Say Cheese and Die!
With very little to do in the town of Pitts Landing, Michael Warner and his friends, Greg, Shari, and Bird, decide to sneak into the Coffman house, an old, abandoned house, where a mysterious man nicknamed Spidey is said to reside. In the basement of the house, Greg discovers a camera hidden away in a hidden compartment in the wall. Greg asks Michael to pose for a photograph, but shortly after the picture is taken, Michael falls through the basement railing, injuring himself. Suddenly, Spidey enters the house and chases the children away.
Michael comes out of the incident relatively fine, but Greg is shocked to see his picture shows him falling, despite the fact the photo was taken before he fell. All are confused, except for Bird, who says they must have remembered the events wrong. As rime passes and odd events keep happening surrounding the camera, Greg becomes convinced it's capable of not only telling the truth, but making it bad.
Michael and Bird suggest that Greg get rid of the camera by returning it to the Coffman house, but both are too scared to go back there, leaving only Shari to go with him.
When the two escape, they tell Michael of what happened, and of the camera's origins. Still scared of the house, Michael suggests they stay away from it for good.
Say Cheese and Die — Again!
Michael returns in the book's sequel, still friends with Greg. When Greg recounts the story of the previous book as part of an English assignment, his teacher, Mr. Saur, doesn't believe it, and gives him an F. Mr. Saur tells Greg that if he can bring him the camera and prove his story is true, he will raise his grade. When Greg tells his friends, all, including Michael, warn him not to do so.
However, Greg ends up going back to the Coffman house anyway and using the camera once more. When Greg's picture is taken by an angry Shari, he begins to grow in weight by the day, earning him mockery from Michael and Bird.
At the end of the book, neither Michael nor Bird discover that Greg stole the camera again, as he and Shari decide its best to keep that a secret.
Michael is shown to be a rather daring kid, as he's the one who suggests entering the Coffman house. Although he tries his best to be funny, Greg says his jokes often fall flat. He is often on the receiving end of teasing by his friends.
Michael is described as slightly chubby, with short red hair, blue eyes, and a face full of freckles.
- Michael is omitted from the television adaptions of both Say Cheese and Die! and Say Cheese and Die — Again!. When Greg takes his first photograph in the original episode, it is Bird who ends up falling through the railing of the Coffman house, not Michael.