

A drawing I did of the Hulk getting angry attempting to text with his fat fingers, luckily an aspiring comedian named Becky took a liking to it and bought it from me :)

 One of my favorite commissions, yes the girl who asked for it had a dog named Thor (I drew this from a photo of him) who ran around the house with a foam Mjolnir and a cape)!

Caricatures of the costumes that these two con-goers made themselves!

A fun commission for two friends who love Freakazoid.

Caricatures of kids asked for by a nice Dad who missed them.  I forgot to take a photo of the color version.
Two great kids who went and grabbed me two foam spider-man hands for my daughter Olivia (below), so I let them choose some artwork for their trouble...Olivia went nuts when she saw them and makes her spider shooter sfx when she wears them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Comic-Con 2012, Part One!

Commission for a cool kid who loved Nova, so much fun to do!

The San Diego Comic-con was terrific, and I had a great time selling for the first time in Artist's Alley!  I was lucky to sit next to two great artists in Ron Lim and Ryan Odagawa who were also great to hang out with.  And I was able to sell a ton of my first book collection of "Clumsy Love" which I hope will translate into more continued readers!  It was also great to do drawings for donations to the Cartoon Art Museum again with my brother Doug on Saturday night, I love that place!

My set-up at BB-20 in Artist's Alley.

With Sergio Aragones!  He said he would give me a blurb for the back of my next "Clumsy Love" book whenever that one is made...amazing!!

With my friend the great John Watkins-Chow!

 "Shaka Spiderman" commission

 Daredevil blank cover commission

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Complete Clumsy Love Volume 01: On Sale Now!

I am so excited that the first "Clumsy Love" book collection is finished, order yours today and tell your friends! Please? :)  The Complete Clumsy Love by Mike Gray Volume 01: 2009 to 2011 (144 pages 8.5 x 11, B&W with full col...or cover) with 450 strips and including 15 pages of early artwork (including unused gags, early character designs, etc) detailing the origin of the strip and revealing some of my working process.  Here are a few interior pages from the proof:

I am so glad to have it done for San Diego Comic Con next week!  I will be at BB-20 in Artist's Alley from July 11th to 15th, hope to see you there:

Fantastic Four Cover Recreation

More cover recreation art in my style for the San Diego Comic Con!  I am doing these on 8.5" x 14" comic book boards using ink pens (a Black Pigma Graphic 1, a Black Prismacolor Premier 08, a Kuretake Brush Pen, and Prismacolor Felt Pens for color).  I will be at BB-20 in Artist's Alley next week July 11 to 15, hope to see you there!: