Mark Kalesniko, born and raised in Trail, British Columbia, started his art career studying at the David Thompson University Center in Nelson, B.C. In 1981, Kalesniko relocated to California to study at the California Institute of the Arts. After receiving his B.F.A. in Character Animation, he worked in the animation industry as a layout artist. Projects he has worked on include The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Mulan, and Atlantis, all for Disney.
By the 1990s Kalesniko branched out professionally into adult-themed comics and graphic novels. His first, “Adolf Hears A Who” (1991), an eight page story about Hitler’s last minutes in his bunker, was published by Fantagraphics Books in the anthology Pictopia. Fantagraphics later published the one-shot comic S.O.S. (1992), the story of an Asian girl lost at sea; Alex (1994), about an alcoholic ex- animator who moves back to his home town; Why Did Pete Duel Kill Himself? (1997), the story of young Alex dealing with the death of his favorite actor; and finally Mail Order Bride (2001), which focused on interracial relationships.
Alex, Pete Duel and Mail Order Bride were also published in French language editions by Paquet Editions and Mail Order Bride also was published in a Spanish language edition by Ponent Mon.
He recently completed Freeway, the story of Alex’s life in Los Angeles, for a January 2011 release. (Alex, the original comics series, was released as a graphic novel in 2006.) Kalesniko lives in Glendale, California with his wife and fellow layout artist, Jennifer Yuan.