anibee Features: Mark Torres!
Comic artist and huge 80's cartoon fan, Mark Torres has made a name for himself with his work in various popular comics & graphic novels! We managed to get this awesome artist down for a little chat about his work, his current projects, as well as about getting into the gruelling industry!
anibee: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Mark! Tell us a bit about yourself and some projects you have previously worked on.
Mark Torres: I'm actually a graphic designer by profession, but took the big leap and committed full-time to comics a couple of years back. I often describe my approach as a progressive experiment, mixing traditional and digital processes. I've done a couple of HOPE Anthology books for Ronin Studios, one's for the benefit of Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans, the other for The Hero Initiative organization which assists creators with financial or medical needs. I did a back-up feature on Rick Remender's Fear Agent #29 from Dark Horse, with industry legend Hilary Barta, which will always be a very memorable collaboration. I've also contributed to Image Comics' Liquid City Vol.2.
My latest gigs have been with the fantastic folks at IDW Publishing, my first major series being the Zombies vs. Robots: Undercity, and then followed by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tie-in for the big company-wide Infestation 2 event.
anibee: One of your current projects is the 'Infestation' series of comics. What made you decide to take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Mark Torres: I'm a big fan of TMNT! The 80s cartoon was part of my childhood and fond memories! This led me to discover and follow the original, slightly grittier Mirage Comics books. IDW invited me for the Infestation 2 project after seeing some doodles I sent them. I have to say, it's one dream come true. And the fact that the story was also playing with a horror theme made the whole gig super awesome!
anibee: What 'dream project' would you love to work on?
Mark Torres: Mike Mignola is one of my long time inspirations, so I hope I get to do some Hellboy/BPRD in the future. And of course, Batman.
anibee: Have you been exposed to the indie comic artist scene in Singapore? What do you think of it?
Mark Torres: A few yes, mostly via the 2010 STGCC that I got to check out. I like how there's a sense of variety with what the creators were showcasing, not only with the visual style, but also in content and presentation. I enjoy the more "indie" side of things, and seeing people build and pursue their own visions, with how they want to do their own thing, I'll always be a supporter of that. Very excited for this year's offerings!
anibee: What advice do you have for budding comic artists who want to break out into the industry?
Mark Torres: It's a tough industry to break in, yes, but if comics really is what you want to do, if it's really your passion, then you have quite an adventurous journey ahead. The work can be hard, the hours definitely insane, but it's also rewarding beyond the monetary sense.
What I love about doing comics is the opportunity to bring one's imagination to life, and be able to share it with others. It's a profession that exemplifies the word "creator" to its every aspect. And if you can, forge your own path, do not be a photocopy of other artists. Most of the time, those with a very distinct approach gets noticed more, than the ones practising an almost generic style. Be brave, there's only one "you", and that's what makes you special.
Words of Wisdom & Experience indeed!
Catch Mark Torres at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention on the 1st and 2nd September at the Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo & Convention Center!
Pictures & Information courtesy of STGCC
Special thanks to Mark Torres!