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STUDIO TOUR: Artist Mike Norton

by  in Comic News Comment
STUDIO TOUR: Artist Mike Norton

Yeah, this is a day late. Our regular Wednesday features, STUDIO TOURS has moved to Thursday this week only because, well, post-NYCC recovery had our schedules all sorts of insane and we simply ran out of time on Wendesday. But no worries, we’re still here.

One quick programming note. Mike Allred was to be our featured studio this week, but he was down in LA busily working on a little movie script and wouldn’t be back home in time to finish up his STUDIO TOUR. No worries, though, as he’ll be back next month and we’ll take a look at his studio then.

In the mean time, newly DC Exclusive artist Mike Norton stepped up. Norton’s been in the industry for a long time, gaining recognition for his early work on “The Waiting Place,” building a name for himself working on books like “Gravity” and “Runaways” at Marvel, “G.I. Joe” at Devil’s Due and “Queen & Country” for Oni Press. Currently his art can be seen gracing the pages of DC’s monthly “The Atom” with Gail Simone. Norton invited CBR News into his Chicago, Illinois home for this STUDIO TOUR.

By Mike Norton

Welcome to the studio. It’s pretty cramped, but very comfortable. I spend most of my waking hours in here, so I guess it ought to be. This shot is from the entrance. As you can see you can pretty much only fit one or two people in here at once.

To the right as you come in is the computer station. I just recently set this up as I’m learning to do more digital art stuff. I’ve decorated in the studio in trendy “Nerd Chic” such as 1) a set of “Hulk Hands” I mounted to the wall and hung a bunch of my past convention badges from (whew, can’t get much more nerd than that huh?), a poster from the “Heroes Helping Legends” fundraiser here in Chicago, and a photo of Oingo Boingo from the movie “Urgh! A Music War.” Pretty weird, I know.

On the equipment side, I have a 2) microtek scanmaker scanner sitting on a stack of Drawer Boxes (space is at a premium in here!). On the computer 3) table I have a MacPro tower and newly acquired Cintiq tablet. I haven’t made the switch to total digital, but I like to learn stuff.

Next to the computer table is my “media center.” By media center, I mean a TV on a wire bookshelf. 1) You can see more assorted nerdery displayed on said shelf such as a Moon Knight statue, a Tiki given to me by my good pal J. Torres and a bunch of random toys/statues. Right next to that is my lifeline, 2) the TV. I know it’s trendy to try and deny it these days, but I watch a lot of TV. It also helps keep you company when you’re drawing all day. Underneath that is my 3) printer/area my cat likes to sit even though I tell him not to. On the adjacent wall is an original cover from the First Comics “Badger” series by Bill Reinhold. It’s one of my favorite things ever. Right next to that is a portrait of yours truly by the awesome Art Baltazar.

This is where I sit most of the time. I’ve had this table for almost ten years. Mainly because it’s gravitational pull is too great for me to escape it. It’s a bit unwieldy and I had to cram everything into the studio around it, but I tried other tables and just can’t get used to them. I’m stuck with this beast. There’s a portable lightbox on it I use quite a lot. Above the table on the wall is a bulletin board I put various reference on depending on projects and a few permanent fixtures. I have Wally Wood’s 22 panels that work up there as a reminder as well as some sketches I love. A Gravity sketch by Chris Samnee, dead Blue Beetle by Chris Giarusco and Dolemite by Jeremy Love.

Behind the table you’ll find 1) all three of the “Spider-Man” movie posters (love the spidey!) and an 2) art caddy that holds various art supplies and ammunition. There’s another 3) cork board with odds n’ ends on it (lots of Gravity sketches I’ve acquired over the past two years). Right next to that are my 4) framed pics of Katchoo, Francine, and Kabuki (by Terry Moore, taken from an old issue of “Kabuki”) and the Creeper by Terry Beatty. Under that is 5) the calendar (if you don’t have a calendar, how you gonna be on time?). Underneath all that is 6) my flat file where I keep most of my paper/old pages. Of course, on top of it you’ll find more toys.

On the floor, you find Kenny. He’s always there, so watch were you step.

As you leave, be sure to pay homage to the “Disco Godfather.”

Thanks, Mike. You can discuss the story with fellow fans on CBR’s Community Forum.

Next week we check in with the artist of Image’s hit series “Phonogram,” Jamie McKelvie.

And be sure to check out any of our previous STUDIO TOURS you may have missed:

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