Monday, December 21, 2009

Mark D. Velard: Refractor Industries

CCU brings you:

Mark D.Velard
who brings you:

What can I say. I saw Mark's work on
and was blown away.
I've been around long enough to know raw talent
when I see it. This kid has it. Where and how did he tap into it?
I'll let him tell us. Go Mark.

Alright, so here it goes….

Its an honor to be a featured artist here on Comic Creators United, so thank you Wit for having me! Wit asked me, for this thing, to write a bio of myself, and the ol’ “got born, grew-up, started drawing comics and so here I am” routine won’t cut it.
So here’s some background.
Like everyone else who draws comics, I’ll tell you I’ve been drawing ever since I grew out of the fetal stage of life, and have been ever since those glorious fetal days. I drew comics through-out high school, usually exaggerated stories of my friends and I, or caricature of the moronic teachers I had. I’m a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and of course owned every book; even a signed copy of “Homicidal Jungle Cat,” (which I have a second, fairly mangled copy of I bought specifically for reading purposes). C&H is really how it all started for me. My love for Calvin and Hobbes was so great that I had decided at the age of 13 that that was it, what I wanted to do: draw a syndicated newspaper comic strip. So, after high school I started work on a webcomic called “Jayhoo and Jawhoo,” while I attended a community college; where after two years I graduated from with an associates in fine art (which, I always say, I could probably eat and it wouldn’t make a difference). After that, I decided “Eff School” and that I’d teach myself everything I need to know. Following “Jay and Jaw” (I did it for 3 years, and I have I would guess a little over a hundred strips) which admittedly was a completely juvenile comic; I started a new webcomic entitled “The White Hot Lightning Masters (Of Love),” which was absurd, and immature. This strip I got published in about 15 college newspaper all over the country in addition to on the web,
and felt pretty good about its run.

While I was doing all of my White Hot Love, I had decided that breaking into the syndicated comics business was damn near impossible. And so I became disillusioned with the whole prospect, and looked to move-on. That’s when a friend of mine introduced me to a comic called
 “Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron,” by Daniel Clowes,
and that changed my entire view of comics.

With Future Space, I tried to do, what I will always try to do, which is mix genres, and use satire, absurdity and any other useful storytelling devices to make a political or social commentary. For example: zombies. The main reason I enjoy zombie flicks, is, because of the social commentary. George A. Romero is the best at this, because, throughout the movie you have to ask: WHO are the zombies? Who are the zombies in our culture, and why is everyone becoming one. Anyway, I’m getting off track..
 uh, what am I talking about?

Right, lately I’ve been fascinated with the storytelling of early 80’s DOS based adventure video games, such as ”Space Quest” (which is my favorite game ever by the way). I tried to actually mix-in some of the feel of that game into Future Space, and I will probably come back to that kind of fun adventure qualities later on. Another goal of mine in comics is to make comics that feel as fluid as movies, and actually feel like movies in how they’re framed and so on, but, wouldn’t work as movies. I think it would be neat to turn it around and make comics that emulate movies, but that are impossible to convert into movies, in terms of style and pace and lighting and stuff like that (This is what I try to do in Bang Pong Pow). I’d also like experiment with advertising, like Chris Ware does in his Jimmy Corrigan comic, in which you’ll have a sensational advert for the comic, as part of the comic you are currently reading. Anyway, I’ll wrap it up.

Next-up, I’ll be featuring the first pages of a new comic on my website that I’m working on, entitled “Bang! Pong! Pow!,” in January. This comic will run about 12 pages, in regular comic book dimensions, with a lot of dialogue and character development (not to mention suspense, action, terror, high octane antics, ultra mega violence and curse words!). It will be an action/crime comic about an entire world filled with anthropomorphic ping pong balls, and the weird antics you might not expect (or perhaps completely typical behavior you would expect from an entire world of humanistic ping pong people: I don’t know I guess).

I think that’s pretty much it. My name is Mark D. Velard, I hope you’ve enjoyed Future Space, and that you’ll check out my work over at, and I wanna thank Wit for having me here.

Oh yeah! I should also mention that, if you would like to own a minicomic booklet of Future Space just stop by the blog and I’ve gotta button for you. -Mark

Wow. Embrace him. Hold his work in your arms. Love him.
At least grab a copy of this wunderkinds minicomic.
Go ahead ask him to sign it. I did.

Thanks Mark. We'll keep following your work
and look forward to having you back ASAP.
Yippy. My Future Space Mini Comic Booklet
just arrived as we went to post.
It's very cool. Get this for the additional Future Space strip
not shown in this blog.
It's a fun surprise. Also, my booklet came with a neat pull-out covered in great artwork.

 I told you he would sign it. Mark even drew a little Wit figure. Thanks Mark.


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