Dallas Voice cartoonist nominated for important award


Movies have Oscar, theaters have Tony, even scifi writers have Hugo. But comic artists? Well, they have Harvey. The Harvey Awards have been around for about 10 years, and recognize artists, writers, letterers, colorists and all the folks who turn pencil drawings and ideas into works of art, political commentary, humor and more. There are 21 categories, like best syndicated strip or panel (nominees this year include Pearls Before Swine and Zippy the Pinhead),best artist (with Batman and Daredevil in the running) and best online comic (including Berke Breathed and Mark Stokes).

Wait a second… Berke Breathed, legendary Texan and creator of the recently revived Bloom County… is up against… Mark Stokes?

harvey-logo-nomineeStokes, as regular readers of Dallas Voice know, contributes regularly here with his Drawing Dallas Sketches, profiling ordinary North Texans in amazingly accurate caricatures. (He also designed the Ask Howard author logo.) But Mark also has an online comic strip called Zombie Boy (we wrote about his Kickstarter campaign a few years ago). And it’s his work there that has landed him a coveted slot as a finalist for this year’s Harvey Awards, which will be presented Saturday during Baltimore Comic-Con.

“Win or lose, just being nominated it a real honor,” Mark told me about the thrill of being in the running. “It’s a slightly unreal feeling — this [recognition] is something I’ve  wanted since I started creating comics back in the 1980s.”

We’re just excited to know one of our friends is getting a shout-out for work he’s done… then again, we’ve known about his talent for a long time. Fingers crossed, Mark!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

­Drawing Dallas • 08.12.16

DannyRose_FNL_3Artist Danny Rose may not be bound for Broadway, but he lives for his art

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Danny Rose, 27.

Spotted at: Cityplace

Occupation: Painter

Born in Charleston, S.C., Danny spent his formative years “on the edge of the world,” as he says — in Blair and Altus, Okla. The only son (with four sisters) of industrious parents, Danny expressed an early interest in art. At 17, he was accepted at the Dallas Art Institute where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art.

After a few years working odd jobs, Danny found a position teaching art and design in South Asia. He visited several different countries, including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, and learned to speak Indonesian. He returned to the U.S. one year ago, and settled here in Dallas.

About coming out. “I’m always coming out in a continual discovery of myself,” he says. “I’m a little bit strange. I’m happy to be strange.” He admits he wants to become more involved and be more connected to queer culture and the LGBTQ community. “I’m a maker/artist. I’m doing what’s best for me. You should, too.”

Travel helps. And meditation, which he does every day. It helps him calm his mind, alleviate anxiety and keep track of his thoughts. “My art is a form of meditation. It keeps me from going to a dark place.”

Making art: The landscapes and colors of Indonesia have inspired some of his work. He is represented by Galleri Urbane Dallas + Marfa. The focus of his recent work is the exploration of different Inner and Outer Landscapes. Danny’s first solo exhibition, titled The Sun Shines Blue, opened at Galleri Urbane in June.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Drawing Dallas

Luis_FNL_Luis de la Fuente mixes a keen business sense with a passion for fun

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Luis de la Fuente, 26.

Spotted at: Bowser Avenue with Rolo, his 2-year-old Anatolian Shepherd.

Occupation: Real estate agent.

Entrepreneurial spirit: Born and raised in Dallas, this self-proclaimed “mutt” is the son of a Mexican national and a Persian mother. He is the middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. Reared in an entrepreneurial family (his parents own and operate Scalini’s Italian Restaurant in Lakewood), Luis has owned his own food truck, been on the board of directors for an Olympic sprinter’s online training business and is currently developing an event-based social media app.

Luis has an MBA in finance and strategy from Southern Methodist University and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. He pursues real estate in order to have the freedom to pursue some of his other interests and businesses. (If you or someone you know is looking for a new home, visit Luis at RighteousHomes.net.)

Fun and free: When he is not pursuing his business ventures, Luis enjoys playing soccer, lifting weights, playing guitar, composing music, singing and cooking! His favorite dish is cold-cooked salmon ceviché.

Passionate, romantic, independent and philanthropic are words you can use to describe this stylish, handsome young go-getter. Luis also enjoys traveling. Some of his destinations have included Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Iran, Spain, France and Germany. Future travel plans include Australia and Japan.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Dallas Voice contributor launches Kickstarter campaign

This could be you!

If you’ve read Dallas Voice’s print edition over the last seven years or so, you’ve certainly noticed the work of our regular illustrator, Mark Stokes. Mark draws the Sketches we publish — his latest will be out tomorrow — for what we headline Drawing Dallas. But the work he does for us isn’t all Mark does artistically. He’s also written a comic strip called Zombie Boy. And he’d like to share his creations with a wider audience.

So this week, Mark launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to publish a compilation of his first 200 strips in book form. To get the book published, he only needs about $7,000 and he’s already about $2,000 on his way. As with most Kickstarted campaigns, there are perks to pledging, from a copy and a “thank-you” (by name) printed in the acknowledgements of the book (just 10 bucks!) to original art and having yourself cartoonized as a character in Zombie Boy.

We like Mark around here for his skills and creativity, and you can become a part of it as well. Considering contributing! But hurry up — the campaign has 26 days left, and if he doesn’t raise everything he’s looking for, he gets no pledges!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drawing Dallas • 02.10.12

JaQuanFNL_2Lanky dreamboat LaQuan Brown is the ideal Valentine

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: LaQuan Brown, 18

Occupation: Student

Spotted at: Target Cityplace

At 6-feet-5, slender, romantic dreamboat LaQuan catches eyes everywhere he goes. A creamy blend of two cultures — his mother is of Dutch descent, his father is African-American — LaQuan certainly stands out in any crowd. His exotic and handsome look recently captured the attention of a modeling scout for Krave magazine, a fashion, lifestyle and entertainment publication for men of color; he was recently selected to model for an upcoming issue.

This intelligent and contemplative Scorpio was born in Oak Cliff and raised throughout Dallas. He enjoys outdoor sports of all kinds, including (predictably) basketball, but also running and taking contemplative walks. He’s also talented at freestyling, and can rap about any subject on the spur of the moment.

LaQuan’s career goal is to obtain a doctorate in psychology, and eventually become a therapist/counselor for at-risk teens.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas • 01.13.12

With a unique history and varied interests, life for Moses Herrera is an adventure

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

MosesFNL_3Name and age: Moses Herrera, 27

Occupation: Hotel industry strategy and revenue management/talent scout for an entertainment company

Spotted at: Hunky’s on the Strip
This handsome, outgoing New Orleans native is the eldest of four brothers, the offspring of an Italian mother and a Spanish father. A charismatic Libra, Moses spent 10 years living in Prague with his family, an experience that opened his eyes to other cultures and set the stage for his future travels.

Decadent past: He attended college at Johnson and Wells in Denver, majoring in marketing with a minor in leadership. His career brought him to NOLA when he attended Southern Decadence, which changed his life. Moses grew to love the circuit and was an active participant for many years. These days his work requires him to travel, he’s been to every state in the union, except Alaska. He also donates his time to fundraising for the youth program of the Montrose Counseling Center, and for 11 years has served on the board of the National Restaurant and Hotel Lodging Association’s Prostart Program, which teaches high school students about the hospitality industry.

Staying healthy: Moses enjoys working out, yoga, cycling, kayaking … and cooking. He has an affinity for Italian and Spanish dishes, which he loves to prepare for his friends. An avid thespian, he appeared in numerous musicals, including Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Lion King. He shares his life with Coco, an American cocker spaniel.

Favorite quote: “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas 12.30.11

As the New Year begins, some things remain the same — like the reliable Mario Sulit, a fixture at Hunky’s for 15 years


MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Mario Sulit, 52

Occupation: Manager at Hunky’s Old Fashioned
Hamburgers on the Strip

Spotted at: Hunky’s.

Will you have fries with that? This handsome and vivacious gentleman was born in El Salvador to a Filipino father and an Italian mother. He came to the U.S. at age 14 and has made Dallas his home for the past 30 years. Many people may know Mario from his 15 years behind the counter at Hunky’s at the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs — a job he loves. Most of his customers feel like family, and he’s very grateful for them.

You might spot Mario riding around on his Honda Metropolitan Scooter, his signature vehicle. On rainy days he drives a black Jeep Wrangler, what he calls “the gayest car in the car universe.”

Namaste: Mario is obsessed with yoga, sometimes practicing up to 10 times a week. He is also a self-taught chef/home cook. His favorite cuisines are Italian and French.  He loves to travel and spend time with his friends and family. His immediate family is spread all over the place, so his vacations consist mainly of family visits.

Next stop: Peru!

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas • 11.25.11

As ‘Twilight’ returns, Skylar Brooks shows blood sucking can be a service

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Skylar Brooks, 24

Occupation: Testing coordinator, Resource Center Dallas, and shift manager, Starbucks

Spotted at: Exxon on the Run at Maple and Oak Lawn

A twinkle in her unbelievably pale blue eyes and an effervescent smile are the first things you notice about this fine Virgo. Born in Monroe, La., and raised in Euless and Bedford, the perpetually positive Skylar considers herself a clown and a jokester — smiles and laughter come to her quite freely. She came out at 16.

She loves the nightlife. Skylar loves to dance, and her freestyle moves on the floor have garnered her three “dance off” wins at Station 4. She also loves to sing, especially R&B (Brian McKnight is a favorite). She auditioned for American Idol last year, and while she didn’t get through, says she’s determined to try again. Her love of music and dance is hereditary: Her mother was on the drill team and danced ballet, and her father plays drums and the trumpet and loves to belt out a song.

In addition to indoor activities, she plays midfield and forward in a local soccer league, and basketball for fun. Skylar loves to travel, she has a special affinity for the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Bahamas).

Enter love  “Three months in, I knew she was the one,” says Skylar of her fiancé, Shereen, whom she met through mutual friends 18 months ago; they have a wedding set in Vermont next June. Both of their families are excited for them.

Skylar’s goal is to become a surgical technician. Her motto: “I help people one blood draw at a time.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Drawing Dallas

Former Houstonian Kerman Sykes calls Dallas home, but Jamaica looms large

SketchMARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Kerman Sykes, 23

Occupation: Student at UNT majoring in music education; part-time dancer at Zippers

Spotted at: Kroger on the Strip
Tall, handsome Kerman Sykes brings a little Caribbean breeze to the great state of Texas. Born in Huntsville to a Jamaican mother and American father, Kerman spent his early years in Kingston, Jamaica, until his family moved back to the States when he was 3.

Making music. His phenomenal natural singing talent has won him numerous regional and state choir championships and garnered him a full scholarship to Sam Houston for vocal/music. R&B and soul are favorites, and he is inspired by R. Kelly and Beyonce.

Sports play a big role in his life. Basketball is his sport of choice, and he has competed in the annual Sprite Basketball Tournament for the last several years. Kerman also spends time focusing on his fitness: He works out three times a week and it shows.

Kerman came out unexpectedly at age 15 when a girlfriend caught him in a precarious situation with the quarterback of his high school football team. If you have to come out, that’s a pretty spectacular way of doing it!

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 28, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas: Cesar

Budding design student Cesar Augusto Fuerte blends his leather fetish with fashion underwear

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Cesar Augusto Fuerte, 22

Spotted at: Walmart Market on Central Expressway

Occupation: Full-time student, part-time fabric retail

This exquisite Taurus is a full-time student at UNT, studying fashion design and fashion merchandising with a minor in international business. Cesar demonstrated an early talent in art, with a knack for drawing and a keen eye for color. His interest in life drawing led him to consider another creative outlet, fashion design. Cesar’s long-term goal is to design men’s wear, concentrating on men’s underwear. Cesar already designs and sews his own underwear. He gets a secret thrill out of attending conservative events knowing that underneath his dress clothes, he’s wearing provocative skivvies.

The eldest of three brothers, Cesar emigrated from Michoacana, Mexico, with his family when he was very young. His youthful countenance and his friend’s constant referral to him as a “kid” inspired Cesar to play up that boy role and he often dresses up as a school boy or cub scout when he goes out on the town.

Cesar came out formally when he was 16. “Since I came to terms with my homosexuality, I’ve learned to appreciate all types of gay people.” He was in the talented and gifted program at a magnet high school, where his creativity was allowed to flourish. He was vice president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Denton in his junior year, and president his senior year.

He enjoys dancing and socializing. He is a member of the Fashionistas, a non-profit group that helps out up-and- coming designers with parties and charity events. He has also worked behind the scenes with DIFFA for several years as a stylist working with Jan Strimple.

Cesar, like the Emperor. Don’t let his boyish looks deceive you: This tantalizing young man is neither shy nor submissive. He enjoys the look and feel of leather, and finds something empowering about wearing it. He had a “leather and lace” party on his 21st birthday, attended by many of his friends wearing one or the other.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens