Prompted to Tell: Physician by Day, Passionate Mosaic Artist in Off Hours
By Matt DiMasi
As a child, I loved to draw. When an older cousin introduced me to comic books he collected and bought at the local convenience store, I developed a passion for the cover art. I never read the comics but would enjoy the cover image, often recreating it in pencil on a blank piece of paper.
In 1991, I was on waiting lists for medical school. As days went by, closer and closer to September, I began to think of other career choices. After spending a day in Boston at my uncle’s graphic art company, I was pretty sure graphic art was my path. Soon after, BU med accepted me, and art went on the back burner.
Fast forward to 2000, and my first job as a radiologist at Cape Cod Hospital. I was remodeling the kitchen in the condo I had purchased. I had to choose plain tile or a precut mosaic star pattern for the backsplash. Maybe I’ll do my own broken tile mosaic of a dolphin, I thought. With the ocean steps away from my condo, it seemed fitting. The gentleman at the tile store got a chuckle about my creative undertaking and asked for a picture when complete. When I did, he said, “Wow,” and asked if he could put it in his project catalog. Over the next decade, I completed other wildlife mosaics.
In 2013 my interest in comic collecting came back strong. I knew I had to attempt a superhero! Finishing the basement in my mom’s home, my brother-in-law designated a wall section to CAPTAIN AMERICA! I created my first superhero mosaic, working with large pieces and little detail. Following this, Over years and thousands of hours, I made each cover reproduction more intricate with smaller pieces, deliberate shapes, and accounting for grout lines in the design.
Recreating these classic covers, which are burned into my childhood memories, has brought me tremendous joy (along with lots of cuts and joint aches). Each piece has unique challenges, always providing an artistic escape. I was honored to have the privilege of publishing the mosaic covers on Marvel comic books. That has been the icing on the cake, but those many hours in the tile room where I let my creativity flow has been the cake itself (which is very tasty!) The mosaics are my humble tributes to the great comic book artists. They have created these fantasy universes where we can escape to our childhood and rely on heroes when the going gets rough. I have been fortunate to meet many of the artists whose covers I have recreated. It is a thrill to see their reaction when they see my mosaics. Or when a fan at a show sees the mosaic of their favorite cover. I love that mosaics are reflective and imperfect and allow your mind to fill in the cracks.
Knowing these mosaics will be around long after I’m gone brings some perspective and meaning to all of the time I have dedicated. I have a few favorites…but like Tom Brady says, “The BEST one is the NEXT one.”
Matt is always in search of old comics. If readers have old comics they’d like to sell, please call him at 855-COMIC BUY (855–266–4228). You can read Marvel’s feature on him at marvel.com or check out his Instagram,