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Dave Manak DC Comics 1981.jpg

Me Then...1981

  Hi, I'm Dave Manak.
Cartoonist, Writer and, although, I'm really not a Fine Artist...I do consider myself to be a Very Fine Artist!  HAW! 
Let me tell you about my time in comics starting around 1971  to the present. What came before, BDC  (Before DC}, and what's going on now. Someone else will have to fill you in on the AD era!



Me Now

The one truth about cartoonists (according to me)...
"No one understands cartoonists not even other cartoonists." Dave Manak 2022
Here's how I broke into comics. Yes, this is how it worked back in the days before PC's, Macs and cell phone computer cameras and the Joe Kubert School.

Sometime in 1971, as a young guy living in Southeast PA with no contact with anyone in the comic book industry I sent a sheet of drawings of my best versions of superheroes to Joe Kubert at DC (National Periodical Publications at the time). I sent it to Joe because of my love for his art in SGT ROCK art and particularly ENEMY ACE. To my shocked delight I got a letter back asking me if I’d like to visit him in NYC at the DC offices and BOOM! I was on my way to the big city, New York, NY.

After a bunch of visits showing Joe new samples each time I showed him some humor cartooning I did and he introduced me to Joe Orlando, who was already famous from his time at MAD Mag, there and that was the meeting that would set things in motion. In about a year I moved to NYC and started doing some freelance production work at DC to pay the rent and sold my first single panel cartoon to DC appearing in PLOP! # 6, Joe Orlando’s brainchild. Then it wasn’t long before I was penciling and inking stories for PLOP! I became good friends with Orlando after that. Maybe he saw something of himself when he was just starting out in me. I don’t know... but I do know that for the next almost thirty years that I knew him, we had a BLAST!

(This a small amount of info that I gave to Justin Francoeur, editor of  It's a great site especially if you love that era. you can see the great interview Justin put together about me there.

  Michael Gallagher and Me...


       I first met Dave Manak back in 1986 when I was freelancing for Marvel Comics’ STAR imprint. The many titles, under the supervision of veteran editor Sid Jacobson, were made for children. I had recently begun writing and sometimes penciling a comic book well suited to my rather warped sense of humor, MADBALLS. While visiting the Marvel office one day, Sid informed me that I had accidentally been overpaid for Issue #3 because the lead story was written by Dave Manak, who also happened to be there. Dave and I exchanged pleasantries and I wrote him a check for his story, little realizing that this was, to quote Bogart, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” As STAR Comics kept going, I wrote the rest of the MADBALLS run as well as other titles like HEATHCLIFF and CARE BEARS while Dave did great work on STAR WARS DROIDS and BULLWINKLE & ROCKY.
Soon, Marvel gained the rights to publish ALF, based on the hugely successful NBC television series. Sid decided to pair up Dave and I as penciler and writer with Marie Severin and Jacqueline Roettcher inking. It became the most successful STAR title ever; fifty issues, three Annuals, two Christmas Specials and one Spring Special. Early on in its run, ALF was the best selling newsstand comic book in the country. Over the four years ALF was published, Dave and I wrote and drew every issue with the exception of a few backup stories. The comic book even outlasted the TV show. This intense collaboration drew us together in ways that only a creative endeavor can. We quickly developed mutual admiration and trust in each others talents which rapidly evolved into a deep, abiding fellowship that endures to this day. Best of all, the end of the ALF comic was just the beginning for us.
Not long after ALF, I was hired by Archie Comics to write a new title that was based on a video game from SEGA. They literally caught lightning in a bottle as SONIC THE HEDGEHOG made his blue debut and went on to become the longest running children’s comic book in history. I wrote the first several comics with artwork by Scott Shaw! who left after the initial four issues and was replaced by Dave. I was delighted to be re-united with him and although many other writers and artists eventually worked on SONIC (including us), Dave and I enjoyed a short run together. We also had a lot of fun with the long lived letter column feature that we created for the SONIC and KNUCKLES titles called OFF-PANEL. Thanks to senior editor Victor Gorelick, our reputation as a reliable team soon led us to another Archie comic book.  
SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH had been a well known title at Archie for many years. With the  arrival of an animated TV series featuring an adolescent version of her called SABRINA, Archie began producing a comic book based on the show in 2000. Once again, Dave and I were paired up along with inker Jon D’Agostino for another three year collaboration.
Over time as our friendship grew, we tried to market several independent projects on our own; comic strips, graphic novels, comic books, and more. While many of our concepts  were well received, we didn’t manage to sell any of them.
In the meantime, Dave and I teamed up for a super hero adventure in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS featuring Daredevil and The Impossible Man. We also created stories for the Looney Tunes characters when DC published their BUGS BUNNY & THE LOONEY TUNES MAGAZINE. And we furnished one article for MAD together. Dave’s final episode of SPY vs. SPY for the magazine was the first of many that I wrote for the iconic feature. We’re both proud to be members of “The Usual Gang of Idiots.” These days, we’re continuing to develop a graphic novel that we have high hopes for.
Looking back on 35+ years of working together, I am very proud of all the material we co-produced and the ongoing personal relationship we’ve maintained. Dave is a dedicated professional and his art is consistently delightful, whether it’s cartoons, comics, illustrations, paintings, pastels, or his spot-on caricatures. I encourage anyone visiting this website to spend time looking at (and hopefully purchasing) examples of his remarkably diverse abilities.

-Michael Gallagher
P.S. I almost forgot the shameless plug for my own website;

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