Mark Kalesniko, born and raised in Trail, B.C., 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 Mail Order Bride (2001), which focused on interracial relationships. His most recent book is Freeway, the story of Alex’s life in Los Angeles (2011).
Kalesniko lives in Glendale, CA, with his wife and fellow layout artist, Jennifer Yuan.