Michael Cole Manley is well known as “Mike Manley” in his role as a comic book artist and animation artist and as the editor of Draw! magazine, a how-to magazine popular in the comics art community (see my previous post on Draw!).
As a comics artist, he has worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and on major characters like Batman. He is currently the artist on the Judge Parker newspaper strip. He has done work for television animation for Warner Brothers, MTV and the Cartoon Network.
Manley also teaches animation, cartooning and drawing, and has in the last few years returned to the role of student himself; he is in his fourth year as a painting major at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Outside of his formal studies as a painter, Manley works plein air as well as in the studio, and he and a group of likeminded painters have formed the Dirty Palette Club, getting together for plein air excursions and group studio work outside of the school environment.
Manley’s progress as a painter is evidenced in his current one-man show at the Roger La Pelle galleries here in Philadelphia – Commuterscapes and Expectations. I was glad I had the chance to stop in for the opening and see both the show and Manley, who I have known for many years but hadn’t caught up with recently.
The show features a nice cross section of his painting subjects, landscapes, figures, interiors and more conceptual work, as well as what seems to be one of his major fascinations, cityscapes, and in particular, nocturnal cityscapes. The latter highlight his fascination with direct light sources and dramatic value contrasts.
Manley is an active blogger and maintains a blog in which he chronicles his progress as a painter and art student, as well as the Draw! blog, that focuses more on his comics and animation work, along with the official Draw! magazine blog and the Dirty Palette Club blog. He also has a dedicated website that showcases his painting.
Commuterscapes and Expectations is on view at the Roger La Pelle Galleries to April 1, 2012.