Favorite comics of 2014

I haven’t posted anything about the comics I enjoyed the most last year, but I wanted to rectify that. I read a lot of comics, a lot of graphic novels, and a lot of trades, and after letting things percolate for a bit, here is what I dug the most last year, in no particular order.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, published by Image Comics.

Moon Knight by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey, published by Marvel Comics.

Copra by Michael Fiffe, published by Bergen Street comics.

Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, published by Image Comics.

Zero by Ales Kot and various artists, published by Image Comics.

D4VE by Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon, published by Monkeybrain comics.

White Suits by Frank J. Barbiere and Toby Cypress, published by Dark Horse comics.

Dead Letters by Christopher Sebela and Chris Visions, published by Boom! Studios.

C.O.W.L. by Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis, published by Image Comics.

Enourmous by Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour, published by 215 Ink.

And Then Emily Was Gone by John Lees and Iain Laurie, published by Comixtribe.

There you go. I recommend all of these books without hesitation. Go read them.

Back soon.

The Devil’s Hitman

The Devil’s Hitman is a story I’ve been working on with an artist named Matt Battaglia. Matt is doing color work at BOOM! Studios on “Dead Letters” as well as cover art on the “Hellraiser: Bestiary” title.

Matt and I have been working on The Devil’s Hitman for several months, working out these pitch pages and getting a great-looking package together. What you will see here is the pitch pages along with the publisher’s pitch info. Any publisher who is seeing this, feel free to get in touch with me at bertolini.mark@gmail.com for more information.

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The Devil’s Hitman

Sam Churchill, a former crooked cop, is infected with the demonic presence of the Devil’s Hitman, a curse that has afflicted hardened, dangerous men throughout the ages as a hired gun to the Devil himself.

Despite the arcane protections he’s granted as the Devil’s Hitman, Churchill is aware that as the body count grows, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the primary suspect in a series of grisly murders. His only way out is to rid himself of his cursed position as the Devil’s Hitman before the authorities track him down.

Unfortunately for Sam, the Devil cares nothing for the laws of man, and refuses to release Churchill from his terrible burden.

Complicating matters further is Detective Sarah Charles, assigned to apprehend the mysterious serial killer responsible for the murders Sam has committed, and the unwitting host (human anchor) to the antithesis of the Devil’s Hitman–the avenging angel known as Heaven’s Hatchet Man.

Now Sam and Sarah are on a collision course, both trying to to staunch the bloodshed and put a stop to the Devil’s Hitman–one way or another.

 

There you have it – The Devil’s Hitman, by Mark Bertolini and Matt Battaglia, edited by Mike Exner III.

Until next time, when I might have more new work to share!

January 1st, 2015 – State of the Union

Good morning, or afternoon, or evening, depending on when you read this.

This is my first blog post of 2015, and I really want to try to be more consistent with this blog this year. I only blogged 16 times in all of 2014, which is brutal, since this is a place that I love to write in. I hit some stumbling blocks last year, a change to my old job limited the time I could spend writing, then I switched jobs and lost even more writing time. And with 4 kids at home, writing at home is tough. Plus, I’m easily distracted.

Lots of great stuff happened in 2014. Scum of the Earth, my 3-issue miniseries from Action Lab: Danger Zone was released, the 3 issues came out as well as the trade. I did an in-store signing on the date of the release of the first issue at my local store, Gotham Central.

I also did Free Comic Book Day at Gotham Central, and talked a lot of comics talk and sold some books.

Knowledge also rolled on towards its ending this year (the last issue, #6, will see a release in a couple of weeks), and based on the strength of Knowledge, the creative team is hard at work on a new series (see below).

Instinct also made some waves, as the comic is being developed as a film. I read the first draft of the screenplay, and it was great. Looking forward to some (hopefully) big things.

Also this January is the release of the IDW anthology Imaginary Drugs, which contains my short story Bottle of Walter, which I’m psyched about. It’s my biggest published credit to date.

2014 also saw me go to New York Comic Con for the first time as well, where I met a ton of comic creators, spent time with some some friends, appeared at two different publisher booths, and just soaked in the comic book atmosphere. It was a trip I won’t soon forget.

I also (maybe foolishly, we’ll see) spearheaded TWO anthologies of my own in 2014. The first is an anthology based on the music of Tom Waits. I will have 2-3 short stories in the book, but there is also some fantastic talent attached to this project, and I can’t wait to see all of it come together. The plan is to Kickstart production on the book later this year.

The other anthology is a pulp-inspired book based on a character I created years ago that I’ve finally brought to life. It will consist of 12 five-page stories, each illustrated by a different artist. I’m very excited for this one, and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for this as well later in the year. This is called The Hand of Glory, and I can’t wait to show these stories off.

2015 is already shaping up to be a great year. I have a lot of pitches ready to go, and others in production. I’m reuniting with my Knowledge teammates to create a retro-futuristic 3-issue miniseries called Secret Aces. I have an X-Men-meets-Fight Club story called Fistifcuffs almost ready. A pulpy horror story called The Devil’s Hitman. A semi-historical superhero thing called Masters of Crime. A brutal horror story that is one part Saw, one part One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest called Funhouse. A straight-up superhero bloodbath called NRV (No Redeeming Value). A revenge story with a twist called Hell to Pay. And I’ve just started work on a new story, a pulp book that’s Doc Savage-meets-Pulp Fiction called Feeder.

I love comics. I love creating. I love writing. I love collaborating. This is something I will never stop doing, and I thank you if you’re willing to come on this on-going journey with me. I promise to try to update this blog on a more regular basis.

Happy New Year. I’m about to sign off and eat some Chinese Food and park my ass on the couch for a few hours. But not for too long. There’s stories to write.

For immediate release – Instinct, the film adaptation

So it’s been a while, but shut up about that, I have something important to tell you!

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you saw the creation of a comic called Instinct, from idea to sketches to finished art to comic pages. Well, take a gander at this link (it’s not spam or porn, I promise):

http://www.tracking-board.com/tb-exclusive-solipsist-films-taps-up-and-comer-sean-wathen-to-adapt-graphic-novel-instinct/

Yup, the official first word on the upcoming Instinct film adaptation. That’s all I have to say about that. It’s real, and getting realer by the day.

NYCC was this past weekend, and it was an utter blast. I’ll do a proper post about it soon.

For now, stay chilly, gang.

NYCC and me!

Boy, it’s been a long time since I updated anything here. Sorry about that. Look at this, all the plants are dead, the newspapers are piled up – and no one mowed the lawn? Come on. Jeez.
Anyway, I’m here today for a very good reason – yours truly is going to be appearing at the New York Comic Con next month!

Yup, NYCC. I’m super-psyched about this opportunity. I’ll be appearing at the 215 Ink booth and the Action Lab booth, signing your favorite comics. You know, the ones I made…no, not Avengers. Ah, what the hell, I’ll sign Avengers too.

I want to thank Andrew DelQuadro, 215 Ink publisher extraordinaire for setting this up for me, and making my New York trip a reality.

I’m excited to meet a lot of folks who I’ve never met before. I’m excited to see everyone’s books and projects. I’m excited to pitch some of my new projects while I’m there.

Fisticuffs, Funhouse, Masters of Crime, The Devil’s Hitman, and with luck, Opposite Number, Cardinal, and NRV. I want to try and get these pitches into the hands of those people who can make them into real things.

Anyway, that’s all for today, short and sweet. Here’s a press release from Action Lab about NYCC:

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=15a3d1546b76a39f078d06b66&id=5214212a57

Cheers!

Me? IDW? A match made in comic book heaven.

Yup, you read that title right. I am now going to be officially published by IDW.

My story is called “Bottle of Walter” and will be featured in the anthology Imaginary Drugs, which will be published by IDW this fall.

This is huge for me (and everyone else involved), this is easily the biggest credit to my name, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Here’s the scoop – I’m friends with the guys who put together Imaginary Drugs. I’ve seen the work they’ve been putting in for a while, and when they launched a Kickstarter for the book, I was right in there to place an order. The Kickstarter was super successful, and as they hit higher goals, they mentioned adding pages and adding stories, and I reached out to the editor and all-round ID bossman, Michael McDermott, and told him I’d love to contribute a story. Michael gave me 5 pages, and paired me up with artist Luke Parker.

I pitched Bottle of Walter to both of them, and Michael really seemed to dig it, it fit in with the weird tone of the anthology. I’ll go over the impetus for Bottle of Walter another time.

Luke Parker. My god, Luke Parker. He killed it, this is a gorgeous looking 5 page story. Luke has a hell of a unique style, sort of Mignola influenced but also fully all his own. I was psyched to work with him, and my buddy Nic J. Shaw came onboard to letter the story. I think I’ve shown this off before, but here’s my favorite panel from the book, and the basic gist of the entire story:

BoW

I can’t wait for this book to come out. It validates a lot of things for me, but the biggest validation is that there are people who I consider my peers who are interested in the stories I want to tell, and will give me space in their sandboxes when there’s room. That means a lot.

This is going to be a good year for me, comics-wise, with Imaginary Drugs and Scum of the Earth coming out. That’s me hitting more goals, but not all the goals. There’s still a lot of work to do, and a lot of work to come.

My name is Mark Bertolini, and I fucking love making comics.