It's Mike Ploog's birthday today, which leads me to making a bit of a confession. Back in The Bronze Age, I was a huge Ploog fan ( still am, obviously ), devouring Ghost Rider, Monster Of Frankenstein and particularly Werewolf By Night. So much so that, well, remember when Warren first started reprinting The Spirit? That was the first time a lot of fans had ever seen any Will Eisner, me included. And what was my first thought? How great this legendary strip was? How masterful Will's short story skills were? Nope, my first thought was: This guy is blatantly ripping off Mike Ploog! I know, I know. Don't tell anyone, ok?
Not sure if everybody knows the Carmine Infantino story, or if I've mentioned it before, but what the hell, I'll tell it again, 'cos it's so great. In fact, thanks to Comic Book Artist, here's the whole sorry tale from Mike's own lips: " ( When I started ) I knew nothing about comics. I remember sitting in a cafe called Friar Tuck's, across from DC Comics, with a bunch of artists. Sitting next to me was a total stranger. He had been introduced to me as a bigwig at DC Comics. His name was Carmine Infantino. Everybody was chatting and drawing on the table cloth. Suddenly this executive next to me picks up a ball point pen and begins to draw on the table cloth. I was impressed; Imagine an executive that can draw! I attempted to pay him a compliment, and said, " I'll be a son of a gun! You can draw too! " He glared at me, and you could've fried eggs on his cheeks. I don't think he said a word, just glared at me as if to say, " What do you mean, I can draw?? " I looked around the table at a load of blank, wide eyed faces. And with a further display of ignorance, I added. " Yeah, now if worst comes to worst, you could do that for a living. " My memory is a bit vague about what happened next but I never worked for DC Comics. "
Here's The Ploogster doing his usual incredible job on his all too short run on Kull.
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