Future Comics' Editor-In-Chief, Bob Layton, announced today that he has hired Mike Leeke as the new penciler on FREEMIND.
Leeke was the artist who popularized Layton's most memorable Valiant Comics' creationX-O Manowar.
"When David Michelinie and I began the FREEMIND series, Mike was the guy we had in mind as the ideal penciler to take over from Giordano when he moved on to our DEATHMASK series." Layton explained. "The trouble was we didn't know how to locate him. Mike had left the comics industry and was working in the commercial art field. It took months, but we finally tracked him down last month."
When discussing Leeke's abilities, Layton enthusiastically stated, "Mike is one of those rare artists who naturally tells a story well, combining attractive characters with well-conceived layouts. A REAL natural."
Mike Leeke broke into comics in 1985, when he landed a job as the penciler of Robotech the Macross Saga for Comico Comics. When that assignment ended, he was hired to pencil The Elementals for Comico Comics. After 3 years of penciling that book, Comico began to have financial troubles. Mike sent out samples to various companies, some of which were noticed by Bob Layton, the Editor-In-Chief of Valiant Comics. Bob hired Leeke to pencil X-O Manowar. At Valiant, Mike Leeke's work included pencils on Hard Corps, PSI-Lords, Deathmate, The Visitor, and Dr. Mirage. From Valiant, Leeke moved on to Lone Star Press, where he became the artist on Pantheon.
"When asked about the re-teaming with his former collaborators," Leeke
said. "I am very excited about working with Bob Layton, Dick Giordano and David Michelinie again. Freemind is the kind of book I can really sink my teeth into and have a lot of fun with. And--I'm sure my enthusiasm for this new project will show in the work."
Mike Leeke is scheduled to begin as the regular penciler on FREEMIND with issue #4on sale the last week of January.