Year-End Favorites and Stuff

Okay, so I blew it with posting here on a regular basis, but I’m a busy guy. When I’m not here blogging, I’m writing some fun comics and knocking on publisher’s doors. It’s paid off for next year, and I’ll explain why below.

But first, I’m going to list off some of my favorite comics and music of the year, because this is my blog and I can do what I want.

Comics first (in no particular order):

The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker.

4 Kids Walk into a Bank by Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss.

God Country by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw.

The Wild Storm by Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt.

Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.

Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey.

Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston.

Weird Detective by Fred Van Lente and Guiu Vilanova.

Go check these comics out – trust me, I’ve been reading comics all my life and I feel like I have pretty good taste in books.

My favorite music of the year is as follows (in order)

  1. “The Dusk in Us” by Converge. These guys never put out a bad album, every release is almost instantly a classic.
  2. “Low Teens” by Every Time I Die. I know this wasn’t released this year, but this was the year I got into it. I love ETID when I was younger, and then we drifted apart, but Low Teens is a masterpiece and it reignited my love for this band.
  3. “Two Parts Viper” by ’68. Also not a 2017 release, but man, is it inspired. One part metalcore, one part Blues Explosion, it’s unlike anything else I listened to this year.
  4. “Dissociation” by the Dillinger Escape Plan. Another previous year release, but it really hit home with me this year, mostly because the band is almost finished, they have a few more shows at the end of the year and then they are calling it quits.
  5. “A Walk With Love and Death” by Melvins. I love the Melvins, every release makes me exceptionally happy. While I think they could have put all the really good songs together and made it a single album instead of a sprawling, slightly weaker double, it’s still pretty awesome.
  6. “Emperor of Sand” by Mastodon. Mastodon know what they do well, and then they just do that shit really, really well. They don’t stray from the formula, and there is no reason to. Epic, ball-shaking metal.
  7. “Dead Cross” by Dead Cross. Old school hardcore with drums by Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and vocals by Mike Motherfucking Patton. What else do you need to know?
  8. “Hostage Animal” by All Pigs Must Die. This is something I very recently got into after a friend recommended them. Crushing, bloodcurdling metal (the drummer is the same dude from Converge, so you know it’s good.)

Eight is enough. That was a show, wasn’t it?

In Mark Bertolini comics news, 2017 saw the publication of the biggest release of my career – the Darby Pop-published “Bastard’s Waltz“. It was a thrill to put this book together and to see it hit comic stores, and to see the genuinely great reactions to it. It’s a book I’m very proud of, and I hope to do a few additional shows next year to sell copies, so come and find me!

2018 is already shaping up to be a great year for my comics as well. I have a 4-issue sci-fi/time travel book coming out closer to the summer through Action Lab comics with artist Darryl Knickrehm. I’ve recently signed the contract for a pulp anthology I put together with 13 different artists, that will be getting a print release in probably the first quarter of 2018. And I have a third pitch being evaluated right now that I think will get the green light, with artist Carlos Angeli. If I can have three books getting published in 2018, that will be a win for sure. I also recently got asked to pitch for a relatively high profile mid-tier publisher, which is exciting!

I am going to have a really great body of published work, work I am proud of, work that will stand the test of time, work that my sons will one day be able to read and say “my dad made that”. I’m grateful for the continued opportunity to create comics and have fun doing it. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do, and to be able to continue to create things and live my actual dream is amazing. Thanks to everyone who read something I made this year.

Maybe next year I’ll actually stick to a schedule with this whole blog thing!

Day 1 – Bastard’s Waltz

Good morning. I’ve decided to spotlight some of my comics here on the blog, because I’m terrible at promoting my work, but I really want you to read it. So each day this week I will highlight a prominent work of mine, along with all of the ways you can possibly purchase a copy, be it physical or digital. Sound good? Here we go.

Bastard’s Waltz

Bastard’s Waltz is clearly the biggest release I’ve had so far in my career. Published by Darby Pop comics, Waltz was illustrated by Giovanni Guida and lettered by Micah Myers. It remains one of my favorite stories, one I had wanted to tell for a long time.

Bastard’s Waltz is available in the following formats:

Physical copies on Amazon.com

Kindle-ready copies on Amazon.ca

Digital copies on Comixology (both individual issues as well as the collected Trade Paperback) –

Physical copies from Darby Pop directly

I implore you to check out Bastard’s Waltz – it represents a lot of work, a lot of stress, and a lot of love. If you have read any of the series, I’d love to hear from you, let me know what you liked and anything you might have disliked.

That’s day 1. I promise to keep these coming this week. I know I don’t get a ton of traction here, but I’ll do my best. Cheers!


Bastard’s Waltz – this Wednesday!

Hi All,

Long time coming, Bastard’s Waltz hits store shelves this Wednesday. It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work by myself and many other people, who I would like to list here.

Giovanni Guida, Bastard’s Waltz artist – without Giovanni, none of this would have happened. He embraced my idea and brought the characters to life and made this book look distinct and unique and unlike anything else on the shelves. He is almost fully responsible for us getting to this point.

Micah Myers, Bastard’s Waltz letterer – what can I say about Micah? He’s one of the very (very) few guys I trust to letter my work, to take my words and put them on the page. He kills it each time, finds the right font and style for each project and then blow it up. My words never look better than when he’s lettering them.

Renee Geerlings – without Renee’s early enthusiasm for the project that would become Bastard’s Waltz, it wouldn’t be hitting shelves this week. She was always supportive and made sure we kept in line, stayed on task, and created a fantastic product.

Phillip Smith II – the guy who kept us all in the loop. Phil was our middleman, the one who communicated with all sides and kept us flowing, kept us staying on track and made sure we didn’t slack.

Jeff Kline – Darby Pop’s bossman, Jeff was our number one cheerleader throughout this creation process. His excitement for the project and characters was palpable from the start. His input, experience, and second-set-of-eyes was invaluable for me.

Bastard’s Waltz. Check it out, this Wednesday, at finer comic stores everywhere, and on Amazon:

Thanks for all your support!



Hi guys,

I knew we had something special on our hands with Bastard’s Waltz, but don’t take it from me, check out these stellar reviews:

I’m not one to toot my own horn very often, but hey, TOOT TOOT.

Gigantic thanks to my collaborators, artist Giovanni Guida and letterer Micah Myers, and publisher Darby Pop (special thanks to Jeff Kline, Renae Geerlings, and Phillip Smith II).

Here is a handy form you can use to place your order for a print copy of Bastard’s Waltz. Pre-ordering is vital to the life of a small press book like ours. This form can be printed out, filled in, taken to your local comic store, and you can reserve your copy so you don’t miss out.

Bastard’s Waltz will be hitting digital platforms soon as well, keep your eyes peeled!


Yikes…mid-February and the first post of the year?

Okay, okay, I get it. I’m really bad at this blogging thing. But let it be known that I work a full-time job, have 4 kids, a house, mortgage, all that stuff.

Okay, no more excuses – I should be here more. But I’m not wasting my time, I’ve been creating some awesome comics, and I’d like to share some stuff with you today.

I have a bunch of pitches ready to rock n’ roll for 2017:


Slow Heartbeat – a crime noir love story, with art by Kristian Carstensen.

neckbeardNeck Beard: Hillbilly for Hire – Redneck monster hunter, with art by Joe Koziarski and Ellie Wright.

hell-to-pay-pageA page from Hell to Pay – a video game-inspired revenge story, with art by Daniel Franco and Bryan Timmins.


Broken Hill: The Burning Man – a rural noir story, with art by Carl Yonder.


The Argus – a time-travel sci-fi story, with art by Darryl Knickrehm and Matej Stasko.


Pig House – a superhuman crime noir thriller, with art by Steven Austin.

These are just a few of the upcoming pitches I have coming together, as I recently lined up 3 new projects with 3 fantastic new artists. I’m very excited about the books I’m putting together this year, and these are all in addition to the short stories I’m creating for some anthologies, as well as the 5-issue miniseries I have being published this summer.

Glad to see you, and I hope to continue to show you new work on a (semi) regular basis.



SLEEP INERTIA PILOT Kickstarter is live!

The Kickstarter campaign for Sleep Inertia Pilot is live!

Please check it out and pledge! Help us bring this amazing story to life.

That’s all for today, have a great one.