Time for my semi-annual blog post!

Last April was an exciting month as we launched our first Star Wars app entitled ‘Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace’. First in a series of Journeys apps, this interactive app includes innovative digital storytelling features (original art, infinite zoom scene transitions, a 180-degree parallax viewing experience) and is intertwined with a robust Podracing activity, a collectible profile feature and hidden content throughout.

In this immersive re-imagining of the film, you can discover new perspectives of the Star Wars scenes in a brand new way. Of all of the numerous hidden aspects, my favorite is the final profile. It’s not easy to unlock, but once you do, you’ll find that it shares a unique and exciting part of the Star Wars galaxy.

We were honored to be chosen as the Apple iTunes Editor’s Choice! There was also an incredible amount of buzz. Here are some of the links:

CNET: Feel the Force with Star Wars Journeys App From Disney

Variety: ‘Star Wars’ Goes Mobile with Interactive Storybooks from Disney …

Forbes:‘Star Wars Journeys’ Gets Children Ready For ‘Episode VII’

New York Times: Disney Keeps Focus on ‘Star Wars’ With a New Line of Apps

The Hollywood Reporter: Disney, Lucasfilm Launch ‘Star Wars Journeys’ App Series

IGN: Disney and Lucasfilm Launch Interactive Star Wars Storybooks

Overall, it has been an incredible experience to work so closely and collaboratively with the Lucasfilm teams thus far. Look for more exciting announcements around our Star Wars experiences soon!

Since my last post we’ve also launched the Mickey Mouse Mash-Up and Monsters University apps. Each experience keeps getting better and better. I’m incredibly lucky to be working with such amazingly talented teams.

These projects have taken up most of my time, but I was able to work on these fun sketches. Hopefully I’ll get back into illustrating again soon.

Last but not least (and most importantly) I also recently married the lovely Janna. Our NY wedding couldn’t have been any better. We have the best family and friends.

Speaking of which, our friend Will Sliney generously illustrated this gift:

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Disney Digital Publishing – My Year in Review

What an amazing year! There have been many changes since last I’ve posted. First, Disney Publishing went through a big one: moving to the Disney offices in California. Never thought I would live anywhere except New York, but I accepted the relocation offer and have since become a Senior Producer. Along the way, I’ve had incredible opportunities to produce some fantastic digital books and interactive products (details below). It’s been a fun ride so far – looking forward to what 2013 brings!

Monsters, Inc. Storybook Deluxe – Relive the story of the highly acclaimed Monsters, Inc. film with this fun interactive storybook app! Find and collect hidden Scare cards, navigate your way through a Scare Simulator mini-game, and experience fun personalized features, based on your own screaming and roaring abilities. Includes clips and voices from the film and so much more! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

Iron Man: Armored Avenger – Narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you choose from three invincible armors to help Iron Man defend from the Mandarin’s menacing attacks. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book – Voted one of the Best of 2012 by Apple! Go behind the scenes of Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” with this exclusive interactive book. Delve into the details of the concept, creation and execution of the film with beautiful photos, art, interviews, music, 3D model characters, and much more! Available in the iBookstore for the iPad and iPad mini.

Avengers Origins: Assemble! – Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you save Earth from Namor and the Atlantean’s attacks. Navigate the Avenger’s Quinjet or play as an Avenger: Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, or Thor! Also has eight different language options. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

Avengers Origins: Hulk – Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you help the Hulk defend from attacks from the army. Play as an Avenger: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor or Hulk himself! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story – Received a Cynopsis Kids !magination Award Honorable Mention! Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, mini-games and six different language options. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

Spider-Man AR Book HD – This innovative interactive storybook app includes activities, Augmented Reality mini-games and has eleven different language options! Use the camera to see yourself with a 3D generated Spider-Man mask, experience the Spidey-Sense or collect and tap on 3D spiders as they crawl on you! Available for the iPad and iPad mini.

(Also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.)

Cars 2: Read & Race – Rev your engines for this thrilling Cars 2 original story, with a robust 3D race car customization activity, a device-tilting full racing game featuring four different courses, exciting tap-and-play interactivity, and nine language options! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

Lion King: Timon’s Tale – Featuring brand-new and beautifully enhanced animation and interactivity, this wonderful storybook app retells the classic Disney story of young Simba’s unforgettable journey from cub to king. Also includes iconic Lion King instrumentals, character voices, and innovative touch, shake, and swipe technology! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.

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The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App has launched!

Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App

I’ve had the honor of working on numerous exciting projects over the course of my career, but I have never been as proud as to be the Producer of the Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App.

Working with Marvel and the Marvel Press staff has been nothing short of a fantastic experience. I was also lucky enough to direct the amazingly talented Stan “The Man” Lee for the narration!

The Amazing Spider-Man An Origin Story App

Stan & Me during the Amazing Spider-Man An Origin Story App recording session.

So, what exactly does a Producer do? Being an App Producer can most easily be described as being comparable to a Film Director. The Producer works with all of the experts from our Editorial/Story, Art/Design, Interactivity and other various departments. Just like a Film Director, I work on a little bit of all of the above and help refine the product from concept to completion. And what exactly is a Storybook App? I like to describe it as a scene-to-scene story, in which the user predominantly controls the pace and personal duration. The combination of interactivity, moving images, still images, written words, sounds and music will hopefully entertain, teach and inspire. In both the print and digital product, Disney Publishing Worldwide is focused on telling entertaining and educational stories and experiences with the characters everyone knows and loves. And who doesn’t love Spider-Man?

Here some of the Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App highlights:
• Narrated by comic book legend and Spider-Man co-creator Stan “The Man” Lee!
• Interactive story-themed spider-games throughout: Help Peter Parker learn to use his powers—test your strength, swing through the city, use your web-shooters to stop a burglar and much more!
• Secret Spider Hunt to win your very own “No-Prize!”
• Multiple Reading Modes: Read to Me, Read by Myself, Auto-Turn Pages, and Younger Reader Mode
• Action-packed artwork throughout!
• Includes Spidey sound effects and music!

Download the Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/the-amazing-spider-man-an/id479938276?mt=8

Find full info, screenshots, videos and more here: http://marvelreads.com

Keep a look out for future updates and apps that cover all types of stories, interactivity and activities ranging from all of Marvel’s wide breadth of characters.


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Super Star Bros. – Our Princess is in another castle!

After many, many moons, I sat down and did another illustration. Enjoy! Super Star Bros


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Working at Disney Publishing Worldwide…

Yet another big break between posts. For the past 7 months I’ve been working diligently at Disney Publishing Worldwide as an Interactive Producer. More on details on what that entails sometime soon, but in the meantime here’s a little sketch I did back in April:

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What’s Mike been up to?

The difference three months can make! Should have posted sooner, but being too busy is a good thing, right?  First up: I’ve has been freelancing for Marvel Entertainment as the Specialty Publication Designer on film books such as The Art of Thor and The Art of Captain America in which you can get a behind-the-scenes look two of the most highly anticipated movie of 2011! Packed with exclusive content, these fully illustrated books treat fans to a comprehensive, unique, and privileged behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and state-of-the-art technology used in these blockbuster motion pictures. Follow the film’s complete artistic evolution, from initial concept designs and on to the final rendering seen on screen! Look for Thor to drop on May 4th 2011 and Captain America on July 6th 2011. Both books will have high quality cover and slipcase treatments and promise to be amazing!

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To be continued…

It sure wasn’t an easy decision, but after considering some gracious offers out west by DC Comics, I’ve decided that it’s time to leave DC for new artistic endeavors.

I’d like to thank DC for all of the exciting opportunities and projects I’ve been able to be a part of over the past 6 plus years and giving me the chance to work with the best and brightest people in the comic industry. Specifically, I’d like to thank the Creative Services team including Ron Perazza, Dave McCullough, Jesus Reyes, Jon Chong, Jeff Rowe, Kwanza Johnson, Nika Vagner, Jessica Numsuwankijkul, Larry Daley, Sarah Wright, and Richard Bruning for not just being solid co-workers, but also good friends. Lastly, I’d like to thank The Dark Knight Returns for not only sparking a young boy’s aspirations to work in comics, but also showing that Batman can clearly kick Superman’s ass.

Looking forward to seeing what DC dishes out next year! And of course, keep coming back here to see whatever tomorrow may bring me…

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Dark Ages Fantastic Four : Monty Python and the Holy Grail for CSC

For my “Fantastic Four Through the Ages” illustration for the Comic Social Club, I wanted to create something dark. Really Dark. So I chose the Dark Ages. Then, for inspiration, I ran through my mental rolodex of any movies that took place in the Dark Ages. And then happen to have chosen a movie that takes such darkness, and well…turns it upside down. My piece features the Dark Ages Fantastic Four battling the villains from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I did my best to stay away from Camelot though. It is a silly place. Check out the full “Fantastic Four Through the Ages” over at Comic Social Club!

(Click to enlarge)

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King Con II Sketches!

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Human on the Inside at King Con II: Brooklyn Comic Con – Nov 6 & 7

Do you like comics? Are you free this weekend? Well then come on out to King Con II: Brooklyn Comic Con on November 6th & 7th, from 11am – 7pm, at the Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 and head on over to the Human on the Inside table for comics, exclusive prints, shirts and more!

I’ll be sharing a table with Matthew K. Manning and the show will have plenty of other talented folk including Chris Claremont, Jonathan Ames, Paul Pope, Kyle Baker, Dean Haspiel, Becky Cloonan, Cliff Chiang and many more. For more information, keep your eye on the official King Con website here.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I unfortunately did not have the time to help coordinate King Con II, so a special thanks goes out to all the hard work the coordinators have done to put together the show this year.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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