By Tim Stevens
Mark Robinson began doodling at six years old. In less than a week, on August 27, he will make his Marvel Comics debut, providing art GHOST RIDER ANNUAL: MERCY #2, followed in short order by MS MARVEL ANNUAL #1.
So mission accomplished—but it did not happen overnight.
First, Robinson had to break into the industry with what he characterizes as "force." Robinson points to luck as deserving a great deal of credit for his first penciling assignment: "I knew someone who knew somebody and it so happens that I can kinda sorta doodle," the artist elaborates.
After six years of various assignments and getting to know Marvel Talent Coordinator Chris Allo, Robinson landed his current slat of projects.
"Marvel offered me a chance to draw some iconic characters," notes the artist, who holds great affection for the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Fantastic Four among other Marvel heavyweights.
Despite successfully landed his first work at the company whose characters excited his mind as a child, Robinson has not stopped being inspired by the works of others.
"Usually I get inspired by anyone who is doing, in my opinion, top notch work," he explains. "I look at [the work of] a lot of different artists daily to inspire me or influence me. That goes across the boards sometimes away from comics into other streams of visual stimuli."
This dedication to variety can be discerned from Robinson's choices. First, one can see it in disparate nature of the work he has lined up, ranging from the straight ahead super hero action of MS. MARVEL to the supernatural thrill ride of GHOST RIDER.
Second, Robinson demonstrates his opposition to uniformity through the elements he selects to inform his art. For example, in discussing GHOST RIDER ANNUAL: MERCY #2, Robinson elucidates, "I approach ever project I do like it's the last one. I try to bring a different creative feel to each book. Usually, I try to keep it simple with themes. Ghost Rider was influenced a lot by a trip I took to Big Sur and a lot of Clutch."
This drive to bring uniqueness to each project comes from, at least in part, the artist's own humility. Robinson does not hesitate to say "I just draw the doodles and try to keep the beat," when describing how he collaborates with writers and sees himself as having a way to go with his work.
"I always see the flaws in my work after it's all said and done," he admits. "One day, man. One day. Until that day I'll try to keep doing what I am doing to the best of my abilities."
GHOST RIDER ANNUAL: MERCY #2 hits shelves August 27 followed by MS. MARVEL ANNUAL #1 on September 3.