|Born||Michael W. Royer
June 28, 1941
|Awards||Inkpot Award 1978|
Michael W. "Mike" Royer (born June 28, 1941, Lebanon, Oregon) is an comic book 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 came to southern California in early 1965 to pursue a career in comics 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 helped 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 had left his staff position in June 1993 to freelance full-time for Disney, primarily on Winnie the Pooh projects.
Beginning in 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.
Gold Key Comics
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 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
- "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- Mike Royer at the Comic Book DB