“Shrimpy and Paul” by Mark Bell

Mark Bell, “Shrimpy and Paul” page 1, 1999

Marc Bell (born 1971) is a Canadian cartoonist whose work comes out of the small press/minicomics tradition, starting in the mid-90s. While many of his older peers in Canadian alternative comics were pioneers of painfully honest autobiography, Bell's comics have always been much more fantastic, His dense, image-filled pages are filled with art that equally recalls the "screwball" comic strips of the 1920s and 1930s and the paintings of the Hairy Who artists like Jim Nutt and Karl Wirsum. He creates worlds that operate with their own inner logic--a quality I think his comics share with those of Ron Regé, Jr. and Jim Woodring.

Bell has two giant collections in print as well as several out of print but easy-to-find books. In addition to being a cartoonist, Bell is a gallery artist whose work was exhibited at Lawndale Art Center in 2011.