Slack, Michael 1969-

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Slack, Michael 1969-


Born 1969. Education: San Francisco Art Institute, B.F.A. (painting), 1992.


Home—Northern CA. E-mail—[email protected].


Illustrator and animator. Computer game animator and creator of game characters for several years. Creator of monster card game ICK; creator of monster designs for stickers and other products. Presenter at schools. Exhibitions: Works exhibited in both the United States and Europe.



ICK the Game, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2007.

Monkey Truckin', Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2009.

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Ellen A. Kelley, My Life as a Chicken, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.

Jack Prelutsky, Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2008.

Alan Katz, Flim Flam Fairies, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2008.

Joan Holub, Knuckle Heads, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2008.


As a child, Michael Slack developed his drawing skills by copying the creepy creatures he found in the pages of illustrated library books. As a teen his interest moved into underground comics, and his decision to make art his career resulted in a degree in fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute. Known for his colorfully detailed and surreal paintings depicting unearthly monsters, Slack has also created animated characters for advertising and video games. His imaginative vision is also a good match for children's books; in addition to illustrating several books for younger readers he has designed a child-friendly, monster-filled card game appropriately called ICK.

Slack's first picture-book project, My Life as a Chicken, features a humorous rhyming story by Ellen Kelley that details the exciting life of a chicken named Pauline Poulet. According to Booklist contributor Janice Del Negro, "Slack's saturated palette is enhanced by the use of highlights and shadows to emphasize specific visual elements" in the tale. Calling the story's digital illustrations "wacky and cartoonish," Kathleen Kelly MacMillan concluded in her School Library Journal review of My Life as a Chicken that "the tone and zany sensibilities of the story and pictures are a perfect match for the funny bones of" beginning readers. "Slack has created a grotesquerie of villains and settings that more than equals Kelley's verse in its enthusiasm," maintained a Publishers Weekly critic, the reviewer dubbing the story a "manic epic."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, Janice Del Negro, review of My Life as a Chicken, p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, April 30, 2007, review of My Life as a Chicken, p. 159.

School Library Journal, June, 2007, Kathleen Kelley MacMillan, review of My Life as a Chicken, p. 110.


Michael Slack Home Page, (May 12, 2008).

Michael Slack Web log, (May 12, 2008).