Long Beach, love and punk rock music

Local LB man pens children’s book of a different kind

Nico Marks spent the days of his youth in Long Beach, surfing, skateboarding, and listening to and playing punk rock music.

For a while, Nico Marks lived on a beach in Jamaica. He made his living working as a plumber in the island paradise. He enjoyed the beaches, surfing and playing music. But it was not his true home. Marks grew up in Long Beach and he would eventually return.

Now at the age of 41, Marks is a family man, with a wife and two kids and he spends his days teaching English. He still writes and plays music and enjoys surfing. He’s working on a novel and likes to write poetry. And it all circles back around to Long Beach, where he grew up.

Now, he’s channeled those passions into a children’s book. A children’s book that brings to life, the days of his youth in Long Beach, surfing, skateboarding, and listening to punk rock music. The book tells the story of a strong four-year-old girl who lives in and loves Long Beach.

For more on the book or Nico Marks, visit nicomarks.com.

“Aurelia and the Orc,” begins with Aurelia standing atop Signal Hill looking over the city she loves, vowing that it is her responsibility to keep watch over the city. In this story, Long Beach is a mythical place, where creatures of all kinds roam, dragons, trolls and orcs. She is the guardian of the city.

“It’s kind of a love letter to the city I love and my daughter as well,” Marks said.

Growing up in Long Beach, Marks was much like the character of Aurelia, skateboarding around town, surfing and playing loud music in his garage. His era was heavily influenced by local bands such as Sublime, and T.S.O.L., as well as other big punk names such as Minor Threat and Bad Brains.

In the book, Aurelia has a disagreement with an Orc, a green creature with a mohawk. The disagreement becomes a battle as the two eventually discover they have much in common. It’s a tale that sends a message of unity and commonality. It’s a message he hopes will resonate for children and adults.

“My prayer is that we are able to love one another, despite our differences,” Marks said.

The book is available through nicomarks.com and is also in five of Long Beach’s public libraries. In the meantime, Marks is working on a follow-up book as he continues to write music, journal, teach and absorb different kinds of art. It’s something that is just a part of his nature.

“I can’t seem to turn it off,” Marks said.