Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mike Okamoto attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City on a full scholarship from 1971-75. He lived and freelanced in New York until 1991. At that point he moved to West Virginia and began a career working on comics.
His influences range from Frank Frazetta, N. C. Wyeth and Al Williamson to Wally Wood, Joe Kubert, Mort Drucker and Carl Barks. In 1990 he worked with one of his influences and legend Al Williamson on the graphic novel series Atomic Age for the Marvel Epic line of comics. The four issue series was created and written by Frank Lovece, pencilled by Okamoto, and inked by Williamson.
His other work includes covers for Innovation Comics Lost in Space, Hellraiser: Dark Holiday Special, the Chaos! Comics miniseries Suspira: The Great Working (issues #1 and #4), The Maze Agency, and Hero Alliance.
In 1992, Okamoto won the prestigious Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award for his painted work and storytelling skills on both Atomic Age and on the Innovation Comics adaptation of Piers Anthony’s classic Fantasy/Science Fiction novel On a Pale Horse at that year’s San Diego Comic Con. From 1999 through 2004 and then again in 2006, Okamoto won the International Network of Golf Illustrator of the Year Award for his work in Golf Illustrated magazine. He also won the 2004 Outstanding Achievement in Illustration award.
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