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!