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Frank Mark Darden

Frank dreamed of being an author since age eight. As a kid he developed a passion for comics while reading Mickey Mouse, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Richie Rich. However, his parents forbid him from buying comics after his sister told them his copy of Batman 404 contained adult subject matter. At the time he didn’t notice the comic’s adult theme, he just saw Batman fighting to help a woman in trouble. Undeterred, he hid comics in his bedroom and read them in secret. To this day he is still an avid comic reader.

With his first comic, When Claws Was Cool, Mark hopes to bridge the gap between adult humor and family entertainment, and to bring readers the same joy that comics brought him as a child. The comic’s title is based upon an early comic story he wrote where a group of super-heroes hold spoof auditions to recruit a hero with claws. When Claw Were Cool has become a series of what-if scenarios characterized by events from Mark’s life, childhood heroes, and social media influences.

His main character Guano Guy, is a self-serving, self-promoter whose only real goal is to get rich selling his brand of Guano Guy products. For Guano being a superhero is the ultimate celebrity status and saving people is merely a means of establishing his brand. However, with his natural gift for harassing criminals, he has occasional moments of redemption and service to the greater good.

Originally from Florida, Mark now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He served nine years in the military before returning to school for graphic design. He has two dogs, a black lab mix named Tiffy and Sheba-inu mix named Tammy. He loves watching NBA basketball and enjoys swimming, board games, and action/adventure video games.

Ashby Utting

Ashby here! I also started reading comics at a young age, and the first thing I ever wanted to be was a cartoonist! Then something got in the way and I wanted to be an actor, fine artist, tattoo artist, bartender etc. Then I started reading Hellboy, and soon I was reinvigorated to create comics!

My life all came together when I met my lovely lady, CarrieAnn Jones. I went to school and got a first class arty education and majored in Comic Art at MCAD! Shortly after that Frank contacted me and I drew my first picture of Guano Guy! It’s been a great collaboration ever since!

We’re constantly thinking of ways to make When Claws Were Cool ever more enjoyable. We hope you stick around and let us know what you think!