I haven’t really thought about Michael Jackson in years. I just told my wife that I think I was always hoping he’d get normal again and return with some awesome comeback album. But when I was a kid, I was a huge Michael Jackson fan, and there’s actually a Michael Jackson tie to when I first started drawing for the amusement of others.
I was simultaneously fascinated and horrified by Thriller. Back when I was in probably kindergarten and first grade, watching the “Thriller” video was pretty much a staple of every birthday party. And for whatever reason, during every viewing, I started drawing what was basically a comic storyboard adaptation of the werewolf transformation from the opening scene. Eventually, we stopped watching the video, but people kept requesting that I draw my panel-by-panel version of the werewolf scene. I’m sure I loved the attention at the time, but in hindsight, that seems really weird. There may be dozens of original Neal Obermeyer drawings of that in shoeboxes and landfills across southeast Nebraska.
Other than that, pretty much my strongest memories of Michael Jackson involve being extremely embarrassed that I received two copies of Thriller on vinyl for my birthday one year, and watching my cousin Wade lip-sync and dance to “Bad” for everyone at an Obermeyer family Christmas, replacing the traditional nativity play.