While The Barrow marks his first published prose novel, Mark Smylie has worked as a writer, illustrator, editor, and publisher for over a decade.
His epic military fantasy comic book, Artesia, was first published by Sirius Entertainment in 1999. Mark was nominated for the Russ Manning Award for Best Newcomer that year, and for an Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in 2001. His illustrations have appeared in works from Wizards of the Coast (for Dungeons & Dragons), White Wolf (for Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse), Brigand Publishing (for Avlis), Kobold Press (Kobold Quarterly and the Midgard Campaign Setting), and collectible card games from AEG (L5R and Warlords). He contributed a short story to the Eisner-Award winning Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard anthology; designed and illustrated a roleplaying game based on Artesia that won the Origins Award for Role-Playing Game of 2006, three Indie RPG Awards, and was nominated for six ENnies; contributed art and illustrations to Tony Caputo’s Visual Storytelling: The Art and Technique and to Buddy Scalera’s Visual Reference for Comic Artists vol 3; and been selected for the annual Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art publication. Mark collaborated with filmmaker Hidetoshi Oneda on the script to the short film La Belle Dame Sans Merci, based on the poem by John Keats, which won Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Film at the first Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. Recently he contributed an essay on Artesia and religion to Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels, published by Continuum International Publishing.