Posted By Mark on May 5, 2013
Another sketch from FCBD 2013.
Posted By Mark on May 4, 2013
An impromptu barbarian-themed FCBD comic done at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, MI.
Posted By Mark on April 22, 2013
While preparing for new projects I seem to always go through old sketchbooks, notes, files and random papers in some sort of attempt to mine them for any residual value. In one such exploration (today actually) I ran across a five page story called The Ticket. It was originally going to be part of an anthology that I had been working on called City Yarns, which was very Eisner-esque, in the sense that it was just a bunch of human stories all centered around the city. How it could be a source for bringing people together, tearing them apart and everything in-between. I actually finished the first volume, Closing Doors and other City Yarns, which the main story focused on a failing record store and how it brought people together. The second was Through the Cracks, which upon later reading is very schmalzy, focuses on an old musician that has as the title suggests, fell through the cracks. The final story, Say it in Slugs (taken from an Entombed song) followed a young reporter as he began to uncover the truth about shading politics and business. That was a rather pedestrian take on noir, but still has some good moments. Anyway, the Ticket was meant to be included in the further volumes of the City Yarns series, but at that point I had burned myself out on those types of stories and it stayed on a hardrive for 8 years until I found it again today.
The story focused on a very lonely main character who lived in a flophouse motel in the city. He filled his days with drinking and sleeping and the highlight of his night was listening to the lottery numbers on the radio. Each day was a celebration leading up to that event, which always brought his hopes crashing down around him. At this time I was reading an watching a bunch of Rod Serling projects, so the O Henry endings were really doing it for me at that point, so it ended as most Twilight Zone episodes did… with a cautionary tale about human greed or something.
The reason I’m not explaining the whole plot is I’m actually considering redoing this story again and don’t want to just put it all out there. So go through your old junk! You may find something worth a shit.
Posted By Mark on January 2, 2013
11×14″ print on heavy art paper.
Limited to 100, hand-numbered prints.
This piece originally appeared as Decibel Magazine’s cover to their Death Metal special issue released November of 2012. It features a montage of 34 classic death metal album covers. Available now! BUY NOW
Posted By Mark on November 27, 2012
In this age of digital media and communication, something as archaic as a business card might seem a bit outdated or irrelevant. In many ways they are. I no longer maintain a rolodex of contacts to keep tract of clients or colleagues; that’s all handled on a phone or computer for me now. But the business card, especially for us in the arts, has taken on a different role. It’s an instant visual reminder of who we are and what we do. Not just a piece of cardstock with your name and contact info, but a mini-portfolio.
Fortunately, as I was thinking about getting a new card done up, I was contacted by MOO to try out their products in return for a mention on my blog. (To be transparent, I wasn’t paid by them, but I did receive credit to get free products.)
As a self-publisher, I’m very concerned with presentation and material quality for my books and other printed works. It seems that the super glossy, slick, frankly lifeless print jobs that seem to have become the norm are one of the few possibilities for independent artists. Especially with low-run print-on-demand services. Sure, it’s nice to get just 30 books printed instead of1,000, but to my eye you can always tell the difference between a nice offset book and one printed digitally.
So, when I was contacted by MOO, the slogan “We love to print”, was either hyperbolic or an edict. To my relief it was the latter. The interface on their site is beyond simple to use. Very intuitive for a novice, but also has the capabilities to accommodate us pros out there. They have many of the options many that similar services offer, but there is an attention to detail, that I find is often overlooked. For one look at how the cards arrive.
When I saw this attention to detail and presentation I was impressed. It would have been fine to ship them in a padded envelope, but going the extra step means a lot to me as a consumer. I try and do similar things when creating books or comics (matte covers, bands, special packaging, etc.). If you can make a great product, then package it creatively without charging more than your competitors, that sets you apart from the rest.
Even the added box for keeping extra cards in. Very impressive and again competitively priced with similar services. As cool as the presentation is, it wouldn’t mean anything if the printing itself wasn’t of superior quality.
Often times when I get digitally printed postcards or business cards, the resolution is never as good as its offset counterpart. These however as quite nice. The color was reproduced accurately and there is no rasterizing or fuzzy edges. Also consistency from card to card stays the same. Oftentimes, print-on-demand work lacks a consistent registration and size. Especially when books are concerned. Overall, very nicely done! I can’t really comment on their other products, but if the business cards are any indication, I’ll definitely be using them for future projects.
For more info on MOO!
Posted By Mark on October 9, 2012
October and November we’ve put together a few events for the Satan is Alive: A tribute to Mercyful Fate book, kicking off with a book signing at Green Brain comics in Dearborn Michigan on the 19th of October.
Then in early November we put together a show at Small’s in Hamtramck Michigan, featuring several bands playing Fate covers and books will be available there for a discounted price. Depending on your taste, you’ve got two ways to celebrate Satan!
Posted By Mark on June 4, 2012
Satan is Alive: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate is a 5.5×7” 152-page, black & white (2-color cover) book featuring comics, prose and illustration inspired by the music of Mercyful fate. We’ve assembled an impressive lineup of underground artists/writers including:
Tom Neely (Henry & Glenn Forever/The Wolf/Popeye/The Blot)
J. Bennett (Decibel/Terrorizer/Revolver Magazine/Ides of Gemini)
Bruno Guerreiro (Decibel Magzine)
Kim Holm (Pickman’s Model/ Hole in the Sky 2010 Memories)
Chuck BB (Black Metal Part 1 & 2)
Tim Sievert (That Salty Air/Clandestinauts)
J.T. Dockery (In Tongues Illustrated)
Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf/ Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever)
Kevin Cross (Barbarian Riot Squad/ Pitch Black/ Nerve Agents)
Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit)
Stephanie Buscema (The Little Tales of otto & Olive/ Web of Spider-Man)
Sara Turner (Ghosts of Pineville)
Nick Green (Decibel Magzine)
Roger Langridge (Popeye/ The Muppet Show/ Fred the Clown/ Snarked!)
Tim Shagrat (Acid Witch)
Ben Marra (Lincoln Washington: Free Man!/Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever)
Vasilis Lolos (The Pirates of Coney Island/Spider-Man Family)
Mark Rudolph (Dagon/ Metal Hammer/ Decibel/ Tombs of the Blind Date)
Also: Danny Martin, Sam Wolf, Dave Acosta, Ali Horn, Kelly Larson, Mark Thompson and Mike Erdody.
With forewords by Scott Carlson (Repulsion/ Death Breath/ Cathedral) andFenriz (Darkthrone) along with a Mercyful Fate family tree and a few more surprises in store!