My lack of artistic ability prohibited me from making those neat doodles on my text book covers and notebooks growing up. A bunch of my friends and classmates often drew dead on sketches and hilarious caricatures of our teachers in mere seconds. If it wasn’t KISS or Batman related, then it wasn’t on my 2 item long “able to draw” list. My family and friends always tried to rationalize it for me “But you’re good at other things, Jay!” Yeah right. I admire artists and I’ve always wished that I was one. Void of any artistic ability whatsoever, I continued to envy my friends who WERE excellent artists.
In class, I’d peer over at my friend Mark’s notebook and see all of his awesome and intricate sketches that he’d drawn during a boring lecture or during a free period in school. What he created simply on a piece of lined notebook paper seemed larger than life. To me, it meant that he must’ve had big ideas going on in his head. I mentioned to Mark that I thought he was really talented and I’d like to see more of his artwork. What really grabbed me about his sketches was that he’d occasionally draw a superhero, creature, or giant transformer-type robot. Naturally, being obsessed with comics since I was able to read, I also revered comic art. Mark offered to bring in his portfolio book for me to look at if I was interested. I told him “hell yeah!” of course I wanted to see it.
The next day at school Mark took his portfolio book out of his backpack and handed it to me. While examining the large pages of his creations, I thought to myself, “how talented is this guy?” and “Damn, I want him to draw something for me!” It was almost as if he read my mind, because when the period was over, and we were filing out of the classroom, Mark said “Hey Jay…I forgot…I drew something for you…here you go.” Mark drew this up for me in class on a piece of notebook paper:
Mark knew I loved Kevin Smith films. At the time Clerks and Mallrats were the only Kevin Smith movies that had been released, but I was obsessed already. Now, almost 15 years later, I’m still obsessed with Kevin Smith movies, and Mark is still exercising his skills as a freelance artist. Pay a visit to Line Light Arts where Mark Constantino and other excellent artists are featured. Look for posts by “MarkJC.”
Click here to read more about my worship of comic art in the Armpit’s recap of the NY Comic Con ‘09 Part 1 and Part 2.