Guess you just signed uber-talented Canadian artist, Mark Savona? Uh-huh. THESE GUYS! Check out what Mark had to say when we reached out to him for a few words:
Anomalous Comics: Let’s start with the basics. Who are you and what do you do?
Mark: Well, I’m Mark Savona (Mark Anthony Savona, if you’re looking at the initials I usually sign my work with) and I’ve been an illustrator for the past 20 years of my life. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I spent over half my childhood in Sydney, Australia, and now live in Kitchener, Ontario.
AC: What Projects have you done or been a part of?
Mark: I’ve done some corporate work for a subsidiary of the TJMax retail corporation for a couple years there, and freelance work for On-Spec Magazine while I was in college, but for the most part, it’s all been commissions I’ve done for countless clients.
AC: Was there a major event that led to your decision to draw comics?
Mark: It’s really interesting that you should ask that, lol. It was an incident that occured at a comic convention with one of today’s major players in the industry. Ultimately, what changed the game for me as an artist was when Stephen Platt brutally shot down the comic pages I had shown to him at a Toronto convention 20 years ago. Now, I’m not saying this to make him out to be some kind of jerk. In fact, quite the contrary. I admire him immensely today, just as I had while he was attending the same school of the arts as I was while in our teens. If anything, I will always be thankful that he was as blunt about my work as he had been, because looking back in retrospect, my work was nowhere near the level that was required of me. It was such a discouraging and disheartening experience that I abandoned comics entirely for 20 years, and simply focused on becoming a better artist, period, which is why I always strongly advise any aspiring comic artists to focus on drawing super heroes realistically and not like “comic-book-style” characters. Thanks to Stephen, today I’m with Anomalous Comics, and happy to be here.
AC: Who are your influences?
Mark: Without a doubt, names like David Finch, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Art Adams, John Romita Jr., Mike Mignola, and yes, Stephen Platt, immediately come to mind. Ultimately, though, my single greatest influence will always be Norman Rockwell. The complexity, detail and realism in his work has been a model I have studied since my mom gave me a Norman Rockwell calendar for Christmas when I was 14 years old. Interestingly enough, I get all my inspiration from music. Lots of music, lol.
AC: What would you be doing now if you weren’t making comics?
Mark: I’d be working as an artist, regardless. Breaking into the comic world has been my single greatest goal since the age of five, but I just love doing art no matter how I do it, why I do it, or who I’m doing it for.
AC: What advice can you give to aspiring creators?
Mark: First and foremost, be honest with yourself, and with that blank white sheet of paper that’s waiting for you to draw on it, about what you are doing. Growing up, I used to perfectly duplicate the styles of all the top artists in the industry, which is actually a very healthy thing to do, because it’s a learning experience that helps you develop your own individual style by giving you a better understanding of how things are done. Just don’t ever plagiarize someone else’s style by claiming it as your own, because then you’re nothing but a fraud. Also, pick up a copy of Stan Lee’s “How To Draw The Marvel Way”. I still follow the principles outlined in that book. And study as many youtube videos as possible. When I say study, I mean watch them like your life depends on it, lol.
AC: What’s your favorite quote?
Mark: “I pity the fool that don’t eat my cereal!” -Pee Wee Herman, “PeeWee’s Big Adventure”, talking to his bowl of Mr.T cereal.
AC: What’s your favorite comic series or OGN? What are you reading now?
Mark: Oh my God, lmao, this is going to sound totally blasphemous of me, but I haven’t read any comics in ages. So, to be honest with you, I can’t really answer that question.
AC: What are your dream projects? Just in case someone who can make that happen is reading this.
Mark: Wow, that’s quite the question. As much as I’d probably drop a load in my pants if I was assigned to Marvel’s X offices, or blessed with working on any Superman title, my dream would most definitely be to do justice to Art Adams’ golden child and revive the Longshot series. It was such a great and tragic story about a character who was lost and somehow trying to comprehend who or what he was.
AC: What are you most looking forward to this year?
Mark: Working with you guys. Need I say more? lol.
AC: Where can we find you?
Mark: Look me up on facebook. I’m on there every day.
AC: Anything else you’d like to add?
Mark: I’m really looking forward to the projects that lie ahead of me with Anomalous Comics. You guys are great people to work with, and this gives me the chance to really flex my artistic muscle.
DUUUDE! We feel the same way! Be sure to check out Mark’s work on the upcoming anthology, Send in the Clowns and, if everything goes well, something a little suicidal seems to be in our futures… Okay, those references may have been too obscure. Get ready for Suicide Dave, guys!