It was artist Mike Ploog who ruled monster comics during the so-called Bronze Age (1970-1985). For a few sweet years, Marvel Comics resurrected the dying monster craze by resuscitating many of the monsters we had grown to know and love. From film mags like MONSTERS UNLEASHED to comic titles like TOWER OF SHADOWS, Marvel flooded the stands with monsters. It was a beautiful thing.
Gladly plunking down my hard-earned cash every couple of weeks or so at a local liquor store, I would head home with an armload of comics and 'zines to read over the next few days. A few titles struck my fancy as being extra well done, in particular a trio called WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN, and GHOST RIDER. They were all drawn by a guy by the name of Mike Ploog. With a style that I recognized from the Will "Spirit" Eisner school of draftsmanship, I quickly became a devoted fan.
Of course, Mr. Ploog went on to do more than just comics. The upcoming book, THE ART OF PLOOG will delve into his entire career. Published by FPG, LLC the book is on schedule to be released by the end of the year. Forget my two front teeth, now I know what I want for Christmas!
Here are the details from the FPG WEBSITE:
THE LONG-AWAITED MIKE PLOOG CAREER RETROSPECTIVE ART BOOK IS HERE!
Hello, fellow Ploog fans! We are happy to tell you that the wait is over. Finally, a comprehensive art book on Mike Ploog is in the works. This 320-page retrospective will cover almost every aspect of Mike’s career, from his earliest days of working with “Leatherneck" magazine, while he was still in the Marines, right up through his latest work on “Goliath.” “The Art of Ploog” will contain, quite literally, hundreds of pieces of art from throughout his career, as well as commentary by the master himself.
And from the pre-order description from Diamond Distributors:
In the seventies when you were looking for horror comics there was Warren Magazines, DC’s House of Mystery and House of Secrets, and Marvel titles like Chamber of Chills. While we still saw legends like Alex Toth, Gene Colan, and Steve Ditko working on those titles we also saw newcomers like Frank Brunner, Bernie Wrightson, and Mike Ploog.
Marvel found a formula of horror themes and continuing characters, and Ploog became the go-to artist for many of the 70s greatest horror based series, from Werewolf by Night and the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider to The Monster of Frankenstein.
The years Mike worked under Will Eisner on PS magazine prior to his work at Warren and Marvel gave him a strong base in creating moody pieces of art, and a strong sense of graphic storytelling as well.
While many of Mike’s stories have been reprinted over the years FPG’s The Art of Ploog provides us the most comprehensive retrospective of his art. In an oversized 9" x 12" format and over 300 pages we see Mike’s work from Leatherneck to Marvel (Ghost Rider, Monster of Frankenstein, Man-Thing, Planet of the Apes, Kull, and Werewolf by Night), Crossgen, and Image to film work which included Wizards and Shrek.
This being FPG we get to see much of the original fantasy art he created for the trading card series he did with them in the 90s as well as art he did for collectible card games all reproduced much larger than the size of the trading cards they were printed.
The Art of Ploog features commentary by Ploog along with those he worked with in comics and film like Ralph Bakshi, John Carpenter, Frank Oz, and Roy Thomas and comes in a standard edition as well as a signed edition limited to 250 total copies.
Mike Ploog is one of the true legends of the Bronze Age of comics though everything he does is pure gold.
And a YouTube preview from the publisher: