Dave Manak, cartoonist


© DC Comics, Inc.

Came across this page of original art by Dave Manak today, and as usual, it made me laugh once again. Such a brilliant summation of civilization!

When I started working in the DC Production Department in 1977, Dave was a frequent visitor there, one of a dozen or more artists who were allowed to just hang out and talk to us production guys from time to time. I think the trick was to make friends with the Production Manager, Jack Adler, and then you were allowed to chat with the rest of the staff, as long as you didn’t make a nuisance of yourself. Dave was a funny guy, and I always enjoyed talking to him. His art, as above, appeared in various DC comics, usually the anthology or war titles, as one page or less fillers, along the lines of what Sergio Aragonés also did. Dave was somehow making a living on this sort of thing, plus some longer stories for MAD Magazine clones like SICK. In fact, the very first paid lettering job I ever did was a five page Star Wars parody for Dave that appeared in SICK #118, December 1977. If you think I’m going to show any of that here, you’re mistaken, but I enjoyed the chance at paid work at the time, and Dave always enjoyed reminding me of how he gave me my first break whenever I ran into him in later years.

Dave was hired as an editor by DC for a few years, then went back to drawing for Marvel titles for younger readers, and then Archie Comics, where he worked on SONIC THE HEDGEHOG for many years. He also drew Spy Vs. Spy for MAD for a while. Searching just now, I found Dave’s website, and I see he’s doing some very fine animal portraits in colored pencil, much more realistic than his comics work, and quite attractive. Amazing what you can find online. I’m going to forward this post to him and say hi.

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