I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mark Andrews

Colossus was first published in 2000 by Crazyfish. I read it and was blown away by the scope and audacity of the story. It was epic. I had not met its creator then. Shortly after I joined Pixar a certain production with an adjective that usually precedes the word, "Hulk" was starting to crew up. A story supervisor was brought in to do Story Supervising on that golden production. It was then that I came face to face with the force of nature that is Mark Andrews.

Mark talks to you as if he's trying to drown out an F5 class tornado behind him--and winning. It was all clear to me now. Mark had done the book straight ahead, pen and marker--just did it. I'll find out later that that is the only mode on the "Mandrews," as he's sometimes called here, operates. Straight ahead. More like, blasting through. I suspect that he consumes plutonium pills.

A sample page. Sneak peek at the new Colossus.

Well, the occasion of this post is that he is re-doing Colossus. Yep. A book that is done and working well and great, he's re-doing. Originally at 120 some pages Mark is going for more pages. Can't blame the guy. He can, after all, do it. Once he sets his mind to it, it's a foregone conclusion. If any of you have seen the storyboards done on The Incredibles, you'll know that he wrangled that monster job (20,656 story frames) and set the tone (as well as do a ton of the boards himself), and if there was any wavering it was never apparent. So, doing a comic book of nearly two hundred pages in record time is a mere mortal walk in the park.

Brad Kick-ass-and-tell-it-like-it-is Bird on the right and Mark Blood-n'-Guts Andrews on the left. A rare docile moment for those two. Must've been after Sunday mass.

An entry on Powells.com about Colossus.

Winds heavy with mist and lands shaped by times unimaginable set the stage for COLOSSUS, a being forged of metal...and something far, far more! From the Annie Award-winning storyboard artist of THE IRON GIANT, this tale of intrigue and adventure is sure to ignite the imaginations of fantasy lovers everywhere, as the intense ferocity of medieval battle engulfs the life of a wayward hero for hire. It`s the yearning for complete humanity that drives Colossus to work, and eventually to all-out war, against the tyrannical overlords of the medieval world he calls home. Creatures of the occult and beasts of legend hamper his existence, but it`s an existence through which he`s committed to persevere! With a pin-up gallery featuring Mike Mignola, Troy Nixey, Scott Morse, and others, COLOSSUS is presented here in one hefty volume destined to reign as a favorite on any bookshelf.

This is just three pages in. Mayhem is still in the offing

He is chasing a deadline that will put him in a table at San Diego Comic-con this summer hawking a brand spankin' new version of his opus. I'm thinking you all ought to know to find him and get a signed copy. In the meantime he's hard at work. In the mornings when I still had an office near him I would holler at his solid mass looming over his dwarfed Cintiq, "Mark!" He knows what I'm asking.

"Page one hundred thirty!"

I'll skip a day or a week. Then remember to poke my head in.

"Page one hundred forty-five!"

"Page one hundred sixty-one!"

He's closing in on his printer's deadline. Like this was ever in question. I had agreed to do a pin-up for him and if my process is like most of you, I'll agonize over it over some days and change my mind a dozen times. One drawing. And each day I can hear Mark tighten his grip on that story, now expanded to have a proper prologue and story expansions to add to an already satisfying whole, his grin getting wider.

"Page one hundred sixty-six!"

No tornadoes about. Just Mark.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the first picture... It looks like from Mignola...

6:36 AM

Blogger roque said...

Wow...I can't WAIT. After seeing his work on the Incredibles, I thought "this dude should do comics!" This is going high on the San Diego list for me (and Mark is going high on the "I-hate-you-and-your-talent" list). Thanks for the sneak peek!

9:50 AM

Blogger oneorangegiraffe said...

You big jerk, Mark this looks great. When the hell do we get copies!

2:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I L-O-V-E that kind of work ethic in animation. Story work is very often compared to going to war(as I'm told), Mark Andrews is a general that this story art private would follow into any fray any day. I can not wait to get this book.

2:36 PM

Blogger Chad Kerychuk said...

That photo of Mark and Brad...Mark's pants look a little like the ones in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode...or maybe he's just really happy to see Mr. Bird again!

Colussus looks great! The first image does indeed look like Mignola piece. Perhaps that's the pinup he did?

If I don't make it to San Diego, I'm going to try and track this book down. Thanks for continuing to bring us fantastic recommendations Ronnie!

3:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Steven Ng and myself were fortunate enough to attend a presentation by Marc Andrews/Andrew Jimenez at the Cartoon Art Museum last year on story boarding and animatronics (mispell) for the Spiderman Movie. Marc was like Emeril Lagasse describing the storyboard process and spicing it up hot chili peppers - "Bang". You can tell that the man is passionate and driven. I can't wait to see this comic. He left is mark not only in the "Incredibles" but "Clone Wars", "Iron Giant" and "Samurai Jack". There is a lot cooking in the Andrews' kitchen.


5:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be interested to see this. I liked the first version I bought of this a couple of years ago.


8:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark is a force of nature ...


11:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark is a force of nature ...


11:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a force that I needed to say it twice !


11:39 AM

Blogger Jon McNally said...

Loved COLOSSUS the first time around. Looking forward the new edition!

12:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great blog entry Ronnie.

Wow, I am impressed with Mark Andrews. I've enjoyed his storyboarding work (didn't even know he'd worked on Jack and Clone Wars, both awesome). So on this recommendation, I'm going to seek out this first Colossus, and hopefully get the reworked edition once that's out.

Seems a super-talented guy with an unstoppable work ethic, great stuff.

4:12 PM

Blogger Brian said...

Hi Ronnie,

I had dinner with Jamie Baker tonight and he mentioned "some guy" you and he were working with who was working on this 200 page magnum opus.

The only info I caught was the name "Colossus", the spot on storytelling, the page a night madness. I figured I would come over here and see if you had mentioned him and lo and behold it's at the top of the blog.

Crikey, if he wasn't telling the truth. Those pages are a beauty to behold. I too will be attending SDCC and securing my own copy.

DAMN! It's astounding how much one person can do in a 16 hour period. Full time at Pixar and another full day at night. I'm not worthy.

10:44 PM

Blogger Rick Cortes said...

This comment is way late, but anyway...I just pulled this book out again to re-read it and decided to do a search for him on the ol' internet. Your blog post is the first thing that popped up. I had no idea it was the same guy you get to work with. That's totally cool. Tell 'im I said he rocks the house. If you ever see this post. :)


1:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Mark has always been this way. Full steam ahead in whatever it was he set out to do. I should know, I'm the mom.


1:24 PM


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