MIKE OKAMOTO has been illustrating for over 40 years. Born and raised in Detroit, his art earned him a full scholarship to Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. Pounding the pavement after college, he illustrated for publications such as Golf Illustrated, Scholastic, Business Week, Video Review, and more, which put money in the bank but didn’t fulfill his lifelong ambition of working in comics.
In 1990, he penciled Atomic Age, written by good friend Frank Lovece, and which marked the beginning of his career in comics. As Frank pitched the mini-series to various publishers, Mike’s art got the attention of David Campiti at Innovation Comics. Even though they didn’t pick up Atomic Age (it was published by Marvel/Epic Comics 1990-1992 with the great Al Williamson inking), Mike was hired to create interior pencils for The Vampire Lestat. Moving on to pencils for other Innovation titles like Hero Alliance, The Maze Agency and more, he introduced his unique painting style on cover art for many Innovation titles including Lost in Space. It was his work on Piers Anthony’s On a Pale Horse #1 that got the industries attention, and he was honored with the Russ Manning Newcomers Award at the 1992 San Diego Comic Con.
Over the years Mike balanced his comic art (Forbidden Planet, Night Cry, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Kabuki, Lady Death and more) and his commercial illustration (winning 6 Illustrator of the Year awards for his golf art!), and continues to look for interesting projects. He’s currently creating commercial animations for games and music videos, as well as his original comic creation Jo Hammy. Mike enjoys meeting and talking with comic fans at conventions, and often garners quite an audience when he airbrushes commissions on site. Because of the detail and his unique approach, he generally only has time to produce one commission per day. If you would like to “pre-commission” a piece before the show you can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact him through his website: OkamotoStudios.com.
DIANA LIGHT-OKAMOTO has been a writer, editor, and vice-president of Innovation Comics during their glory years of 1989 – 1992. She first met Mike in person while she was his editor on Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse, and they married in 1991.