Thirty-five years ago, come next weekend, cartoonist Mark Parisi began self-syndicating a weekly comic panel he titled “off the mark” which everyone, through force of habit, capitalizes to Off the Mark.
Next Saturday, Sept. 10, Gloucester cartoonist Mark Parisi celebrates 35 years of syndication of his cartoon panel “Off the Mark.”
Back when he was 26, he’d sold his first cartoon for $25 to Selma Williams, then editor of the North Shore Weekly in Ipswich. and that, he says, “made me believe I really could be a cartoonist.” He’d always, for as long as he could remember, wanted to be a cartoonist, he says, and “couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t want to be one too.”
Back then, Parisi — who’d majored in commercial art and minored in media communications at Salem State — was working at a printing company in Lynn, where he’d spend every spare minute “cartooning.”
According to Allan Holtz Off the Mark was a weekly panel from 1987 to 1991, in 1991
it became a daily panel – all the while syndicated by Mark’s own Atlantic Syndicate.
Twenty years ago yesterday Mark signed with Universal Press Syndicate
(now Andrews McMeel Syndication) to distribute the panel to newspapers.
Mark celebrates two Off the Mark anniversaries this September.