Monday, December 28, 2009

All In The Un-Dead Family

To my surprise our next door neighbor wanted their family zombie-fied for Christmas. The husband is a movie fiend like me and he loved my cover to James Robert Smith's zombie novel The Living End. They provided me a few good shots of the family and I went to town on it. Baby Liam is creepy!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jobs Lost Due to Ending of Greyhound Racing in Massachusetts

This is what I've been reading all morning. My boss even sent me a link to about this. Jobs were lost because the factual word didn't get out strong enough. Massachusetts had some of the most cleanest and regulated tracks in the USA. Greys were seen by a vet before, after and in-between races to assure their health was up to standards. Now that the citizens of Massachusetts have voted to have Grey racing Not-In-My-Back-Yard, then they haven't ended racing, they've just pushed it onto another State. Tracks in other Southern States are filthy and grossly unregulated so what have we done? Sent healthy animals in good conditions to unhealthy and mismanaged conditions. Hurray for us. The idea of Greys not racing was a huge positive, at least that's how the supporters made it appear. They didn't tell you about track conditions. Where did people in this State think the Greys were going to go after racing was banned? Our Rescue group will take in those dogs that are available and that we can handle. How many injured animals will be left behind by breeders, trainers and owners and where will they go? Hopefully into loving, caring homes. In my opinion shame on us for sending our Greys to another State instead of leaving them here, letting them do what they enjoy to and were trained to do under watchful, caring eyes.

Shame on you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Zombie Wedding

When Greg wanted to get a zombie picture done, I thought quick and easy...Oh NO! He wanted his brother and sister-in-law done up and he wanted it to be their wedding picture. I must say I had a lot of fun with this piece. It's 10 x 15 and mixed media of pencil, india ink, Dr. Martins dyes, grey markers, black markers and some razor blade scratching. Here's the before and after.


Friday, December 18, 2009

More Zombies

And here are a couple more zombies to get you into the Holiday spirit.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Finally, more zombies

So November pretty much sucked. I got the swine flu right after Halloween so I was down for 12 days. 12 days of the worst headache, fever, cough and body aches I've ever felt. I usually don't get sick. Pretty healthy guy who tries to eat well and tries to get enough sleep. Well then it was back to work while feeling like crap and the Thanksgiving crept up on me. A few freelance gigs came through and I struggled through those. Now it;s December and I'm catching up on the friends who I met at Rock-n-Shock who wanted to be Zombiefied. Here are some of my new friends.

UPDATE: Here's the last one of the single zombies. Here on in it's couples and families. Mike Whelan (yup that's his name) was very patient and he was a joy to speak to. I was inspired to add a little rot green to his undead complexion. I hope you like it.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Silent Scream pages 2 & 4

More amazing pages of inks from Bill Anderson. I gotta start working up more pencils for Bill to keep working on. I do have the 2 Robot God covers that will drive him nutty so that will give me some time. Getting close to having the proposal ready to go to a publisher.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Silent Scream Page 5...inked!

More amazing inking from Mr. Bill Anderson! And you know what, the pencils weren't too bad either.


Monday, October 26, 2009

What Makes Me Happy?

Coming into the office and seeing that one of the numerous e-mails I have is from Bill Anderson and that means a new inked page! Bill kicked the ass out of this one. My pencils were pretty tight, and it's nice to see how Bill fleshed them out and let his style show through. I loved this cover when I first drew it and I love it even more now that I see it in ink.
Awesome job Bill!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Watch me Zombie-fy!

The very nice and personable Shaula Clark from The Boston Phoenix came by our Rock-n-Shock booth on Sunday as I was just starting my last Zombie picture for the day. She asked me if I would mind if she video-taped me drawing and explained it would be used as time-lapse demonstration up on the Phoenix web-site. Of course I said yes!!! Here it is in all of it's gore-licious beauty!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rock-n-Shock Wrap-Up

We love this show! This is my second time attending and my first as a vendor. I went with my two partners Mike Dobbs and Marty Langford. While they were selling DVD's and memorabilia, I went with the idea to sell my art prints and maybe do some sketches. Well after two rockers asked for me to draw them as zombies on Friday night, I then drew two more of their band mates on Friday and then after cobbling together a sign announcing Zombie-fying and a Alive/Dead comparison, I was booked solid drawing folks as zombies from 11-9 on Saturday and 1105 on Sunday. The management team at Crimson, and especially Leah Urbano, are top notch and were extremely helpful and caring to our needs. One thing that was great was that Kevin Barberi from WAAF was doing the PA work and playing soundtrack music all weekend. That made it a creative place to be. As for the 2 tattoo artists, we were set up right next to them and they were buzz-buzzing all weekend and they were both awesome guys. Jamie Cross gifted me a wonderful painting and I'll definately look him up if and when I decide to get inked. I'll be going back again next year so come on by and get Zombie-fied!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Silent Scream Update

Do you remember earlier this year I was all giddy about the new project Silent Scream? Well I'm giddy again because I'm seeing inked pages from Bill Anderson and colored pages from Craig Rippon. Seems the Albany Boyz are catching up to me so I gotta get cracking on the initial issue layouts. Here are some pencils/inks and the first color we've seen from Craig on my original take on a couple of our characters.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rock-n-SHock is almost here!

I'm sure you're tired of hearing about this, but seeing it's the first Con that I've been set up at in over 10+ years, it's a biggie for me. I'l be selling art prints of my latest work and selling sketches if you find something you must have drawn. I'll also be selling a 50th Anniversary print of Fiend Without A Face! Richard Gordon has graciously let me use his license for this print. They are limited and signed to 50 prints (50th Anniversary) and I will sign them and doodle a little brain if you like. Rock-n-Shock is at the DC Center in lovely Worcester, MA. Friday starting at 5:00 pm, Saturday at 11:00 am and Sunday at 11:00 am. MIke Dobbs, Marty Langford and myself will be set up at booth 52 under the moniker of Inkwell Productions. If you're a friend of ours, or you read our blogs or FB pages, or just are into the horror/sci-fi/heavy metal scene, stop on by and say hi. If you're reading this, If you come up to me at the table and say "Dude, nice zombie", you'll get a free print of either the gore red zombie or the rot green zombie, your choice!!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wednesday Comics

So DC's 12 week experiment has wrapped up. What did you think? I enjoyed the entire experiment. I thought it was a clever way to shake things up for 12 weeks. I have to say the Wonder Woman story did not grab me and neither did the Teen Titans. I like Hawkman and I like Kyle Baker, but I though the reproduction of his art was too murky. My favorite part of Wednesdays was Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook's Kamandi. It was fun, it was clever and it harkened back to the days of Hal Foster and Prince Valiant. Ryan Sook was born to draw this material. When does the mini-series begin? I'm also curious to see how DC is going to compile the 12 week experiment into one collected volume. I'm hoping for an over-sized coffee table style book. Hard cover please. Softcover, as per past editions (H.R. Giger) will just simply fall apart when the binding let's go.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rock-n-Shock is Coming!

And I need a nice sign for our booth.

Join us at Rock-n-Shock, October 16-18. I will be there with Mike Dobbs and Marty Langford. MIke will be selling Bizarro DVD's and Marty will be selling Volume 2 of his Western Massachusetts Horror Show DVD series. I will be there selling full color prints of my latest work along with an exclusive 50th Anniversary print for the 50's horror classic Fiend Without A Face! Ask nice and I'll draw you a sketch of your favorite horror Fiend!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Rough Enough for You?

I'm back on The Flock track for at least one more time. I got a great idea for a piece so I'm going to work it up in the same style as the zombie painting and I hope it looks OK. Here's my first rough sketch. Let's meet back here in a week or so and compare the rough to the finished. Might be interesting.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm Ashamed

I'm ashamed in some of my local towns who, due to possible backlash from some conservative residents in their town refused to show the students in their schools President Obama's speech and Q&A with the kids of Wakefield. When was the last time a PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES had a speech banned? is it his politics? Is it his race? His skin color? We're a bunch of sad human beings. The following is a letter I sent to the City of Longmeadow, MA and to G. Michale Dobbs, Editor-in-Chief at The Reminder Publications.

City of Longmeadow,

I just finished reading President Obama's speech on MIke Dobbs' blog. You know the editor in chief of the Reminder publications? He gave us the truth on what President Obama had to say to the kids in Wakefield and then we were treated to the Q&A that occurred between high school kids and the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! I am so ashamed of a local town in my fair State that, due to possible backlash from some conservative parents and politicians (re: Republicans), actually banned a speech specifically addressed from the President of the United States directly to those kids. What were you afraid of? What kind of damage could this speech have done? Answer: none. Did you read the transcripts? Have you? I bet you're feeling very embarrassed now don't you? I didn't read anything political in anything that was said by either the President or the kids? Did the students ask political tainted questions? Yes they did but most of it was about Universal Health Care. The rest of it dealt with President Obama and how he was adjusting to the White House and how bad of a basketball player he is. Is that what you were worried about? Is that the kind of Town management that Longmeadow has that buckles under pressure about a speech that hasn't been heard yet? I'm ashamed for you and the rest of the City of Longmeadow. Take a good look in the mirror tomorrow morning and ask yourself, am I weak? Was it worth having my personal opinion directed by others? Do I have heart and love for my country NO matter who runs it? I'd love to hear your answers.

Yours Truly,
Mark Masztal

Excuse me now while I retch.

Friday, September 04, 2009

You need a dust jacket

I had a little spare time this morning so I put together a quick dust jacket concept. All we need now is a publisher to bite!

UPDATE: And here's the rot green version of the dust jacket.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Red or Rot?

I've finished digitally coloring this ink wash piece and dropped in the title art. I like it! But I'm also torn between going with the red palette or the rot green? What do you think?


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Living End

James Robert Smith blew me away and inspired me with his novel The Flock. If you backtrack a few posts, you'll find cover art I did for a proposed graphic novel or mini-series. Bob has sent me his latest manuscript called The Living End, A Zombie Novel with Dogs. I've read it through twice and it finally hit home, and so did the artwork I was inspired to create for the cover. Bob's idea is to have The Living End published as a novel with spot B&W illustrations. If it happens, he's promised, as much as he can-you know how publishers are, that I'm the guy for the art chores. Before I start doing any B&W illos, I wanted to get reacquainted with zombies. It took a few attempts, the dogs were so easy, so I have this rough concept. I'll start transferring the rough to the nice paper, laying in pencil lines only, no shading. All of the shading will be achieved by grey washes and then I scan it and colorize it using Photoshop. I have an idea of what I want the color palette to be, but it may change.

UPDATED: The ink wash is complete and the art has been scanned. Looking forward to coloring this piece!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

And I'll call him...Shar-Pei

These words, uttered by The Godhead, sparked a life changing moment for me and Tom Sniegoski. We met through Steve Bissette. Tom had been writing and submitting short stories for awhile and one of them was adapted in Taboo #1, edited by Steve Bissette and drawn by MIke Hoffman. I'd been running into Steve while he was out doing Swamp Thing signings throughout the Northeast. Tom called and said that Steve suggested we pull our talents together. I called Steve and he said Tom was good people. We spoke on the phone a few times, he was from the Boston area and I was in Western Massachusetts. We eventually met at a Boston convention in 1988. We hit it off and we started to bounce ideas around. I would travel out to Boston and hold up in Tom and his then girlfriend, now wife, LeeAnne's apartment on Beacon Hill. To get in the door you had to subject yourself to a walk around the block with their Shar-Pei, Spencer. Once you did this you were allowed in the door. We eventually started goofing about how would Spencer look in a kimono. Well one thing led t another and we had a pretty good design for Shar-Pei.
He wasn't our orignal idea though. Our original project was called Gutter Rat and that's what we were selling at the Albany NY Fantacon. however no one was buying. They did however like the rough drawing I had of Shar-Pei. Well we went back and started putting together our first 6 page story. Armed with Chinese reference material, Frank MIller's Ronin and a pile of duo-shade board, I drew from Tom's script a quick 6 page adventure. LeeAnne lettered it, because my hand lettering, although good, wasn't good enough.
We trotted down to NYC to the latest Fred Greenberg Spectacular and there we met Gary Reed from Caliber Press. We did our song and dance about what we wanted to do with a mini-series and Gary said he'd call us. Well, he did and we had a deal to do a three issue mini-series. This was 1989 and we were both excited. I started cranking out pencils and then inks. Then once the pages were lettered I went through and used the duo-shade board and the occasional zip-a-tone to finish the book. I hand-colored the cover and The Swords of Shar-Pei was done! After the next 2 remaining issues were completed we collected the issues into one spectacular romp with a new wrap around cover and we hit the convention circuit traveling along the Northeast.
We followed up the Swords with the Guns of Shar-Pei. This time the story was driven by our love of gangster movies, spaghetti westerns and Lawrence of Arabia. The Guns was an adventure in itself because Tom was writing stuff that I had never drawn before and it made me draw out of my comfort zone. It was fun and challenging. As we saw numbers dwindle, we moved away from Caliber. I stayed on and inked a couple issues of Deadworld and Tom went on to write Vampirella for Harris Comics. We worked for the same publisher, Dark Moon for a couple years but the bad business practices of the company left us no choice but to walk away and watch the company fold. Eventually Tom struck up a friendship with Billy Tucci and Crusade Entertainment. Bill wanted to grow his company so he offered a select number of creators to join his crew and self-publish through his Crusade imprint. Shar-Pei was back, but this time the book was called Dogs-O-War!. We teamed up Shar-Pei with a female Doberman sidekick named Gypsy and continued our story, this time introducing more, bizarre characters and helping me on the art chores were inkers Ethan Van Sciver, Nathan Massengill, Eric Powell and Chuck Angell. This I felt was a great mini-series. Unfortunately Billy Tucci pulled the plug on the creator owned books and we finished up our run and we were done. It's been a long time since I drew Shar-Pei, but I felt this was the time to draw him again and see if I could still do it.
I guess I can.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

It's Fiendish

Fiend Without A Face. 1950's b-movie classic. I love this film. Over the past couple years, I've met Richard Gordon, who produced this movie. He's a wonderful man and someone I highly respect. Mike Dobbs and I are thinking of attending Rock-n-Shock this Fall and setting-up as guests/vendors. We want to let everyone know about the 50th anniversary of this great movie and I'll be selling this print in 2 versions. One signed by myself and Richard and a less expensive version signed by myself. I'm posting the B&W art and then 2 color version that I gave the Photoshop treatment.


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Flock...Movie!

As most of you know that check in here at Barkings, I was working up some art for graphic novel adaption for James Robert Smith's book The Flock. A great read for anyone who's into great characters and Prehistoric 9ft TerrorBirds. Warner Bros. picked up the rights that squelched any graphic novel adaption, but I just recently read that Producers have finally been made public about The Flock movie. Follow this link over to Dark Horizons. Congrats Bob!!!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

By Asgaard!

Here's a piece I pencilled back in 96 for Chris Golden's Thor book he created while we were all over at Crusade Entertainment. John Lind inked it and I really like how he dirtied up my sometimes too tight pencils.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wild Things...Color...Done!

Almost done. The logo is complete and I have to color it, then I wrap up the rendering on the Wild Things and then this one will be done and then I can submit it over to Cory at Terrible Yellow Eyes.

UPDATE: The color is done. I think it turned out exactly how I envisioned.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Wild Things...inked

This piece is finished at the inking stage. Next is the color and that's when Max will pop and the Terrible Eyes will be...terrible!!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Wild Things!

Here's Max and all the rest of the Wild Things.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hobbits and Terrible Yellow Eyes

I like a lot of different styles of art. Picasso, Mucha, MIchalangelo, Kirby, Buscema, Bissette, Totleben, get the picture. Well Justin Gerard has been added to the list. He's been doing some fine art work over at his blog. He's been tackling Tolkien. One of the most beloved authors of two of the finest pieces of literature. I recommend you check out his brilliance.
Another interesting project Terrible Yellow Eyes. It's a tribute blog dedicated to Maurice Sendak and the brilliant book; Where The Wild Things Are. Different artists invited to present their vision of Mr Sendak's amazing book. I grew up reading this book. I was Max...later on I became one of the Wild Things. Guess I'm still a bit of a Wild Thing.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

And I shall call thee...Robot God!

Part 2 of my planned 2-piece set. I'm imagining either a flip-book or variant covers.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

ROBOT GOD pencils!

I finally finished this piece. It wasn't that it was hard, the piece was in my head and travelled down my arm and then to my hand and sprouted on the page, it was just that I put a lot if line detailing into it and it took longer that expected. I also had to dig up some reference on the rifle and arm of Will Hart.