Towards-the-end-of-January update

Hey gang, I wanted to run through my current projects (mostly as an exercise for me to see where everything is sitting right now, but also because, for whatever reason, you might be interested as well.)

  • On the submissions front (see, it’s fairly quiet, with one exception: Action Lab seems interested in Scum of the Earth. I’m not going to go into any great detail, because nothing has officially been discussed or agreed to, but there is some interest.
  • I got contracts in the mail for another book that was picked up by a publisher I’ve worked with before. I’ll leave it all vague and cryptic like that.
  • I sent 215 Ink some more information on Ghost Lines, which leads me to believe it should be coming out fairly soon – by the New York Times bestselling team of Mark Bertolini and Carl Yonder – who could ignore that little blurb?
  • I’m prepping to start issue 2 of my Apes With Uzis story “The History Lesson” with Rolf and Kurt Belcher.
  • I’ve shelved NRV for a couple of months until Craig DeBoard is available to work on it – we discussed it a bit and he seems interested in a graphic, extremely violent superhero story. The script is all written and ready to go.
  • I found a kick-ass artist for a new project tentatively called “Jim”. I won’t give away any more than that, except the high concept for this idea is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
  • Sent some basic notes to my buddy and editor Andrew Brinkley about a new story idea, one that would involve quite a bit of research. But I dig the idea, and want to get his thoughts.
  • I finished the full first issue of Instinct. Hugo’s finished the colors for the pitch package, just waiting for ET to letter it up so I can start making some moves with it.
  •  The artist for the Apes With Uzis spinoff “Thugs Electro” decided to graciously pull out of the project, so Rolf and I need to try and find a new artist for it. It might end up being it’s own stand-alone book, depending on how things go.
  • An artist I worked with on a dead project called The Carriers, Jason Jarava, recently got in touch with a story he’d been working on. He sent me some pages, and man…his stuff is light years beyond what it was a few years ago (and even then it was pretty fucking good.) I’m going to give him a hand working out the story points and the dialogue. It feels good to be working with him again.
  • Carl and I are working away on a new short story, another departure from what people might normally expect from us. Well, not too big a departure…my plan for this short is to pitch it to Challenger Comics because there are some really very excellent comics on that site, free to read, by a lot of my buddies. I want in!
  • My lovely and talented girlfriend Julia has been a huge help in getting me to start organizing this stuff better. I’ve got emails out to local comic stores to put copies of my books in-store, offers to do signings, already looking ahead to Free Comic Book Day, making plans for the Toronto Fan Expo in August, and with luck, Baltimore ComicCon in September. I’m going to be striking while the iron’s hot on as much work as I can. Know why? No one’s going to come and find me and hand me the work. I need to show everyone what I (and all my partners, my ever talented collaborators and friends) are capable of.

I’ve been treating comics like a job for a long time, but one of those jobs where you occasionally call in sick, or you goof off on the internet for a good chunk of the day. Not any more. Now I’m treating it as the job where you bust your ass every day, looking for that promotion, making sure your hard work gets recognized.

So that’s what I’m up to right now. Remember to check out my new Tumblr (free comics to read there!) at, follow me on Twitter @mark_bertolini, and if you really want, email me at

I’m off tomorrow, because I’m going to see fucking SOUNDGARDEN (thanks again my love!), so this is my Friday.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Pure Rock Fury” by Clutch.

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