Journalist. Asbury Park Press, NJ, writer and designer.
First-place awards for critical writing, New Jersey Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists, New Jersey chapter, both 2004.
Hero Gets Girl! The Life and Art of Kurt Schaffenbgerger, photos by Kathy Voglesong, TwoMorrows (Raleigh, NC), 2003.
The Dark Age: Grim, Great & Gimmicky Post-modern Comics, photos by Kathy Voglesong, TwoMorrows (Raleigh, NC), 2006.
Author of Voger's Blog; author of the "PAGE X" and "CELEBS" columns for Asbury Park Press.
Mark Voger is a journalist working for the Asbury Park Press, a newspaper that circulates in New Jersey's Monmouth and Ocean counties and is the second largest in the state. Voger works as a writer and designer for the periodical, which is under the stewardship of Gannett Company. The Neptune-based periodical had a reputation for having a popular comics section on Sundays and carrying full pages of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant and half-pages of Russ Manning's Tarzan and Star Wars series. Voger writes the retro-pop culture "PAGE X" page and the "CELEBS" celebrity gossip and fashion column on Sunday. His work has won design awards from the Society for News Design, and in 2004 he won first place for critical writing from the New Jersey Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, New Jersey chapter.
Voger published his second book, The Dark Age: Grim, Great & Gimmicky Post-modern Comics, in 2006. Inclusive of photos by Kathy Voglesong, the book shares insight on a collection of comics from the film noir tradition of comic books of the 1980s. These comics often feature rough and aggressive heroes who may have mysterious or flawed pasts. In addition to his own commentary, Voger includes interviews from comic artists and writers and compiles artwork from those comics.
Lance Victor Eaton, reviewing the book on the BookLoons Web site, commented that "the funniest and most enjoyable part of the book can be found towards the end in the top ten listings." Eaton concluded that "whether you despise these times or embrace them, The Dark Age will remind you in great detail of the world of comics as we knew it." Jason Sacks, reviewing the book in the Comics Bulletin, remarked that "on the whole this is a fun book. I really enjoyed Voger's explorations into Dark Age clichés, and his ‘Ten Most Important’ and ‘Ten Most Ludicrous’ lists are fun and sure to be controversial. The Dark Age might not be quite as good as many TwoMorrows books, but it is still wonderfully entertaining." A contributor writing in the Midwest Book Review "strongly recommended" the book "for comic and graphic novel buffs with an interest in the" period. Another contributor to the Midwest Book Review wrote that the book "is not to be missed by any comics fan." Booklist contributor Gordon Flagg mentioned that The Dark Age "offers a fascinating look back at a still-influential era when comics enjoyed a boom in gloom."
Voger told CA: "Warren Publishing magazines from the 1960s, such as Famous Monsters of Filmland and Creepy, first got me interested in writing.
"I am probably influenced by reading the New Yorker every week.
"In terms of my writing process, I just do it every day. I've been ‘in the zone’ for thirty years. It's a wonderful place to be.
"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that no matter how obscure the subject, someone out there is fanatical about it.
"My first book, Hero Gets Girl! The Life and Art of Kurt Schaffenbgerger, is my favorite because I believe it achieved an intimacy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2006, Gordon Flagg, review of The Dark Age: Grim, Great & Gimmicky Postmodern Comics, p. 42.
Comics Bulletin, February 15, 2006, Jason Sacks, review of The Dark Age.
Midwest Book Review, April 1, 2006, review of The Dark Age; May 1, 2006, review of The Dark Age.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (July 8, 2008), Lance Victor Eaton, review of The Dark Age.