Mike Ploog is an American comic book and storyboard artist, best-known in comics as the original artist of 'Ghost Rider'. He was born Michael George Ploog in Mankato, Minnesota in 1940 (or 1942?). Ploog served in the US Marine Corps for ten years. During this period, he was a contributor to the Corps' Leatherneck magazine.
He began his artistic career in 1969, doing clean-ups on animated TV-series for studios like Filmation and Hanna-Barbera. He made his first comic stories for the horror magazines published by Warren Publishing. He immediately stood out for his macabre horror stories, and he continued to work in the genre afterwards. By 1972, he joined Marvel Comics, where he originated such titles as 'Wherewolf by Night' and 'Ghost Rider'. Ploog has also worked for Marvel's 'The Monster of Frankenstein' in 1973, 'Man-Thing' in 1974 and 'Planet of the Apes' in 1974-1975.
Planet of the Apes
In his 1992 graphic novel 'The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus', an adaptation of Frank L. Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', Ploog showed the lighter and more nostalgic side of his talent. Later comic book work include the Malibu Comics one-shot 'Sludge: Red X-Mas' with Steve Gerber in 1994, and the CrossGen fantasy 'Abadazad' with J.M. DeMatteis in 2004.
However, since the 1980s, Mike Ploog spent most of his career as a designer and storyboard artist in Hollywood. He has worked on the post-production of 'Ghostbusters' (1984), was production designer on Michael Jackson's 'Moonwalker' (1988) and worked on several animated features with director Ralph Bakshi.
Wherewolf by Night