Mark Rogers

Author and illustrator Mark E. Rogers (b.1952) died of an apparent heart attack on February 2 while hiking. Rogers was best known for the Samurai Cat books, which began with The Adventures of Samurai Cat. Other novels included The Dead, Zorachus, and the Zancharthus trilogy. His novella “The Runestone” was adapted into a film of the same title starring Peter Riegert and Samurai Cat was made into the video game The Bridge of Catzad-Dum. Rogers appeared on trading card 31 issued by the Chicago in 2000 Worldcon bid. Rogers is survived by his wife Kate, his children, Sophia, Jeanette, Patrick and Nicholas, his granddaughter Indigo Dahlia, and his sister, Lois.

ETA: apparent cause of death and survivors.

  1. Mark Rogers (1952-2014) | File 770 — February 4, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    […] Cat creator Mark Rogers died February 2 of heart failure while […]

  2. Joseph Bellofatto — February 4, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

    I’ve known Mark for about twenty years. Spent many a convention killing time with him and went to a couple of parties at his home, so I think I got to know him pretty well. Mark was not angry by nature, though one could say his natural look was one of a scowl. Matter-of-fact, Mark was one of the funniest people I’ve known. Sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor.

    IMO, Mark saw himself more author than artist, though he was a damn fine painter. I say this because he spent far more time hawking his books, than he did prints or artwork. Be it the dealer’s room or in a hallway sitting behind a table, Mark had his books and constantly promoted them. There’s no on-line gallery, but there’s a blog with his thoughts, musings, ideas and reviews. He was a writer, first and foremost.

    Those of us who got to know him knew he was more than Samurai Cat, much more. One of his books was made into a movie, and another was to be developed into one. He called the day he got his check from the studio “Black Monday” because that’s when he reached a point where he could do what he wanted, and he did. How could any of us be angry for being able to work in that fashion?

    Mark was intelligent and knowledgeable. He graduated from college Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975. He was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. His wife has a doctorate in philosophy. If you discussed and debated issues with Mark, you had best be prepared.

    Mark’s artwork work was much under appreciated by the business, but in part that’s because he did what he wanted and that didn’t fit the latest fad in demand. He was authentic, an original, consistent, focused and principled. Fandom is less for his death, but those who didn’t take the time to get to know him, have lost the most. For me, the only thing worse than his death, would have been never knowing him or not having been able to call him a friend.

  3. Sam Tomaino — February 5, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    Joe’s tribute is right on the “mark” (so to speak). Let me just add the personal feelings that I posted at File770:
    I knew Mark for more than 50 years. We attended grammar school, high school and college together. He was my best friend and we attended many a convention together. I’d just like to add to his accomplishments that his novella, “The Runestone”, published by a small press in 1979 was made into a 1991 movie starring Peter Riegert, Joan Severance, William Hickey and Alexander Godunov. I’d also add that when Mark died he was doing what he liked best, being with his family. He leaves behind his wife, Kate, his children, Sophia, Jeanette, Patrick and Nicholas and his sister Lois, He also leaves behind many friends.

  4. Sam Tomaino — February 5, 2014 @ 11:16 am

    Sorry, but I forgot to include amongst Mark’s survivors, his granddaughter, Indigo Dahlia, born just last year.

  5. Nicholas Prata — February 5, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

    Met Mark in 1987, when I was 18; I was taking one of his wife’s classes at U of D. I had recently read “Zorachus”, and had really appreciated it. I asked Kate if she was related to Mark (because she referred to her “writer husband” in class). When she went home and told him how much I liked his work he sent in a manuscript of “The Nightmare of God”. I think I read it in one sitting. (Probably started it in class–sorry Kate.) We talked on the phone the next day and have been very close ever since. Mark was, above all, a thinker and his art (except probably the “cheesecake pinups” and maybe even them) were frequently an extension of his take on things, if not an outright commentary on the universe. Having met him so young, I always thought of him as something of a big brother and as such, I took great pride in his accomplishments. I hope he was able to take some pride in mine. When I learned of his death on Tuesday, I immediately felt as though the underpinnings of my life had been hobbled. He lived just down the road from me. I saw him all the time…but not frequent enough, as it turns out. “What kind of world would it be without Mark?” I wondered. No move 4am bull sessions. No more talk of the dialectic, the Trinity and the shortcomings of our elected officials. Driving home from work today, listening to talk radio, I thought of some topics to discuss with him–then remembered that won’t be possible. We, all of his friends, will get on with getting on, but there’s really no replacement for Mark: His was a mighty voice (literally and figuratively) which nobody that I’m aware of can replace. I loved Mark and I pray that God welcomes him with open arms.

  6. Rob S. Rice — February 10, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

    Rogers was utter proof that the erudite and the utterly zany could produce something stirring, hilarious, and memorable. Even among the gales of laughter, he could be beautiful and poignant–I remember his description of the souls of Hitler and Stalin’s victims ascending as butterflies as one of the expressive celebrations of the Cold War’s end I ever read. That concentrated dose of humor and the joy that came through in his work… We shall miss it, and him. My best to his loved ones, and should I see the Gates of Heaven, there will be a map showing ‘YOU ARE HERE’ and in the corner– ‘Delaware: The Author’s House’

  7. S.M. Stirling — February 16, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

    Damn, he was a fine author and a great guy. He’ll be missed.

  8. Cedric Klein — February 23, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

    Very sorry to see Mark passed away. I love his novel THE DEAD (think “Left Behind According to George Romero with a dash of C.S. Lewis”). He e-mailed me an appreciation for a review I did of it for Amazon, and his screenplay for The Dead, and also sent me an autographed copy of Zorachus. Unfortunately, due to some personal difficulties at the time, I never got back to him to express my appreciation. God grant him eternal bliss, and comfort to his family.