Interview: How to Be a Comic Book Artist with Mark McKenna
Mark McKenna is a comic book artist veteran who has worked on over 400 comics. He’s done work for Iron Man, Spiderman, X-Men, Wolverine, The Punisher, Dr. Strange, and Avengers. What hasn’t he worked on?
Below is a summary of our interview:
Mark went with “To be or not to be.”
Mark started out as just a reader of comics as a young boy. He was a big fan of Avengers and Daredevil. During his senior year of high school, he was approached and told he needed to figure out what he wanted to do the rest of his life. So he went to school of Visual Arts in New York City. He almost began doing animation when he decided to go back into comics. His first job was at Marvel Comics. Mark had a bit of nostalgia when he shared the time he remembers sitting in the back of his parents’ station wagon at a movie drive in reading Spider-Man comics.
A Low Point
When Mark was critiqued by an editor who said he thought Mark’s work was amateurish, he didn’t feel like he’d make it. It was very humbling.
While Mark was at Marvel in 1986, he went over to DC comics on his lunch break to bring samples of his work. There was an editor in her office whom he left samples for her, and the next day, she called Mark to offer him a contract. That’s when things kicked into high gear for him.
Mark’s work now
Life as a comic book artist is not all about the glamour, but it can be when Mark has done 6 comic books that sold over 400,000 copies. He also did an 8 page back up story in Spiderman and it sold over 1 million copies. The challenging part now is being an older comic book artist in the digital age today.
What’s exciting Mark now
He’s working on a project of his own, a little bit of a science fiction adventure and also his Banana Tail Series, whom he started for his departed father.
Also, there is a promotion called the BOOnana Tail Halloween Special Kickstarter. For the Purpose Rockstars listeners, just tweet @PurposeRockstar or about this interview with Mark McKenna, and a free copy of a Banana Tail legacy comic book can be yours.
Book Mark Recommends:[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1607065967″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CnU-l0djL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”111″]
Good work ethic is working for him.
John Rameda, Sr. whom he worked for at Marvel was almost a surrogate father to him.
Facebook is very important to him and he promotes his work there. Does very little with Twitter though.
What is Your Purpose:
To make a difference is what Mark says.
Where to follow Mark and Parting Words
Follow him on Facebook.
There are a lot of dreams that die because people don’t push forward on them. They have ideas and dreams, but they don’t know how to make it happen. Mark says you can’t quit. If you have a dream, you have to make it happen.