Friday, October 29, 2010


I did a little doodlin' today... My buddy Dan has been real into Superman as of late, which got me feelin' like I need a Superman fix... So I drew Bizarro.

Bizarro smash! ... no wait... that's the Hulk.
~ Mark

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super Murder Death Kill Animal Squad

Recently I went on a rant about an experience I had at a laundromat... But that's a story for another time. The reason I bring this up is because in that story I made note of the fact it was Sunday and there were cartoons on, which I found strange. I went on to point out that there was a very distinct difference between Sunday morning cartoons and Saturday morning cartoons... At least that's how it was for me growing up. Saturday was the good stuff... Action, violence, humor... All the stuff a growing boy needs. Sunday however was all about education... Kids going on adventures and learning about math. What horrors.

Anyway, as I talked about what made Saturday morning cartoons so great, I had no choice but to illustrate what was so awesome about them... This is what I came up with...

Murder Death Kill!
~ Mark

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AWESOME! - The WWF of the 80s

So. You think you're a man? I'm not so sure you're being accurate with me. To be honest, if you were born in the 90's, then I'm almost positive that you are anything but a real man. Maybe a guy... Or a dude... But in no way are you a MAN. Why? You think you can handle the awesomeness I'm about to unleash on you?? Very well... You're not a man because REAL MEN watched the World Wrestling Federation in the 80's! Oh, you wanna call it the WWE? THAT FURTHER PROVES YOUR LACK OF MANHOOD!

You wanna know why your WWE is so puny and wimpy? Because you surrendered your original title of WWF to the "World Wide Fund for Nature"... You bent over and took a spanking from a nature organization! Wrestlers were once the epitome of manliness, steroid-induced glistening muscles and literally NO FEAR of their flamboyant appearance... It takes a real man to dress like an electric drag queen and beat another man to a pulp. You didn't mess with those guys, regardless of how ridiculous they looked. But in the end, men like Stone Cold Steve Austin and HHH and their "Bad Boy" image cowered in fear at the mighty heal of... A Nature organization... You know what 80's Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage would have done to that company? They'd punch their panda's in the face and body slam a puppy! That's some REAL man stuff for ya!

But in all seriousness... The WWF was the golden age of childhood for me and my brothers. It used to be about gimmicks, flashy costumes, entertainment and at the end of the day, family fun. It was the kind of thing you could watch with your dad, or the kind of thing you wouldn't have to mute immediately when your mom walked in the room... It was the kind of violence that everyone could encourage! Nowadays it's a blight on entertainment. What was once meant for a classier audience has now been reduced to White Trash Weekly. Foul language, extreme sexuality, even sacrilege (i.e. Stone Cold's 3:16 speech). And where's the uniqueness in characters? It once played out like a comic book, interesting stage names, costumes, finishing moves, good guys helping the good guys, bad guys always cheating... The WWE is nothing more than a bunch of guys in black going by their real names and cursing at each other. I just don't get it.

Now, granted, I understand that to show something like the 80's WWF would be mocked repeatedly were it presented to a younger audience, but that's kind of what made it awesome... It would become nostalgic, a real landmark in entertainment history. I doubt you'll get anything as memorable out of a couple guys in black speedos flipping each other off and ranting about how many women they've conquered. We'll probably never again remember names as unique as Koko B. Ware, nor will we remember a costume as flamboyantly warlike as the Ultimate Warrior. Historical moments like when Hogan body slammed Andre the Giant will probably never capture America again... It's actually kind of sad to see a franchise like the WWF sink to the standards of the WWE.

But I've whined enough. If you really want to kick back and lose your mind in nostalgia for a few hours, go out and get an old School WWF DVD.

~ Mark

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On a Train - Colored Sketches part II

So with every train ride taken, there is a returning train ride to take... Which in this case means more colored sketches...

I've made some posts on a web comic I was working on called "Abundant Life"... What I probably didn't mention was that I was working on a second series which would take place directly after. It was going to deal with a group of new recruits who would yet again be based off of some buddies of mine at school... I obviously never got around to any of this, but I did sketch out some of the characters... So I decided to color a couple of them...

Our first contestant... Sara Muccos... I know that's not the proper spelling, but it's more a play on the name of the person she's based off of... Can you guess what her super power is? Yeah, it's a little gross, but I swear, her name sounds almost identical to Mucus! So I designed this girl who would wear a "nose" outfit and could control a green blob-like substance and bend it to her will... If you get past the grotesque nature of the concept, it's actually kinda' cool I think... Oh like you were never a kid!

Character numero Dues is named "Ultra"... featuring her pet, "The Jeffbeast"... Can you guess the name of the guy that inspired "Jeffbeast"? I'll give you a hint... It starts with "Jeff"... That's just how original I am. Anyway, Ultra was designed after my good friend Emma... I don't remember where the name "Ultra" came from exactly, but I did admire her ability to knit a mean scarf, so her superpowers involve a lot of scarves. Jeff is her husband, I figured he'd make a cool beast, because he could totally beat up. I don't know why I gave him a DNA theme... I think I was going with drumsticks (cause he plays the drums) and somehow those morphed into DNA strands... There's not a lot of logic in the things that I do...

Anyway, that's all I colored on the train back from Maryland... Enjoy!

~ Mark

Monday, October 11, 2010

On a Train - Colored Sketches

So I took a train down to Maryland this weekend from the most delightful city of Boston... Had no idea how long 7 hours can really be... At least there was a lot of leg room... Even better was how each seat had a power socket...

So I busted out my trusty lil' MacBook Pro and gots busay. I found a number of sketches on my laptop that I had wanted to color in the past but just didn't get around to... So I got around to it... I mean what else are you gonna do?

The first sketch I colored was a little angel... demon... fairy thing I had doodled a few years back. This was really just a warm up drawing, so nothing all that impressive... But I'd be pleased if one of these little guys flew into my room at night for a chit chat. He kind of looks like he should be a really girly tattoo... I mean, I'd wear it, but I'm sure I'd get made fun of for it...

I have to admit, I'm more of a Marvel person, but like most, I gots nothin' but love for the man of steel and the world's greatest detective... So from time to time I like to doodle these characters... I went with a cuter version of them, it seems to be a style that's been showing up a lot more, especially with the rise of "The Superhero Squad"... Which is an awesome show, I don't care if you're 27, you watch that show dangit! YOU LOVE IT!

Finally, this last drawing was a sketch I made a while back which I actually posted on this blog... I recently colored in one of those sketches (Donkey Kong) and was so happy with how it turned out that I figured, why not... Let's color in Mario. So here he is... Mario... Jumping out of a castle (which obviously did not house the Princess) with a fire-flower. I actually didn't like how the flower came out originally, so I decided to light in on fire to cover up my shame...

I also didn't know if I wanted to be 100% accurate with the coloring or not... You figure if Mario has the flower, then he should be in white overalls... But then, maybe he hasn't used it yet... And maybe I just plain love the blue overalls... Because I hate making decisions (which drives my girlfriend crazy, might I add), I just made both versions...

Again, it was a long train ride...
~ Mark

Monday, October 4, 2010

AWESOME! - Benny Goodman

I'm going to tell you about a man. A Good Man. A man who not only gave birth to a new era of musical freedom, but also inspired racial tolerance and one AWESOME Chips-Ahoy commercial. He is a man whom you are most likely not familiar with, but were most likely influenced by whilst going through your obnoxious teenage acceptance in being weird phase... No, he is no punk rocker... I'm talking about the "King of Swing", "The Patriarch of the Clarinet"... Mr. Benny Goodman.

What, you don't know the name? Well you should, and you had better most absolutely have that name CARVED in your brain by the time I'm finished writing. Odds are if you were born in the 90's/late 80's, your only knowledge of "Swing Music" is The Brian Setzer Orchestra or the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. I should slap you for being so ignorant. You probably thought that was a new style, a reason to dress like a bad episode of Happy Days on LSD in a desperate attempt to be "different" in a High School full of Goths, Preps and Jocks. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you... In your desperation to annoy your parents, you actually embraced the music they were most likely brought up on. Swing Music was in fact birthed in the 1930's and was pioneered by one man. The Late Benny Goodman. The Man Is So Talented That Every Word In A Sentence Which Mentions His Name (Benny Goodman) Needs To Be Capitalized To Emphasize His Greatness. His instrument of choice? Not a guitar. Not the drums. And not a whiny emo voice or a fake punk rock accent... But a Clarinet. The most elegant of the woodwinds. When he played that magical device, it was as though the world stopped for a brief moment just to take in a beauty which had been lost since the fall of man.

And for the record... There is nothing dorky or girly about the Clarinet... To master it requires years and years and just a few more years for good measure of practice. Any schmuck off the street can pick up a guitar and figure out a riff that goes well with lyrics about how nobody understands you. It was a Clarinetist who dawned a new era of racial tolerance... Benny Goodman was amongst the first musicians to allow black musicians in his band, and this happened ten years before Jackie Robinson would play Major League Baseball. That's right, the man's a Saint. So Saintly in fact that when the Bible speaks of Trumpets resounding, hailing the return of Christ, there will be a Clarinetist among them...

Amongst other reasons for my love of the man's legacy is that he inspired my great grandfather to play the Clarinet, which he passed onto his son, my Grandfather Louis Marianelli (one of the most important men in my life after my father), who then passed on the talent to my father, who passed it on to me... I feel bad that I never continued playing after sophomore year... My band instructor wanted me to play Tuba... And I complied. But I still have much love for the Clarinet and will one day pick it up again... And it will be... AWESOME.

Whether you love or hate Swing Music, I'll bet you tapped your foot whenever that Chips Ahoy commercial aired on television to the sound of "Sing, Sing, Sing"... Compliments of Saint Benjamin of Good Men!

You Will Be Missed, Benny,
~ Mark


Think of him as a Galactus rip-off... With a bad grasp of the English language...

A  world to die!!
~ Mark