Tag: Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics Spotlight: Mark Morales

Behind the Scenes with artist Mark Morales at Denver Comic Con

Here’s the truth: Mark Morales cannot hit a curve ball to save his life. Seriously, he just can’t do it. Go figure.

On the other hand, Mr. Morales can swing circles around just about anybody when it’s time to set comic book art into inks. In fact, he’s one of the very best, and his inks and artwork have appeared in everything from Superman to Guardians of the Galaxy to X-Men to Nick Fury and many, many, more.

So when a guy like this shows up at a Comic Con near you, what’re you gonna do? Make him sit still for an interview, that’s what!

He’s what he had to say.

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The Interview!


First, how did you discover comics? Tell us that story.

Mark Morales

I discovered the newspaper comic strips first. Stuff like Peanuts and Hagar the Horrible. When I was about five, I got my first comic book (Marvel Premiere #23) and I was hooked.


What path did you take to become a professional inker in the comic book industry?

Mark Morales

I always drew some comic book stuff throughout grammar school and high school. I attended the School of Visual Arts in NY and got to take classes with teachers like Will Eisner, Gene Colan and Harvey Kurtzman. Once I graduated, I did some work in animation and graphic design for a few years. I was very slow as a penciler, so I gravitated to doing inks.


How would you describe your job to someone who’s never heard of it? And what does a typical workday look like for you?

Mark Morales

My job as an inker is to bring depth and clarity to the pencils using whatever tool I can (brushes, pens, markers). Each job is different, since sometimes the pencils are very loose and scratchy, and others are highly detailed and precise. It’s usually a 9-13 hour day, depending on deadlines.


What advice would you give to kids who want to pursue a career in comics?

Mark Morales

Just draw, draw, draw. And not from just comics and cartoons. Draw from life too. A comic book artist is required to draw everything well.


What are some secrets you can tell us about the comic book industry?

Mark Morales

There aren’t really many secrets. It’s a fun job. But there are lots of hours sitting down and trying to get good at it.


What’s been your most memorable experience at a Comic Con?

Mark Morales

I got seated next to Stan Lee at an awards dinner at the Baltimore Comic Con a few years back. Was great to interact with him for a few minutes.


What’s the one question we didn’t ask, but should have asked? And how would you answer?

Mark Morales

Favorite inkers? Klaus Janson, Kevin Nowlan, Terry Austin, Joe Rubinstein.

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Everything you need to know about Mark Morales in 60 seconds or less…

• Born where and when?

New York.

• Nicknames?

No nicknames.

• Best book you’ve inked in the past year?

Probably All Star Batman #8 that was penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

• Hidden talent?

Trivia buff.

• Phobias?

None that I know of.

• Best compliment anyone could give you?

“I enjoy your work..”

• Best way for fans to contact you?

Twitter: @mark_morales11

Instagram: mark_morales11


All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher. Mark Morales photo credit: Denver Comic Con.

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How Much to Meet Stan Lee at Denver Comic Con?

It’s going to cost you…

Stan Lee is a valuable commodity these days, which is not bad for the legendary 93-year-old comic book nerd, but might not be viewed as such a  great thing for most of his fans.

You probably know Stan as the guy who revolutionized Marvel Comics and created some of your favorite superheroes: Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, and many, many more. You’ve probably seen him cameo in most of the movies based on his amazing, fantastic, incredible creations. And you were probably thrilled when you heard this living legend is appearing at the 2016 Denver Comic Con (June 17-19)!

Want to meet Stan Lee?

Well, it’s possible—but it’s also going to cost you. Stan the Man is the next best thing to cash machine for a lot of people at this point in his storied life, and it appears they all like to get paid when he makes an appearance at someplace like Denver Comic Con. Still, given his current age and outsized history, this could be your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet your real-life comic book hero.

If you’re one of the faithful ready to open your checkbook, here are your options for meeting Stan Lee at Denver Comic Con this year:

Option 1: Stan Lee on the Fanboy Budget

Cost: $100 + Denver Comic Con Admission + random taxes and fees + a few hours waiting in line

Unlike year’s past, Denver Comic Con promises that Smilin’ Stan will sit in a booth and sign autographs for all comers over the course of the three days of the Con. You’ll find Stan in the “Celebrity Summit” at various times during the event. When exactly? Well, you’ll have to double-check his posted schedule at the Con to find out, and then be prepared for him to arrive late or leave early (as the celebs frequently do at these kinds of things)—but he should be there. If you time it right, and if you stand in line long enough with a few hundred other fanboys and fangirls, you should be able to meet your hero and exchange pleasantries for a few minutes.

Pros: At $100 for an autograph or photo, this is the least expensive option for meeting Stan Lee at Denver Comic Con.

Cons: You’re going to have to wait in a very long line. Two other groups of people have “front of line” privileges which means many folks will be legally cutting ahead of you, no matter how long you wait or whether you got in line first. Worst of all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it to the front of the line before Stan leaves for the day (or the weekend). It is possible you could put in the time and still walk away empty-handed.

Option 2: Stan Lee for the Gainfully Employed (Speed Pass)

Cost: $100 for an autograph + $176 for a Speed Pass + random taxes and fees + 30 minutes to an hour or so waiting in line

This option is for the fan who values time more than money. Instead of buying standard admission to Denver Comic Con, you can buy a three-day “Speed Pass” ticket. According to DCC, this “Speed Pass grants the holder exclusive, first-access line to the convention each day, a dedicated, first-served line for Main Events (does not include other panel rooms), and front-of-line access for autographs. It does not include photo ops, as this is a third-party vendor.” What that means for Stan fans is this: You still have to wait in line and time it right at the appropriate booth in Celebrity Summit, but your line to Stan will be shorter (behind only VIPs and other Speed Pass holders). You’re still not guaranteed Stan’s autograph or a photo, but with front of line privileges, you’re much more likely to get to him before he tires out or disappears behind the curtain.

Pros: Much better chance of actually meeting Stan Lee at Denver Comic Con, and getting his autograph.

Cons: It’s a minimum of $276 in cost ($100 to Stan for his autograph, and $176 to DCC for your Speed Pass), which is no small sum. Also, all the poor schlubs who’re waiting in the regular fanboy line will be ticked off at you for cutting in front of them. You might hear Bernie Sanders slogans (or profanities) as you breeze by the schlubs. But hey, you’ll never see them again anyway, right?

Option 3: Stan Lee for the One Percent (VIP Package)

Cost: $375 for VIP Package + Denver Comic Con admission + random taxes and fees + 30 minutes to an hour waiting in line

If money is no object, then the Stan Lee VIP Package is for you. Yes, you have to pay an enormous sum ($375) in addition to the cost of your ticket to Denver Comic Con, but the perks are pretty nice. Here’s the official description…

Stan Lee will be offering VIP LEVEL PACKAGES that are good for ONE DAY ONLY, meaning that you get one day of VIP benefits listed below. VIP benefits will be fulfilled at Stan’s booth in Celebrity Summit for the day applicable. Friday, Saturday or Sunday Stan Lee VIP package price is $375, plus other fees, and includes:

• 1 t-shirt

• 2 randomly selected comic book variants from the Stan Lee Collection

• 1 lithograph, autographed

• 1 regular autograph ticket

• 1 regular photo op ticket

• copy of “It’s All About the Love: The Stan Lee Family”

• VIP access to Stan’s autograph line, 10-11 a.m. for that day only

• Everyone who purchases a Stan Lee VIP ticket will be entered into a drawing for a special meet and greet with Stan Lee (10 names drawn daily with the meet and greet time TBA)

Please remember…Stan Lee VIP Packages are NOT to be confused with regular Denver Comic Con 2016 tickets; a regular DCC’16 badge (valid for that day) is still required to enter the Denver Comic Con.Stan Lee VIPs Packages are totally separate from the Denver Comic Con Speed Pass. Autograph purchases are nonrefundable, non-exchangeable and non-transferable, unless the guest cancels.

Pros: This is the only way to guarantee you get a Stan Lee autograph and photo at Denver Comic Con, and your line to Stan will be shortest of all. Plus, you know, there’s a T-shirt.

Cons: Way expensive. Nonrefundable. Will be viewed as indulgent and wasteful by your friends and family who couldn’t afford it. Doesn’t do a thing for world hunger or the homeless in your community.

Enjoy the show!


Denver Comic Con Spotlights (2016)

All images courtesy Denver Comic Con. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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