It’s here (photo novel release)


It’s here.

14 months of work.

51 actors.

7+ script revisions  (meaning hundreds of writing hours for my co-director Lance).

9,647 photos taken (narrowed to hundreds actually used in the final project).

elaborate prop lists, shooting schedules, casting calls, location scouts, budget breakdowns, conference calls, design experiments, and beta reader notes.

joplin undercurrent outtake- lance throws the script away

The Joplin Undercurrent‘ is, hands down, the biggest project I’ve taken on in my career, more elaborate even than ‘Cold Brewed’, the last photonovel project that Lance Schubert and I collaborated on.

Many, many thanks to our producer, Carrie Puffinbarger, and to Patrick and the rest of the team at the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau for believing in Lance & I and trusting us to create an out-of-the-box art/promotional piece for the city of Joplin.

joplin photonovel ch 1106

There are no moving visuals in this piece, only stationary ones, but I know a lot better now what film production feels like. And Lance & I know better how to tell this particular genre of story- the photonovel- as we can now tuck 2 of these things under our belt.

2016 is off to a sweet start.

joplin photonovel outtakes- lance & dena doing makeup

You can read chapters 1-3 in the Joplin Undercurrent right now. More to come as the chapters are dropped digitally, for free, over the next few weeks. You can also catch our last project, Cold Brewed, for free on iTunes for a limited time.

The Joplin Undercurrent




I talked a fair amount about this project earlier last year, but it got to that funny point that I’d worked on it so long I stopped talking about it. Now, almost exactly a year since we started shooting the thing, I’m excited to say it’s here.

The Joplin Undercurrent is a photonovel- a medium originated by Lance Schaubert and myself (beginning with ‘Cold Brewed’, now free on i-Tunes)- that combines words and pictures into a unique cinematic experience (minus the motion).


[above photo is Lance & I ‘on set’, unable to abstain from trying on the legit costumes for a historical scene]

This photo novel was produced by the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, and tells a story for my city- Joplin, Missouri- fusing fiction and reality, history and mystery.

The first installment of the Joplin Undercurrent will be released online on January 19th. That’s NEXT WEEK, guys.

Subsequent chapters will be released for several weeks after this. It’s all free and super easy to follow…just click below to check out the  poster images and to subscribe so you’re the first to see the opening chapters.


For the moment, I’m more than excited to release this set of posters for the project. Design work by the talented Lauren White. Posters feature our leads- Lauden Baker, Kolourz Voss, and Muchengetwa Bgoni.

joplinundercurrentposters-cryptcvb-low resjoplinundercurrentposters-geocvb_lowresjoplinundercurrentposters-kidcvb_low res

Back in the saddle…

Hey all!

If you follow this blog, you’ll have noticed that it remained rather quiet the last couple of months… some stuff about Santa, and that’s about it.

It was for that ironic reason of simply being too busy.

Being busy. It’s the American way, I suppose. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like our default, small talk response to ‘how are you’ has moved from ‘good!’ to


Like having so much to do that you literally feel insane is some kind of badge of honor that we’re all scrambling to wear…


I wasn’t scrambling to wear it, but wear the badge I did. It’s like that old Joe Walsh song says, ‘I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do…’ Being that insanely busy was good for business sure, and I’m certainly blessed by that business, but it was more than a little exhausting and it admittedly kept me from some things I really value.

Things like, creating personal work, spending more time with family, being healthy, and, of course, updating this blog with what’s going on and what’s ahead.
I just finished out 2 full weeks off- time to recover, rest, come face-to-face with everything that gets pushed down after months of being in “survival mode”, and come out the other side feeling a lot more like myself again.

If you haven’t done that in awhile- take time- you might be straying from your own big picture.  The best part is, the more you feel like you don’t have time to take that break, the more you probably need it.


stop social media
stop being in meetings

stop working
stop wrapping yourself up in the details to the extent you can’t see the big picture
stop running from the things you don’t want to look at it in your own heart

stop obsessing
stop being so busy that you can’t even sit down with a book


if you can’t stop for a bit, your soul goes a little sour. We just aren’t meant to run that much without taking a rest. We lose sight of who we are and what we actually care about, until we reach a point where we don’t care about anything.

I care again. It’s nice.

But that’s enough about that… so…

W’sup, 2016? 

I’m excited about this year. Goal #1 was just to slow down. Listen to see what God is telling me. I’ve done some of that.

So as for what’s next… here’s a quick summary of a couple of things  I can tell you  about for 9art/Mark 9 in 2016.


Yep. For you guys who followed my best friend Lance & I when we made ‘Cold Brewed’… we made another one, produced by the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau. My biggest project to date. More about that tomorrow…


#2: ‘COLD BREWED’ is now FREE

For those who didn’t get a chance to read ‘Cold Brewed’ the first time around, it’s now available for completely 100% FREE on i-tunes. The only catch is that you have to have an apple device (i-pad, macbook, i-phone) to look at it. If you don’t have one, see who can borrow from for an hour or two so you can read through it. 🙂

cold brewed film noir photonovel_0008

#3:  MARK N photography COMING SOON

I’d touched briefly on this last year… I’ve spent some time working on an entirely new business presence that focuses on the commercial/fine art photography portion of my business. The blog you are reading now will, in fact, eventually move over to the new website being created for this. Can’t wait to show it all to you guys.

joplin mo artist portraits by 9art photography10

(this photo, btw, is not me, it’s my fellow photography buddy Brian, and still one of my favorite portraits).


One thing I did make time for late last year was to have a couple of conversations with fellow artists in other mediums, about the possibility of collaborating. So far, I have 2 new projects lined up for this year that I think are going to be incredibly fun and push my artistic limits. I didn’t plan on them happening at all- they just fell into place in that beautifully obvious kind of way.

I’ll keep you posted on these as they unfold.

artists as superheroes concept series from fine art and commercial photographer 9art in joplin mo2


I won’t dwell on this one bc this post isn’t meant to be an ad. But just to let you all know, I am beginning to book sessions again, for 2016- I’ll get back to shooting as usual next week. If you’re interested in setting up a shoot for your family, business, or wedding- or if you’d even just like to sit down soon over coffee to brainstorm about working together in the future- I’d love to talk to you.