Comic strip for the sleeve of De La Soul's '3 Feet High & Rising'.

Michael Uman is a New York-based art director, illustrator, designer, animator and musician, with an inclination to underground and pop culture. His entry within comic history consists of some contributions to Heavy Metal Magazine in the late 1980s and a comic strip inside the gatefold sleeve of '3 Feet High & Rising' (1989), the debut album by hiphop group De La Soul.

Professional career
From age 12 Uman studied animation and film in school and at home as a hobby. He started his career as a freelance airbrush illustrator and designer who primarily worked in the music industry. By the mid-1980s he worked in the art department of Russell Simmons' Rush Artist Management, the company that launched the careers of Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run-DMC. He was later associated with Tommy Boy Records (Queen Latifah, De La Soul).

De La Soul
One of his notable designs was the comic strip inside the gatefold sleeve of De La Soul's classic debut album '3 Feet High & Rising' (1989). The comic features the band members travelling to Earth from Mars, where they are commissioned by Dante the Scrubb, an anthropomorphic duck, to fulfill a mission, namely make the album '3 Feet High & Rising'. In the final panel the musical trio receive assistance from the Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip. Uman also designed the inner sleeves for several of the group's singles. Another artist who created a comic strip for an album by De La Soul is Al Callabrass.

Airhead, by Uman and Fletcher (Heavy Metal, Fall 1988).

Other comics work
Uman's further excursions into the field of comics was short-lived, and mostly associated with editor Lou Stathis. In May 1985 one of his paintings appeared on the back cover of Heavy Metal Magazine. He returned to the magazine a couple of years later with the short comic story 'Airhead' (Fall 1988) and the "special advertising supplement" 'So You're Traveling To the Interzone' (July 1989), which were both made in cooperation with fellow artist James Fletcher and written by Stathis. Uman was also one of the artists of 'The Venus Interface' (1989), a Heavy Metal graphic novel which also featured art by im Fletcher, Rick Geary, Peter Kuper, Mark Pacella, Kenneth Smith and Arthur Suydam. In 1994, when Stathis edited DC's Vertigo line, Uman briefly made collage-style designs for the 1994 'Doom Patrol Annual' and two issues of 'Animal Man' (#71 and #74).

Later career
In 1987 Uman was an intern for a postproduction facility. Between 1998 and 2002 he was creative director and graphic designer of FDG in New York City. Between 2003 and 2013 he ran the motion design boutique Interspectacular. Since January 2014 Uman is creative director of Metro Chai, a Brooklyn-based company which sells chai teas. He has worked for such clients as Volkswagen, Target, Ben and Jerry's, Virgin Mobile, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon (the 'Three Headed Monster' programming block was animated by his studio), Showtime, Discovery Channel, ACLU and HBO. He designed posters for Resist and the street art campaign #KeepFighting, who protest against the administration of Donald Trump.

Back cover for Heavy Metal (May 1985) and Doom Patrol Annual 1994.

Series and books by Michael Uman in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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