Mark Ranslem's first published editorial cartoon was at 14 for his hometown's college newspaper. Five years later, he was the regular cartoonist for the same newspaper, The Prospector, as a freshman at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 1980, Mark won a Society of Professional Journalists Delta Sigma Chi regional award for political cartooning after tackling the subject of racial bigotry and hatred. The next year, he went on to the University of Texas at Austin and became a regular contributor to The Daily Texan. He continued to cover a wide range of current events ranging from local politics to Ronald Reagan's first election as President.
In 1982, Mark and others at UT Austin worked to achieve something never before attempted-- they succeeded in getting a Daily Texan cartoon character, Hank the Hallucination, from a cartoon strip by Sam Hurt called "Eye Beam," elected president of the students' association. Mark did a series of cartoons portraying Hank flying in a variety of celebrities ranging from Julia Child to Richard Nixon to campaign for him. (Mark obtained Sam's permission to use Hank and drew him just as Sam did-- just to keep things consistent.) The New York Times picked up the story, and history was made. A subsequent run-off election resulted in a human being named the winner.
Mark later worked as a cartoonist for two New England newspapers, between 1998 and 2004: The Hopkinton Independent, based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts-- the starting line town for the Boston Marathon; and In Newsweekly, New England's one-time leading LGBT weekly paper. Since January 2012, he has been a regular cartoonist for Washington, DC's weekly LGBT newspaper, The Washington Blade.