I’m Mary Claire Marck, and I’m an illustrator living in Illinois. I grew up reading comics such as Tintin, Calvin and Hobbes, Prince Valiant, and Little Nemo in Slumberland and eventually decided that I wanted to share my own narratives through sequential art.
I first began doodling my comics on notebook paper when I was about 14, and I was inspired by manga such as Fruits Basket. Although I filled many pages with comic panels, I never saw it as more than a hobby. In my late teens, I began studying art more seriously. As my classical training progressed (with figure drawing and still life painting), I drew comics less and less. I attended Illinois Central College, where I won a handful of small awards such as “Best in Show” and “Best in Painting.” I also hosted a couple of solo exhibitions where I managed to sell several pieces.
But ultimately, I felt like my paintings didn’t fully carry the stories that I wanted to share. Around this time, I discovered webcomics such as Unsounded, Plume, The Dreamer, and Stand Still Stay Silent. I was amazed by the unique yet universal qualities of these comics, but I was also inspired by watching the artists/writers who shared so much about their process. I had never seen a comic come to life in such a way, and thanks to the internet, I was able to witness it almost firsthand.
Over the last 5 or 6 years, I attempted comic-making in a variety of forms, with a variety of stories. Each time, I felt like the story lacked any kind of meaning for myself. But in 2017, I decided I would produce a finished comic of 25 pages just to see if I was able. I chose a story I wrote back in 2004, one that I still felt a lot of fondness for. I wrote and illustrated the pages, simple black and white art, and began posting them to SmackJeeves. Seeing the whole body of work convinced me that I wanted nothing more than to continue making comics.
Fast-forward to today: I’ve inked over 100 pages, plus bonus pages and various character illustrations. My comic received an Honorable Mention from the 2018 Webtoons Discover contest, as well as an Editor’s Pick in January 2019. My hope is to continue producing comics that touch the hearts of my readers and inspire them to pursue greatness, no matter the obstacles. I plan to conclude my current comic by early 2020, and then launch a new series around the same time.