We now reach the end of this story. “The Mark in America” took me the better part of 1993 to draw; 125 pages and 4 covers spread out over Dark Horse Comics #14 and 15, and the mini-series, issues 1 through 4. I’m quite proud of it. I’m not sure that I could better it now, or even match it. I know I don’t have the ink wielding chops I had developed by the time I’d done the page you see here.
It’s a source of great sadness in my life that I was unable to keep the momentum I had developed here. I could only find dribs and drabs in comics for several years after this. Editors told me flat out that my style was too “old school”. One of them compared me with Eduardo Barreto (i.e., a solid craftsman with no “sizzle”), implying that they already had him, so why did they need me? I guess I paid the price for not drawing in the “Image” style that was then paramount.
I found myself in the same position I’d been in before breaking in on “The Batman Adventures”; supplicating editors for a chance to prove myself as though I hadn’t been doing so for over a year. I soon realized I no longer had the stomach to submit myself to the disinterested judgment of people for whom I had no respect (I liked almost nothing being published at the time).
Even my “Mark” editor, Bob Schreck, told me that he specialized in creator owned or generated projects. If I came to him with my own proposal he might consider it, but he was in no position to assign me to a pre-existing book. The only niche I might be able to fill was that of a creator. Unfortunately, though I could critique the fuck out of anybody else’s writing, I was totally blocked at doing my own. (To be continued)
This is page 23 for "The Mark" issue 4, volume 2, otherwise known as "The Mark In America", published by Dark Horse Comics in March 1994. Written by Mike Barr, Drawn by Brad Rader