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Manley talks about the art of Judge Parker strip

Mike Manley talks to Comics Riff about taking over the art of the Judge Parker serial.

MC: So you were already very familiar with his style. Can you speak to adapting to his style — and the constraints of a continuity comic strip?

MM: Eduardo and I have very similar influences artistically. It’s all a little restricting to walk in someone else’s shoes. I talked to Brendan and Woody about this. It’s not like people are going to flip to an entirely [different looking] strip — one minute it’s Neal Adams, the next minute it’s Jack Davis. It’s not that jarring.

That said, some people, no matter what, won’t be happy that it’s me and not Eduardo. But [give it] five months. That’s the nature of it: Everyone gripes when something changes. People don’t like change. I was aware of that even as a kid, when “The Flintstones” made changes after the first season. …

So people will be upset about change. But as you go along, they’ll see: Eduardo and I have some similar influences and tastes. I’m a huge fan of Hal Foster and Alex Raymond and Milton Caniff — most all illustrative [classic comic] styles descend from one branch of those three great trees. I’m closest to the Alex Raymond tree.

Community Comments

#1 John Moline
March/16/2010
@ 11:54 am

I hope Manley continues in the tradition of drawing little ribbons in the hair of bikers and other long-haired men with pony-tails. And also continue drawing the grandma-style pearl earings on those guys, too. Those are two details that make the strip really “Judge Parker-y.”

#2 Mark McComas
March/16/2010
@ 1:13 pm

Judge Parker-y? I think I get the drift, but explain a little more for the uninitiated–like me. Stodgey? A little out of it? Tell me when I am getting warm. I suppose that my being 57 and not 30 makes a difference.

#3 Ted Dawson
March/16/2010
@ 8:09 pm

Manley’s new art looks pretty good, and I bet it’ll be even better when he makes it “his” strip.

I bet it looks even better in black and white.

#4 Garey Mckee
March/16/2010
@ 9:11 pm

I think “Judge Parker-y” is a rather “John Moline-ish” expression.

#5 Guy Gilchrist
March/17/2010
@ 8:13 am

Mike is a good, good artist. Transitions are tough. You may be cut to ribbons no matter how hard you try by some, and believe me…you’re trying your best! It’s all new..and all difficult. Mike will be great.He has a tough act to follow. He knows it. And has much experience in coping with the rigors of the ongoing deadlines, and keeping a steady quality thing going.

#6 Dave
March/18/2010
@ 4:33 pm

Manley’s first week is getting better by the day. I am sure he will get better with time. Based on some comments on his blog, he was sent the entire Eduardo Barreto run on Judge Parker so that he would have a reference point.

My guess is that he will morph into that, then into more of what he wants to do with the strip.

The one thing about his body of work…he can draw ANYTHING.

#7 JB
March/29/2010
@ 4:51 pm

Manley is looking very Barreto-like on Judge Parker this week. His third week on the strip.

#8 Mark Hagner
March/31/2010
@ 7:19 am

How come Sophie and Abbey look like extras from Avatar without the blue skin.

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