Michael was born, not in the house that his father built, but the house, in Jefferson County, Missouri, his father added onto three or four times.
• Flourishes splendid manhood and graduates from Hillsboro High School determined to escape. Attends Webster University in St. Louis, graduating with a B.F.A. in painting. Finds the demand for Abstract Expressionists in the greater St. Louis area to be mysteriously waning…
• Travels through Europe, living in Greece for a year. Teaches English in private schools. First cartoon published in The Athenian, Greece’s largest English language magazine. Hired as an art instructor for the St. Louis public schools. Begins publishing cartoons in St. Louis magazine.
• Takes an extremely early retirement from teaching to pursue a Master’s Degree at the University of Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia. (The world’s first, and perhaps the most confusing, when everyone thinks this is the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York, which it isn’t, It’s better!)
• The confusion continues. Michael’s emphasis is in advertising. Why? Let’s just call it his desire to take reality and make it even better. He completes a thesis “Who Calls The Toons?” examining the relationship between cartoonists, syndicates, and readership.
• Other academic achievements— St. Louis Press Association scholarships, Morris E. Jacobs Fellowships for graduate work in advertising, a Newspaper Features Council stipend for the study of the impact of comic strip size on readership. Michael was also staff illustrator for The Columbia Missourian and published a much-beloved comic strip (at least to him) entitled “At the Zoo” in the University of Missouri Maneater.
From The New Yorker magazine, Lands' End and Frontgate catalogs, The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Kohl’s Department Stores and more, Michael has crafted print ads, written essays, drawn cartoons and illustrations, collaborated with layouts, cover lines, and directed photography. He’s made urology fascinating, gastroenterology fun, and created compelling selling copy for everything from bow ties to barbeque grills. Michael’s catalog copy for Grandin Road has been proclaimed "best of the best" by Multi-Channel Merchant. If you need people to pay attention and take action— you need Michael!
Michael and Jennifer reside in their dream mid-modern ranch in Wyoming, Ohio, along with two dogs, one cranky cat and an equally recalcitrant Triumph TR-6. Son Liam is currently a junior at Walnut Hills high school and daughter Hannah is a junior at Xavier.
Michael continues to doodle at cartoons. He published his first cartoon for The New Yorker in the Millenium Issue— the first issue of the 21st century. His cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker Book of Literary Cartoons, The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, and The Rejection Collection I and II. His work has also appeared in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Prospect magazine in the UK.
Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker has honored him with a cartoon shout-out on 60 Minutes and he has appeared on MSNBC after his cartoon went viral following the Charley Hebdo attack in France.
Michael’s primary hobby is biking to work, much to the delight of Professor Nancy Bertaux, co-chair of the Xavier Sustainability Committee, of which Michael is also a member.