I must have been working on this issue on April 25th 1993, the date of the third March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Rights. I conclude thusly because my roommate in Washington DC for that weekend was Andy Mangels and his husband, who’s name I forget. I must have brought work with me as well as my portfolio for the scheduled job-search trip to NYC the following week. I must have shown this work to Andy (we were contemplating collaborating on a project for Image Comics). I deduce this because I recall his critique of my depiction of Special Agent Pierce: that the bags under her eyes made her look like a crack whore.
At first I was slightly miffed; I LIKED the bags under her eyes; I thought it gave her character. Upon reflection, I decided Andy was probably correct, and reduced the bags when I did the inks. So the weekend of April 25 must have come after I penciled The Mark, Issue 1, volume 2, but before I inked it.
I rather like the way the writer, Mike Barr, handled the character of The Archon; in spite of the Archon’s fascist ideology he recognizes and appreciates good work. I am reminded off the way Stan Lee evolved J. Jonah Jameson in the late 60’s/ early 70’s: even though JJ was still a dick to Spiderman, he was shown to be brave and principled in his goal of reporting the truth, at least in non-Spiderman related areas. I like this kind of nuance; it’s one of the reasons I avoid drawing evil gloating expression on villains. In their minds they’re righteous; it’s the “heroes” who are causing all the problems. Speaking of which, check out “Sam Wilson, Captain America”. In issues 4 through 6 Sam/Cap battles the Serpent Squad, a nearly perfectly depiction of villains who think THEY’RE the good guys.
I’m posting the flip side of page 16 as well. I like some of the rough drawings better than the finish. Oh well.
This is page #16 from "The Mark" issue 1, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in December 1993. Written by Mike Barr, Drawn by Brad Rader