Long Time No See!

I’ve been away for too long, I know. And to make it up to you, here are some sneak peeks at some new projects in the works – I haven’t just been sitting on my ass, you dig?

The main character to a short story with Anders Blidlov, this is Abraham King, the pulp adventurer called The Hand of Glory.

Abraham King

 

After seeing Anders’ design and his pages, I want to do a bunch of shorts about this character.

Here is a panel from issue number two of Broken, by Mr. Jim Giar.

Broken issue 2

 

A snippet from Capacity by Jason Jarava.

Capacity

 

This is the head of the “Doctor Moriarty of super-crime”, the Cardinal, from the upcoming one-shot called Cardinal, by Michael Tyler.

Cardinal head

 

An unused piece of a page from The Devil’s Hitman, by Matt Battaglia and Levi Walton.

Devils Hitman (1)

 

A bit of scenery from the suspense/horror book Funhouse, by Conan Momchilov.

Funhouse

An insanely detailed page from Red Rover, art by Daniel Pereira dos Santos.

Red Rover

 

And I don’t give a shit that I posted it before, here’s a shot of the main character from the upcoming Secret Aces, by Ken Knudtsen.

Secret Aces

 

Work is continuing apace! I promise. Lots of new stuff coming from me and my cohorts this year.

Thanks for stopping by! Tell your friends!

Comixology all in your face!

Sorry for the recent radio silence, but my day job is crushing the life and soul out of me.

But I’ll save the drama for your mama. This week, Scum of the Earth #3 came out – a game-changer for the series. So in light of that, here’s my entire output that is available on Comixology:

Scum of the Earth #1 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Scum-of-the-Earth-1/digital-comic/49360

Scum of the Earth #2 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Scum-of-the-Earth-2/digital-comic/50563

Scum of the Earth #3 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Scum-of-the-Earth-3/digital-comic/65297

Knowledge #1 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Knowledge-1/digital-comic/50125

Knowledge #2 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Knowledge-2/digital-comic/69186

Long Gone – original graphic novel – $3.99 for 97 pages - http://www.comixology.com/Long-Gone/comics-series/9774

Ghost Lines – original graphic novel – $2.99 for 97 pages - http://www.comixology.com/Ghost-Lines/digital-comic/43580

Broken #1 – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Broken-1/digital-comic/41623

Breakneck tpb vol 1 “Knives Out” – $3.99 for the SOLD OUT first 3 issues - http://www.comixology.com/Breakneck-Vol-1-Knives-Out/digital-comic/39968

Oxymoron #2 – featuring my story “Living Dead” – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Oxymoron-2/digital-comic/43511

Weird Zombie Horror – featuring my story “Miasma” – 99 cents - http://www.comixology.com/Weird-Zombie-Horror-1/digital-comic/42552

So let’s get the old calculator out and figure out that…for $18.89, you can own ALL of my Comixology-available comics. Less than $20 for the full Mark Bertolini experience. Really, you can’t go wrong. There’s something for everyone: zombies, guys getting shot, stuff blowing up…

If you’ve read any of my work, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you – I’d do this even if no one read my work, but the fact that it’s available for people to check out and enjoy means the world to me. If you’ve read anything of mine, recommend it to a friend. Spread the word.

For the full grouping of my work, you can follow this Comixology link: http://www.comixology.com/search?search=Mark+Bertolini

Thanks for reading! Long live comics!

Exclusive sneak peeks!

New projects! Old projects, brought back to life! Other stuff!

I’ve always got a ton going on, and I want to show some of it off for all of you, because I love you. In the way an owner loves their dog, but still.

Let’s dive right in:

The cover of Demoniac by Jason Jarava, Micah Myers, and me. This is finally lettered and ready to go…not sure where, but I have some ideas.

Demoniac cover

 

Secret Aces by Ken Knudtsen and me.

Secret Ace

 

A peek at a future cover for Knowledge by Jerome Eyquem.

Knowledge_6_cover_low_B&W

 

A page from Funhouse by Conan Momchilov and me.

pg 1

 

A rough page from The Devil’s Hitman by Matt Battaglia.

Devil's Hitman page 1 new

 

Hell to Pay by Orlando Baez, Aaron Viel, and me.

 

Hell to Pay pin-up#3Final

 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this year, but I wanted to make sure you weren’t worrying that I died, since I hadn’t posted here for a while. I know how you worry.

Go and do yourself a favor and listen to “Goodbye Arcadia” by King Cobb Steelie. Or “Junior Relaxer”. Or “Mayday”. Peace.

Dog Catcher – new 2014 title

Or: Why am I such a comic book nerd?

Because I am a huge comic nerd.

Here’s a story that will illustrate this. When I was between the ages of about 11-16, there was a comic book store about five minutes from my house. It was a dangerous time for allowance, because I spent a lot of money there. It was too convenient, having it be right there. The store eventually moved, and the money I thought I would save was spent on gas so I could drive to the new location.

Anyway, the point is – I’m such a nerd for comics that I dreamed of the store, in its original location. I dream about going to the comic book store. Yeah, you can pity my life a bit, that’s okay.

But there’s a point to this nonsense, stay with me here. I’m not a guy who remembers his dreams very often. I can count on one hand the number of dreams that have stayed with me in my life, but this dream, where I went to the comic store, is one of them. First, it was after hours, so the store was kind of dark. I’m not sure if I broke in or if there was a midnight madness sale or something, that wasn’t relevant to the dream. All I remember is seeing shelves and shelves and shelves of comics, all ready for the taking and reading.

Except my subconscious apparently likes to fuck with me, because every single title and cover image was blurry. Here I was, in the epicenter of comic book goodness, and I couldn’t read a thing. It’s like that story where the world ends and the guy with the glasses is happy because now he can read all the books he wants, and then he breaks his glasses. It was like that. All these books laid out before me, and not one was clear enough to read.

Okay, not exactly – there was one book that had a clear cover and title. It was a comic I’d never heard of (because it didn’t exist). It was called “Dog Catcher”, and it had a picture of a classic uniformed police officer on it (the cop actually looked like Long-Arm from COPS. Out-nerd that!). I picked it up and read it, except it was at that moment that I stopped being the main character in the dream and started watching myself read the book, so I have no idea what it looked like inside the comic.

Still with me? Good, because we’re coming around to the point of this post. Twenty years later, and I met an artist named Matt Mossman over at Digital Webbing.com. Matt and I had the same tastes and opinions about comics, and became friends. We tried a couple of times to put projects together, but things always came up. Both Matt and I have families and jobs and real life to worry about.

But last year, Matt reached out again and said he wanted to put together a pitch that we could send to Image, something that had some potential. I was really interested in putting together a hard sci-fi book at the time, and started to write out ideas for a strange interstellar crime scene cleaning company…but that didn’t work for me. But the idea of the Dog Catcher came back to me, and sparked a brand new idea that all at once fell into my lap. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean – when the whole story suddenly presents itself to you, like you’re not really writing it but channeling it.

The idea was pretty simple, at it’s core: in the future, there are two classes of people – the rich and powerful, who live up above in a floating utopia-like city…and the mutants, who toil away endlessly below to ensure the rich never have to lift a finger or do a day’s work. These poor mutants are commonly called ‘dogs’. Occasionally, a dog tries to make his way up into the rich city, so a special group of police was formed called the Dog Catchers.

Boom. Even the characters came alive for me at the same time. The young rookie paired with a gruff, older partner. But the twist was in how they worked and related to each other. I won’t get into that, because that’s, you know, the story. I’d rather you read it when it’s ready.

Matt has done a ton of work for this, designing characters, tech, the architecture. Here is a sneak peek at some of Matt’s work:

MBMM_04 Design 01 Design 02 Design 03 Dog Catcher pg 1B

With some luck, we’ll get this picked up for publication this year. 3 issues of sci-fi goodness that should appeal to fans of Saga (wow, I’m pretty full of myself today, huh?) or Transmetropolitan (yeah, I’ll shut up now).

Because I’m in an old school mood, go listen to “Siamese Dream” by Smashing Pumpkins for some of the best guitar rawk ever recorded.

Louis Joseph Bertolini, Dec. 17 1918 – Dec. 20 2013

On December 20th 2013, at approximately 10:45am, my grandfather, Louis Joseph Bertolini, passed away, three days after his 95th birthday.

It was heartbreaking, and still is, but it was also a blessing in disguise. He had been in such bad shape for so long that it was a kindness for him to calmly and quietly stop breathing, with my Dad at his bedside.

The past three to four years were very unkind to my Grandpa, who had never been sick for his entire life. That all changed once he hit 90, though. After getting lost driving, he stopped to ask for directions and fell, hitting his head, which triggered a seismic change in his body from that moment on. He developed what the doctors called ‘Parkinsonism’, which started to affect his body, speech, and health.

Essentially, his body started to slowly shut down. He struggled to walk, eventually moved to a walker and then a wheelchair. He struggled to speak, and eventually moved to single words, grunts, and then nothing at all. He was unable to feed himself, go to the bathroom, get in and out of bed. He struggled to stay awake for anything longer than an hour at a time.

And it was a shame. He had once been a great, vibrant, and loving man. I remember him being a dedicated family man who loved having his family around him. He rejoiced at the births of my children. My youngest is named after him. He was always active, as a lawn bowler and snooker player. He exercised daily. He kept a huge garden in the backyard of their old house.

He always had paper and pencils available when we visited. A lot of my creativity was developed as I drew pictures down in the basement of my grandparent’s house, creating characters and worlds on countless sheets of typewriter paper.

I was lucky as a kid – I had four grandparents, which I think was unusual. I had all four grandparents until about 10 years ago, when my Grandma (my Mom’s mom) passed away. But we were always closer with my Dad’s parents, with my Grandpa and Nanny. They lived closer, for one thing, my Mom’s folks lived in Montreal.

When I got the news at about 11:00 on that Friday, I decided I couldn’t stay at work any longer. I needed to be with my Dad, who was going to be the most affected by this. Although this day had been coming for some time, it was still a vicious blow to think it had happened so suddenly – Grandpa had been taken to the hospital on Thursday afternoon, and died about 24 hours later. I met my dad at my grandparent’s old-age home. My Uncle Phil was with my dad, and I hugged them both, knowing they were trying hard to keep it together, but their red eyes were giving them away.

I went into the old age home with them, and they explained to the staff that my Grandpa had passed away, and they were there to let my Nanny know. But there lies another problem: she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Her memory is broken. She doesn’t understand what’s happening around her a lot of the time. She didn’t understand that my Grandpa was sick, and was in such bad shape. My Dad had to take him once a month to get his catheter changed, and every time they came back from the doctor she would ask if they had fixed him.

I went in with my Dad and my Uncle, and they told her and she wept and screamed and swore and threw things, stuff I had never seen her do before. After a few minutes, my Dad asked me to find the resident nurse to bring her something to calm her down. I left shortly after that, leaving my Dad and his brother to comfort their mother.

My Grandpa was always so sharp, even during the worst parts of his imprisonment inside his own body, if you looked into his eyes, you knew he was still there. He never lost his mental faculties the way his wife did, but he lost his physical faculties. We used to kid that if we could combine them, we’d have one functioning person between his mind and her body.

My Grandpa was incredibly important to me and to my family. He was the head of the family without a doubt, a role that I know my own Dad will move into, and maybe one day, a role that I’ll fill as the eldest son, and my Grandpa’s eldest grandson.

I told my mom I’d like to speak at my Grandpa’s service, and I desperately want to, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to . Even typing this out has been tough, but enough time has gone by since he passed that I needed to get this all out.

I will miss him for the rest of my life. In reality, I’ve been missing him for a few years now, ever since the man he was got replaced by the man he became, but I cherish the fact that he got to meet my sons, the two boys that will carry on the Bertolini name. I know my boys don’t remember him any other way than as an admittedly scary-looking husk of a man, but I will always make sure they know what kind of man their Great-Grandpa was.

My concerns now are for my Nanny, who hasn’t been alone in 71 years (that’s how long they were married). I worry about what her life will be like, and if she will lose the memories of her husband entirely.

But that’s something to think about another time. On January 18th, when we have the memorial service for my Grandpa, I will remember him as I always do – the best Grandpa any kid could have, except for my own kids, who have a pretty awesome Grandpa themselves, my Dad.

Thanks for reading this.

164819_10150364231540215_3059644_n

 

This is my Grandpa, my Dad, me, and my boys. 4 generations together, about 2-3 years ago.

2014 is here.

So I want to start things off right and let you know what’s up with my comics work.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, thank you. Feel free to link it and post it on your social media sites. It would be much appreciated.

You can also find me on Twitter @mark_bertolini, or my Tumblrhttp://mark-bertolini.tumblr.com/, which was long neglected but will now get the updates it deserves. I also just created an Instagram account, just because: http://instagram.com/markbertolini

You can check out the dedicated Instinct website at http://instinctcomic.com/

You can find my comics at Comixology by following this link: http://www.comixology.com/search?search=Mark+Bertolini

I’ll break the books down as well:

Weird Zombie Horror has a short zombie story in it written by me and illustrated by Lee Lightfoot http://www.comixology.com/Weird-Zombie-Horror/comics-series/11123

Breakneck, the story of the world’s crappiest supervillain. The digital trade of the first 3 issues titled “Knives Out” is available as well http://www.comixology.com/Breakneck-Knives-Out/comics-series/10492

The first issue of Broken, the story of a child who suffers horrible trauma similar to a flying rodent superhero, is available (issue 2 coming later this year) http://www.comixology.com/Broken/comics-series/10939

Check out Ghost Lines, a 100-page graphic novel about brainwashing, serial killers, and becoming something more than human http://www.comixology.com/Ghost-Lines/comics-series/11361

Knowledge is the story of 21st century supersoldiers – it is better to be stronger than your enemy, or smarter? Issue 1 is here (issue 2 out at the end of January) http://www.comixology.com/Knowledge/comics-series/12527

Long Gone is an original graphic novel about the end of the world as brought about by…your favorite superheroes? http://www.comixology.com/Long-Gone/comics-series/9774

I have a short story in volume 1 of The Oxymoron – these are the best Joker stories you never read. http://www.comixology.com/Oxymoron/comics-series/11294

And my newest series, Scum of the Earth, a 6-issue miniseries that combines Natural Born Killers with the Predator, from Action Lab Danger Zone http://www.comixology.com/Scum-of-the-Earth/comics-series/12418

Consider checking these comics out. I had a blast making them, working with dedicated and insanely talented artists. I love making comics so much, I’d keep making them even if no one read them (PLEASE READ THEM). Nothing’s that expensive, and you can carry them around on your tablet or laptop. Super easy.

My name is Mark Bertolini, and I approve this message.