Royer in 2020
|Born||Michael W. Royer|
June 28, 1941
|Awards||Inkpot Award 1978|
Michael W. Royer (//; born June 28, 1941) is an American comics artist and inker, best known for his work with pencilers Russ Manning and Jack Kirby. In later life Royer became a freelance product designer and character artist for The Walt Disney Company.
Early life and career
Mike Royer was born on June 28, 1941, in Lebanon, Oregon. He moved to southern California in early 1965 to pursue a career in comic book art, although his first confirmed credit, inking penciler Tony Strobl on the two-page story "Pluto Helps Babysitting" in publisher Gold Key Comics' Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #282 (March 1964), appeared a year earlier. He became an assistant to artist Russ Manning on Gold Key's Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book, beginning with issue #12 (Jan. 1966), and Tarzan, beginning with issue #158 (June 1966). By the following year, he was also working with artists Warren Tufts and Alberto Giolitti on the company's Korak, Son of Tarzan comic. He fully drew two 10-page stories, featuring the Three Musketeers and a group called the Arabian Knights, in Gold Key children's comic Hi-Adventure Heroes #2 (Aug. 1969). He also worked, uncredited, writing and drawing the Gold Key comics Speed Buggy and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, and drew cover for the publisher's licensed Hanna-Barbera property TV Adventure Heroes.
While continuing to work primarily for Gold Key, Royer began freelancing for Warren Publishing's line of black-and-white horror-comics magazines, drawing writer James Haggenmiller's eight-page "Space Age Vampire" in Eerie #23 (Sept. 1969), and later drawing a handful of stories in Creepy and Vampirella as well.
1970s and Jack Kirby
Royer inked the covers of writer-penciler Jack Kirby's The Forever People #2 and #5 (May and Nov. 1971), and The New Gods #5 (Nov. 1971) in Kirby's "Fourth World" epic at DC Comics, which he began after leaving Marvel Comics. He became Kirby's primary inker at DC, working on those titles and another title connected to the Fourth World series Mister Miracle, as well as on the preexisting series, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen which was incorporated into the same narrative. He additionally inked Kirby's next two DC series, The Demon and Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, and, among other Kirby projects, inked the extant war comics feature "The Losers" in several issues of Our Fighting Forces in 1975.
Royer also lettered and inked the last six months of Russ Manning's Tarzan Sunday-newspaper comic strip and, in the late 1970s, the first four months of Manning's daily and Sunday Star Wars comic strips.
Beginning in 1979, Royer spent 14 years on staff with The Walt Disney Company, doing art and design for books, comic books and comic strips, and theme park and licensed merchandise for its Consumer Product/Licensing division. His comics work there included designing and art directing the movie tie-in Dick Tracy and 3-D Rocketeer comic books, and helping launch a Winnie the Pooh licensing program in late 1993; for the latter, he was featured in a 43-minute video, How To Draw Pooh, sent to licensees. Royer left his staff position in June 1993 to freelance full-time for Disney, primarily on Winnie the Pooh projects.
Since 2000, Royer has produced freelance art and design, including work on Digimon products, screen icons for the Fox Family cable television channel environment and its Fox Kids programming bloc, "floor plans" for computer game animators, Reader Rabbit workbooks, and Rescue Heroes toy packaging. Since 2001, Royer and his wife and concept collaborator, Laurie, have lived in Medford, Oregon. In 2019, TwoMorrows Publishing released Jack Kirby's Dingbat Love, a collection of previously-unpublished work which Kirby had drawn for DC Comics in the 1970s. This included a "Dingbats of Danger Street" story inked by Royer.
In 2018, Royer was the Inkwell Awards Guest of Honor at the annual live ceremony.
- Jonny Quest #1 (1986)
- 1st Issue Special #6–7, 12 (1975–1976)
- Adventure Comics #442 (1975)
- The Amazing World of DC Comics #1 (1974)
- The Best of DC #22 (1982)
- Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 (1978)
- DC Graphic Novel #4 ("The Hunger Dogs") (1985)
- Demon #1–16 (1972–1974)
- Detective Comics #452–453 (1975)
- Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #6 (1972)
- Forever People #6–11 (1971–1972)
- Freedom Fighters #1 (1976)
- House of Mystery #236 (1975)
- House of Secrets #139 (1976)
- Justice, Inc. #2–4 (1975)
- Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #1–16, 38–44 (1972–1976)
- Mister Miracle #5–18 (1971–1974)
- Mister Miracle Special #1 (1987)
- New Gods #5–11 (1971–1972)
- Omac #1–2, 8 (1974–1975)
- Our Fighting Forces #153, 156–160 (The Losers) (1975)
- Plastic Man #14 (1976)
- Sandman #1–3, 5 (1974–1975)
- Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #146–148 (1972)
- Weird Mystery Tales #1–3 (1972)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #16 (1986)
- Who's Who: Update '87 #2 (1987)
- The DNAgents #4, 15, 18 (1983–1985)
- Surge #4 (1985)
Gold Key Comics
- Donald Duck #104–106, 116, 135, 215–216 (1965–1980)
- Edgar Rice Burroughs Korak, Son of Tarzan #20–22, 34 (1967–1970)
- Fantastic Voyage #1–2 (1969)
- Golden Comics Digest #4, 9 (1969–1970)
- Hanna-Barbera Hi-Adventure Heroes #2 (1969)
- Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes #2–6 (1968–1969)
- Magnus, Robot Fighter #12–14, 24–28, 31, 45–46 (1965–1977)
- Mickey Mouse #102 (1965)
- Mystery Comics Digest #18–19 (1974)
- Space Family Robinson, Lost in Space on Space Station One #58 (1982)
- Tarzan #153–156, 158, 160–161, 163, 175–178, 188–203, 205 (1965–1971)
- Uncle Scrooge #55, 88 (1965–1970)
- Walt Disney Chip 'n' Dale #32–35 (1975)
- Walt Disney Comics Digest #11 (1969)
- Walt Disney Presents Blackbeard's Ghost (1968)
- Walt Disney Presents King Louie and Mowgli #1 (1968)
- Walt Disney Scamp #22–25, 29 (1975–1976)
- Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #v24#9, #v25#12, #v26#2, #v26#3, #v26#8, #v35#7 (1964–1975)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey #1–10 (1976–1977)
- Avengers: The Ultron Imperative #1 (2001)
- Black Panther #1–12 (1977–1978)
- Captain America #210–212, 214 (1977)
- Captain America: What Price Glory #1–4 (2003)
- Defenders #49–50 (1977)
- Devil Dinosaur #1–9 (1978)
- Eternals #5–19, Annual #1 (1976–1978)
- Fantastic Four vol. 3 #50 (2002)
- Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #10 (2001)
- Ka-Zar vol. 2 #1, 3–4 (1974)
- Machine Man #1–9 (1978)
- Thor: Godstorm #1–3 (2001–2002)
- Werewolf by Night #18 (1974)
- What If...? #11 (1978)
- Satan's Six #1 (1993)
- Jack Kirby's Dingbat Love (Dingbats of Danger Street) (2019)
- Creepy #29–30, 32, 37–38 (1969–1971)
- Eerie #23–25, 27, 32, 34 (1969–1971)
- Vampirella #1–2, 4–6 (1969–1970)
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
- "Mike Royer". WhatIfKirby.com (fan site). n.d. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016.
- "Mike Royer". Lambiek Comiclopedia. June 14, 2015. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. The Mike Royer entry at the Lambiek Comiclopedia erroneously lists Canada as his birthplace. Royer specifies "his birth state, Oregon" in his official site's biography.
- Royer, Mike (n.d.). "Biography". MichaelRoyer.com (official site). Archived from the original on August 28, 2008.
- Mike Royer at the Grand Comics Database
- Carlson, KC (February 28, 2020). "Jack Kirby's Dingbat Love: Unpublished '70s Stories by the King of Comics!". Comicsworthreading.com. Archived from the original on August 2, 2020.
- "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- Mike Royer at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Mike Royer at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Mike Royer at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
| New Gods inker
Dan Adkins (in 1977)
| Mister Miracle inker
Ilya Hunch (in 1977)
| Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth inker
D. Bruce Berry
D. Bruce Berry
| Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth inker