11.11 Cool Careers – Michael McMenemy – Master of the Graphic Novel

By Sam Blier

cover-copyLocal illustrator/designer/web designer/muralist/etc… Michael McMenemy is a jack-of-all artistic trades, but a master of the graphic novel. Growing up, he always seemed to have a pencil or pen in his hand and even at an early age was illustrating memorable scenes from his life. He also grew up on a steady diet of martial arts cartoons and movies. In high school, he began to study Huan Shou Kung Fu at a school in Worcester while devouring any Kung Fu flick he could get his hands on. Both of his hobbies turned to passions, and when it came time to further his education after high school he attended the Pratt Institute, a renowned art school in New York City, with the goal of working in the comic book industry. There he studied illustration while continuing his Kung Fu training in George Crayton, Jr.’s school of Huan Shou style, in which Mike is a 6th Level Black Sash Disciple.

After college, Mike found that the comic industry was nothing like what it used to be, so he moved back to the Worcester area and put his range of artistic skills to good use by turning to freelancing. Graphic design, logo development, wall murals ~ you name it, Mike has done it. But despite the gratifying work, comic books remained his personal passion. After developing his freelance business with local bands, business and organizations, Mike made the decision to focus on his core skill of illustration. To that end, he embarked on his very own comic book, Pale Dragon, and just released the first edition. dsci0112-copy

Pale Dragon is a well-written and artistically illustrated comic that follows an unlikely hero named Macu as he makes his way through a dangerous alien world. Comic aficionados will see influences of Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the creators of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is only fitting for a product of the 80’s like Mike. The Turtles were also one of the inspirations for his lifelong interest in the martial arts. Speaking of martial arts, they play a starring role in Pale Dragon, albeit surely with more accuracy than your average comic book, owing to Mike’s own proficiency. Macu is an awkward loner, more intimidated than intimidating, who lives in a bustling, violent metropolis inhabited by both humans and intergalactic beings alike. Not much is known about Macu, not even by the only two friends on the planet he has, Shino and Gus. The first issue has a surprising twist ending, which I won’t ruin, but needless to say I’m already looking forward to the second episode.

To learn more about Pale Dragon and to order your own copy, visit www.paledragon.com and palebloggin.blogspot.com. You can purchase your own copy at That’s Entertainment and Dr. Gonzo’s Uncommon Condiments in Worcester.

Follow Mike McMenemy via his blog at mcnemesis.blogspot.com.