I may have mentioned before (just once or twice) that my artist friend Mark/LeMat is going from strength to strength these days. Excitement overload last week as I bought issue 222 of Interzone, the first to feature his artwork, though apparently not the last, as he’s already busy on his next illustration for them. In my view (and I don’t think I’m alone here) if you make it into the pages of Interzone, then you know you’ve arrived (or you’re walking up the path to the front door, anyway). If we assume this applies as much to artists as it does to writers then we could consider Mark to have broken through some kind of threshold now, from small-press comics to the Great Beyond.
In typical self-deprecating fashion (typical if you know him, obviously, and unless you’re my friend D, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you probably don’t), Mark refuses to declare his triumphs in public in case anyone thinks he’s bragging. So while he’ll mention in a picture description on his deviantArt page that the painting was done for a book cover or for Interzone, he won’t list his successes anywhere as a whole. As a poor attempt at crowing from the web-based rooftops on his behalf, his artwork (including comic strips he wrote rather than illustrated for someone) has appeared in: 2000AD fanzines Dogbreath and Zarjaz, Violent! and the Girly Comic (including the latest Violent! cover), Shroud magazine (and the cover for a forthcoming Shroud book), Morpheus Tales, and is in the next issue of fantasy art magazine Imagine FX (which as he keeps pointing out, is even available in Tesco). A band have asked if they can use his art on their stage backdrop, someone wants to get a tattoo from one of his pictures, and more homes than mine and OneMonkey’s now house LeMat prints. I know I’ve forgotten a few things from the list, and there are probably some I don’t even know about, but you get the general idea.
I have an ulterior motive in all this I guess: the storyboard of his graphic novelisation of my Boys Don’t Cry is all but complete, with luck and a good supply of chocolate biscuits we’ll be ready to print by Christmas. You heard it here first.