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Mark Marianelli

My last post sounded really depressing after reading it back... Instagram puts me in a dark place.

Anyway, I finally buckled down and finished drawing that character I had no real desire to draw. Then I drew a few more:

The character in question was Proteus - and if you're wondering which of these cats that is, it's the one you most likely don't recognize. Yes, the glow-y guy in the upper right. I was trying to pick some of the more well known X-Men villains, and while Proteus is in fact a well known character, his defining feature is that he really doesn't have any defining features. He's pure energy and he possesses people. Not exactly an artist's dream character.

Anyway, I had planned on including more villains to this illustration, but good lord X-Men villains are all massive in size it seems... Plus, as my last post clearly pointed out, my motivation is thin at best lately. Also my kids got me sick so all I want to do is sit around and whine to my wife about how sick I am. I don't even know who else I would have included.

This is meant to compliment the X-Men drawing I did a few months ago:

The X-Men one was kind of my chance to go a little more nuts with Photoshop and make everything shiny and bright - I generally avoid adding effects to my drawings because it teeters the line of 'too much lens flair', and as a graphic designer, that's just not a line you teeter on. I had half a mind to write "X-Men" in Papyrus up top.

In any case, it ended up looking pretty cool and I wanted another drawing to go with it and carry that theme over. Little known fact, not a lot of the major X-Men villains have shiny powers. I found myself resorting to things like making Blob's spandex glisten.

Anyway, I'm tired.
~ M.


Mark Marianelli

My freaking Apple Pencil died mid-drawing. Eh, the illustration wasn't turning out that great anyway... I'm attempting to draw Proteus and it's just a disaster. Anyway, I figure writing a blog post would be a good way to kill some time. So since my last post, I finished up that Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance Illustration:

I'm actually really happy with how this one turned out - it's a shame all that good drawing was wasted on such a miserable cast of characters. I'm not going to lie - this one was a major chore. I know that sooner or later I'm going to convince myself to sit down and draw MK:Deception and I'm just going to pray for sweet death before it's over.

I posted this one to Instagram, like I do everything I draw, and it failed to hit 100 likes. I'm 2 away. This game is fan-art poison.

Fan Art.

It makes me a little sad that that's what my art career has come to. Sure, I have a ton of fun drawing the things I love, but sooner or later it just bothers you that nothing is really your own. Also, I think I've just run out of things to be a fan of. At some point or another I've drawn just about everything I like: Games, comics, movies, mashups, you name it.

I'm a bit of a slave to Instagram in that if I take time off from daily doodles and drawings I feel like I'm going to lose any good faith I've gained with that community, or people will just bail on my account altogether. It's a little pathetic. Come to think of it - once that Apple Pencil charges, I'm not really sure I'm going to feel a whole lot of motivation to finish drawing a character that I don't even really care all that much about. I literally picked him because he'll look shiny and that will continue a theme I've been keeping with for my last 3 drawings. Silliness.

Instagram's new algorithm has made it really difficult to gain any new followers or achieve a ton of likes. I'm not very keen on which hashtags are more popular and which times are the best times to post... I've got a full-time job and mouths to feed, I can't focus on that nonsense. I post when I can and I hashtag words that are relevant to the post itself. I've literally seen somebody hashtag 'StarWars' on a picture of a dinosaur just because Star Wars happened to be trending. #dishonest

So where am I going with this? I have no idea. I've had some original stuff in mind that I'd like to get done before I die. Also, Pro Rock Paper Scissors Pro is coming along nicely:

For my own sanity, I need to finish this game just so I can say that I actually finished a game. It's going to be fun. The last attempt at this game was fun for a few rounds and then got really boring... I mean it's Rock Paper Scissors. It needs more. I plan to give more.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have some comic ideas I'm floating around in my head. One's for kids, one's not... And even the kids one probably isn't really for kids now that I think about it. Hmm...

I'm rambling. Time to wrap this up.
~ M.

What's been on my plate as of late? Nothing great. Don't hate.

Mark Marianelli

Figured I'd blog a little while I'm waiting for my iPad to charge. After finishing up my Marvel Colorform Playset project (which I'm yet to actually blog about), I found myself in a creative rut. I kind of thrive on having projects to work on, so when I have nothing lined up it drives me a little nutso. I've attempted a few projects that I quickly gave up on for one reason or another. One involved a series of Hulk Hogan illustrations which I may revisit, but I wasn't terribly happy with how it was turning out... Also, are people still mad at Hogan? I can never keep up.


Well long story short, I decided to illustrate another Mortal Kombat game... I don't know why I'm doing this to myself. I may have touched on it briefly in the last MK post, but after MK3, it really just becomes a chore to illustrate characters from those games. MK-Gold wasn't nearly as nightmarish as it could have been, and there was still some joy to be found in drawing characters like Quan Chi and Shinok. But O-M-G... MK: Deadly Alliance? I feel like I'm putting myself through purgatory. It actually feels like work. Every evening I look at who's next on the roster and I groan loudly. I'm convinced I'm never going to draw anything past this game because it only gets worse. The next game is MK:Deception, and the fighters are even less inspired... AND THERE'S MORE OF THEM. After Deception? Armageddon. An appropriate title considering it nearly killed my love for Mortal Kombat after a week of playing it. Armageddon boasts 62 characters. SIXTY-TWO!!! There's just no way. To put that in perspective, I'm 16 characters in to Deadly Alliance and I'm ready to throw in the towel. They're not even hard to draw, they just either suck, or I've already drawn them 4 times from the previous installments.


It's not like I do this for a living. This is all for 'fun' so I can get a handful of likes on Instagram and feel validated as an 'artist'.

I've been thinking ahead about what I'm going to work on once this terror of an illustration is finished up because heaven forbid I talk myself into MK:Deception. There's a list of projects that I have, but each one at this point is going to require an immense amount of my time and I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to any of them just yet.

The first is remaking Pro Rock Paper Scissors as a non-flash game, something that can actually be played on any device or browser. In addition I'd like to 'recast' the game to add some more ridiculous characters and not rely on the East Valley comic for – hang on, my dog might be throwing up.


Do dogs throw up in their mouths? Is that a thing? What the heck was that... Yeah, we got a boxer last week. His name is Charlie (Brown) and he's awesome. He also freaks me out on a regular basis with either squeaky toys or barking in his sleep or, now, throwing up in his mouth? I literally don't know what else that could have been. It sounded like vomit, but then I looked over and he was just chewing air. Ugh, dogs.

Anyway, Pro Rock Paper Scissors. I'd actually like to create an AI for the game, not just random results - you're not playing the game anymore than you 'play' a slot machine. So that's on the list - seriously what the heck is this freaking dog doing, is that a snort? Did he seriously inhale his own vomit and it's in his nose now? Good lord, Charlie -  I'm thinking the new title will be "Pro Rock Paper Scissors Pro", I really want to drive home the Pro-ness.

Next on the list is actually finishing that freaking fighting game that I've attempted about 5 times now. It's getting done, son! In 2010 I tried to build it out in Flash. It got too complicated, I didn't know what I was doing, I got a job, I got married, I made babies and before I knew it I was on to other things... Then I tried again in 2012. I got a little further, got burned out and gave up. Then I tried again about 2 years ago, this time using GameSalad - I got far, then it turned out Gamesalad sucked and I gave up again. Than this year I attempted it AGAIN, this time using Stencyl. Same. Lots of progress, more than prior attempts, then Stencyl turned out to be wildly limited and I again shut it down. 5th time's a charm, right?

What else... I've got 3 comic ideas, a card game and who knows, maybe I'll start a record label.


So that's where I'm at. New Mortal Kombat illustration in a week or so, then onward to other things...

~ Mark