Born in Lebanon, Oregon in 1941. From spring of 1965 to late spring 1979 Mike worked in the comic book/strip fields. Eighty-five percent of his assignments were inking and lettering, beginning as assistant to Russ Manning on Magnus, Robot Righter and Tarzan comic books (at the end of their working relationship he lettered and inked the last 6 months of the Tarzan and Sunday syndicated strip and the first 4 months of the Daily and Sunday syndicated Star Wars comic strip in the late 1970s). He inked such west coast artists as Mel Keefer, Paul Norris, Mike Arens, Hi Mankin, Sparky Moore and Doug Wildey.
Mike inked such artists as Don Heck, Steve Ditko, Ramona Fraden, Chic Stone, Keith Giffin, etc. Early in his career, he did layout work on 3 network animation series: Spider-man, Three Musketeers segments of the Banana Splits, Hot Wheels, and did artwork and inking for the syndicated Marvel Super Heroes. At James Warren Publishing, Mike contributed to Creepy, Eerie, and Vamperella Magazines. While at Gold Key, he also wrote/adapted and drew for Speed Buggy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Tarzan and Magnus and designed and executed covers for HB TV Adventure Heroes and HB Super TV Heroes. In 1969, he began creating record/CD album comic book panel covers (2 dozen to date) for the Crusin’ series over half of which he scripted.
Jack Kirby's Inker
Mike is best known for his decade plus period as Letterer/Inker for Jack Kirby. He started at D.C. National (1970-1975) on Jack Kirby's Fourth World series: The New Gods, The Forever People, Mister Miracle and a few issues of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen. Then at Marvel Comics (1975-1979) on The Eternals, Devil Dinosaur, Machine Man, Black Panther, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Captain America. He later rejoined Jack Kirby at Pacific Comics in 1983 inking Silver Star and Captain Victory and His Galactic Rangers.
The remainder of Mike’s assignments during this 14 year period consisted of penciling and inking his own work for Western Publishing Company (Gold Key Comics) such as Tarzan, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, a Batman Super Friends coloring book, etc.
Later Career at Disney
From late spring 1979 to mid 1993 Mike spent 14 years on staff with the Walt Disney Company in the creative resources department of consumer products/licensing. At Disney Mike performed in the areas of book publishing, comic strips and comic books, and all forms of Disney theme park and licensed merchandise. Among other things, he functioned as an idea man, concept artist, and pencil artist/inker. When time allowed, as a freelancer, Mike contributed to National Lampoon and Cracked Magazines, D.C. National and Marvel Comics. At Disney, Mike designed, laid out, and art directed the Dick Tracy and 3-D Bulleteer comic book read-alongs produced by the Disney Music Division. Near the end of his staff tenure, he created the “new look” for Winnie the Pooh that initially launched the massive Pooh licensing program in 1993.
In mid 1993 Mike left his staff position at Disney but remained at Disney to freelance primarily as a character artist/product designer for the creative department at the Disney Stores until the Spring 2000. Spring 2000 to Spring 2001 saw Mike functioning as a freelance art service specializing in pencil work for various clients such as Al White Studio (Disney projects) and Heavy Iron Studios where he created character orthographic turns and environment “floor plans” used by computer game animators to construct their 3D virtual realities and actors. He also did work for Saban, Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network on such projects as Digimon consumer product art and “onscreen icons” and character designs.
Mike continues to do comic book recreations and “new” inks (something he began doing in early 2000) for collectors of Kirby/Royer art. [source: Mike Royer]