Comics Lowdown: ‘Abadazad,’ ‘Ghost Rider’ artist Mike Ploog to retire

Plus: designing variant covers, Sonny Liew, Tillie Walden, Simon Hanselman, food in San Diego.

Veteran artist Mike Ploog, known to comic fans as the co-creator of Ghost Rider, announced he will be retiring after a 47-year career. His career began with Filmation, as a clean-up artist on Batman and Superman, and eventually was promoted to layouts. He moved onto Hanna-Barbera, continuing his layout work until he became the assistant to Will Eisner.

He made his comic book debut on Werewolf by Night in 1972. Since then, he was credited as a co-creator of Ghost Rider and notable artist on Man-ThingPlanet of the Apes and The Monster of Frankenstein. Later in his career, he did minimal comic work, but teamed with J.M. DeMatteis on Abadazad in 2004.

Thicker Than Blood collected artwork edition

Ploog also worked on film and television, including designs for John Carpenter’s The Thing, Superman II, Little Shop of Horrors, The Unbearable Likeness of Being, Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. He was also a painter for Magic the Gathering.

His last project, before the 77-year-old illustrator steps away, involves werewolves yet again. Ploog is collaborating with Simon Bisley on the graphic novel Thicker than Blood. The collected artwork version of this graphic novel features Ploog’s black-and-white line art on one side, and Bisley’s finished fully-colored painted rendering on the other. This edition will be published in the full 12×17″ format in which the original art was created. Thicker Than Blood can be supported through Kickstarter, and has already surpassed its goal.


Calexit #1 variant covers

Creative process – variant covers: Calexit writer Matteo Pizzolo and designer Robert Anthony Jr. walk through the creative process of making several variant covers. Each cover was developed with a specific geographical region in mind.

Interviews and Profiles

Sonny Liew (photo: Dhany Osman/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Bring Home the Gold: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye has been nominated for six Eisner awards, and local media is excited Sonny Liew could be the first Singaporean to bring home the coveted award.  In his interview, Liew talks about his curiosity about how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong feels about the comic, which features his father.

Speaking of the Eisners: Entertainment Weekly caught up with Tillie Walden about her nominated webcomic On a Sunbeam, her upcoming work, Spinning, and writing on such a personal, emotional level.

Resent his success? According to Vice, Simon Hanselmann is at “the top of his game” with the release of his third hardcover, One More Year. Hanselmann gives an in-depth interview about his work and life. “Maybe any hypothetical bitter people should attempt making some funny and relatable work that caters outside of their small demographic?”

The Biz

Moving up: Dark Horse has promoted their former Vice President of Media Licensing, Nick McWhorter, to Chief Business Development Officer.

Conventions and Festivals

Not just fish tacos: If the fine print map in the Comic-Con International Restaurant Guide doesn’t cut it for you, and Yelp is just too overwhelming, several websites have taken it upon themselves to give advice on where to eat in 2017:

Rubio’s fish taco

However,  you are in San Diego, and you really should have at least one fish taco, then find out where the best fish tacos are:

Of course, if you are like me, you will up at Ralph’s 24 hour grocery store in the wee hours of the morning after all the parties end.

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