Mark Kalesniko

Works

OCD
A new 32 page story.



The fear of leaving home.

Tarantula
A 40 page Alex story.

Alex's worst fear just crawled in.


Uncle Bob
A Remembrance Day story.

Not all casualities ended when the war stopped.



Overpass
A three page Alex story.




Freeway
Alex Kalienka is in an awful jam.
Literally, a traffic jam — but figuratively, his whole life is a mess. A dream job turned nightmare at the biggest animation studio in the world. A love affair that is not what he imagined. And possibly someone with a life-threatening grudge against him...
In his first new graphic novel since 2001’s acclaimed Mail Order Bride, Mark Kalesniko compresses an entire life into a single day as the frustrated animator, stewing on a pitiless California freeway, alternately rages, reminisces, fantasizes, and hallucinates — intercut with a series of imagined moments from two generations ago, the Golden Age of animation, when an earlier Alex made his entry into a much different professional world.
Loaded with fascinating insider gossip and historical details on two different eras of animators, skipping seamlessly among the present and several different pasts, reality and fantasy, Freeway is another step forward for a major cartooning talent.


Mail Order Bride
This adept look at life after a Korean mail order bride arrives to meet her Canadian husband defies anyone who has an opinion (but no experience) regarding the little-understood world of mail order marriages.

Monty Wheeler, a pathetic, emasculated, 39-year-old virgin struggling with his own societal demons, expects Kyung Seo to fulfill his female Asian fantasy stereotype: obedient, hardworking and loyal. But Kyung, tall and accent-less, is much more human that Monty is ready to accept. Kyung soon finds, in addition to predictable dissatisfaction with her husband’s inane expectations, outspoken inspiration in Eve Wong, a western-born Asian woman. Could Eve be Kyung’s ticket to rebellious self-fulfillment, or do her actions not always ring true?

Through exploration of art, passion, identity and rebellion, the reader must ponder strength and cowardice while Kyung herself fights a potent war between independence and safety. Kalesniko adroitly juxtaposes Monty’s non-sexual, juvenile obsessions with the character’s objectification of Kyung, drawing a direct line between loneliness, consumerism, and the need for order in one’s life compromises the approach to matters of the heart.

Selected Works

Short Stories
A new 32 page Alex story. The fear of leaving home.
A 40 page Alex story. Alex's worst fear just crawled in.
Not all casualities ended when the war stopped.
A three page Alex story.
Graphic Novels
While stuck in a traffic jam, Alex Kalienka daydreams about his live, his past and his fantasies. "Freeway will inevitably place high on many critic's year's best lists." --The Miami Herald "The book's subject matter is dishy, the design is bright, and Kalesniko has a flair for slapstick-y visual gags." --The Onion AV Club
"Kalesniko doesn't mince words as he explores issues of race, morality, passion, and identity."
--The Arizona Republic

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