In my artistic development, there are landmark moments. Moments that drastically changed how I was doing things. Moments that challenged and pushed me forward as an artist.... I remember at 4 years old trying to draw the Classic Trek Enterprise (though there were too many pylons supporting the warp engines). Not a landmark moment, per se, but my first recollection of drawing. The first landmark would be Dale Draper's dad showing Dale and then Dale showing me in second grade how to draw airplane wings in perspective ("The wing nearest to you points back and farthest points forward..."). Of course, this would not have happened, if I had not befriended Dale and we had become obsessed with drawing....maybe that was the first landmark... The Second would be when my late cousin Rob (Bob) Tolin introduced me to "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" in sixth or seventh grade. This greatly improved my basic understanding of perspective, figure drawing and comic storytelling. The third happened around the same time in 1978, when Marvel Comics produced a comic series based on the Japanese toy line "Microman" which came here as "Micronauts." Now, this may seem unimportant- a comic based on a toy line, and it would have been, except for two things: 1) it was written by a very competent writer, Bill Mantlo (who also created "Rocket Raccoon"of "Guardians of the Galaxy" fame) and 2) an artist named Michael Golden. Mike was a commercial artist who had never read comics until one of his clients suggested he try to become a comic artist. He went to Marvel and DC on the same day and came away with work from both. He is self taught, and has an artistic photographic memory, meaning that if he draws anything once, he can recall it from his memory and is able to draw it from any angle (something I have strived to do). He made people in the comic look real. They had weight, varying ethnicities, varying body types and facial structures. They weren't all good looking. His machinery was believable. It looked like it could function. it had plugs and wires coming out of the backs of panels that seemed logical. The angles of his drawings were cinematic and dynamic. Yes, he challenged me. He was a mentor I never met.... Until Friday. He came to the Grand Rapids Comic Con and I had to meet him and thank him. Not only that, but with the help of a friend and and an acquaintance, I was able to present him with a model of the ship that he created from the comic. Some friends of mine kept telling me that I would probably be disappointed meeting him. I wasn't. So, let me share with you a picture of the man, the model, and some of his artwork.