Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mike Arens

Michael H. Arens was born in California on 2 December 1915 and began his career as an animator, joining Walt Disney Studios as a production artist in 1937. He worked on the Dance of the Hours segment of Fantasia, and on Pinocchio. After performing his military service in 1942-47, Arens became a regular newspaper strip artist with "Hey, Mac!" (1947-61).

He turned to comic books in the late 1940s, drawing artwork for Street & Smith's Top Secrets in 1949. From 1952, he drew dozens of strips for Dell Publishing, his first work mostly western strips such as Gene Autry (1951-52, 1954-55, 1957), The Frontiersman (1952-58), Buck Jones (1953-54), Rex Allen (1953, 1956-57), Flying-A's Range Rider (1954-55), Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), Dale Evans (1956), Chuckwagon Charley (c.1958), and various for Western Roundup (1952-58).

Arens began producing Disney characters for overseas comics sucg as the British Huckleberry Hound comic in 1961-62. For Western Publishing he drew a variety of Disney and adventure strips, including Chip 'n' Dale (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, 1962), Goofy (1963), Donald Duck (1963), Mary Poppins (Gold Key one-shot, 1964), My Favourite Martian (1964-66), Tarzan (1965-66) and Korak (1966).

For King Features he drew the Roy Rogers Sunday strip (1959-62), "Uncle Remus and his Tales of Br'er Rabbit" (1968), "Mickey Mouse" (1968) and both daily and Sunday episodes of Scamp (with inker Manuel Gonzales, 1969-76). Arens was also responsible for a number of Disney Christmas Stories--including "Snow White's Christmas Surprise" (1966) and "Dumbo and the Christmas Mystery" (1967)--and many newspaper adaptations for King Features/Walt Disney Productions, including "The Horse in the Gray Flannel" (1968), "One Little Indian" (1973), "Robin Hood" (1973-74), "Alice in Wonderland" (1974), "Herbie Rides Again" (1974), "The Bears and I" (1974), "The Island at the Top of the World" (1974-75), "Escape to Witch Mountain" (1975), "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975), "One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing" (1976), "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" (1975), "No Deposit, No Return" (1975-76), "Gus" (1976) and "Treasure of Matecumbe" (1976).

Arens had a parallel career in animation from 1965, working as a story director for Grantray-Lawrence on their Spider-Man and Marvel Superheroes animated shows. In 1967 he became a layout artist for Hanna-Barbera, working on dozens of animated TV shows, including Fantastic 4 (1967), The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968-70), Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969-70), Harlem Globe Trotters (1970), The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971), The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972), A Christmas Story (1972), Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973), Jabberjaw (1976), The Scooby-Doo / Dynomutt Hour (1976) and Dynomutt Dog Wonder (1978).

He was also layout artist on Charlotte's Web, the 1973 Hanna-Barbera movie adaptation of E. B. White's classic novel about a pig trying to avoid being killed for Christmas and a spider who tries to save him. In 1975 he also produced promotional material for Burger King.

He died on 19 June 1976, aged 61, following a motorcycle accident at Soldedad Canyon, Los Angeles Co., California. He was survived by his wife, Olivia, and three children, Michael, Michelle Diana (1948- ) and Halli Christine (1954-1999).

Examples of Arens' work can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

No comments:

Post a Comment