365 Reasons to Love Comics #213
So it turns out that Jog (of Jog: The Blog and the new Savage Critic) and I share the same birthday. That makes me cool by association. It’s also neat that we share our birthday with J.K. Rowling, and hence, Harry Potter. And that’s almost as neat as sharing it with Dean Cain. Hahah. Thanks for all the well-wishes, gang. I will now re-gift this archive link to you. Cheers.
Bill Week continues now with a look at a scarily talented comics artist with a mildly unwieldy last name.
213. Bill Sienkiewicz
Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz Sienkiewicz Sienkiewicz. Sin-kev’-itch. I’ve become acclimated to the name, and only performed two typos there, mostly because my fingers and my brain aren’t always on the best of terms. It’s a cool name, often misspelled and mispronounced.
Mr. Sienkiewicz is a Pennsylvania boy, like myself! Practically born around the corner. Of course, we rural Sylvanians know that around the corner means mile and miles away, but whatever.
Mr. Sienkiewicz is also an artist. He happens to work in comics quite often. Originally, his work in comics was the regular pencil-and-ink stuff, and it was very good. His big break was on Burgas favorite Moon Knight, in which he began to experiment with the comics page, to see what sequential art was capable of. His next major run was on New Mutants, in which he went crazy (in the best way possible) on the covers while reining things in a bit on the interiors.
Sienkiewicz loves bringing a sense of expressionism and the abstract to comics, and he utilizes every artistic method possible, changing his style with each work– and sometimes within each work. He can use pencil and ink as well as he can use oil paints. He’ll slice the page up if it makes it look good. He’s a true multimedia artist, capable of seemingly anything. He’s really damn innovative.
His masterwork is probably Elektra: Assassin, which Mr. Greg Burgas wrote a Comics You Should Own column about. I’ll defer to Greg, because he’s awesome. More cool Bill Sienkiewicz art at that link. And even more cool art at this link, which will take you to a gallery of Elektra Assassin images. Tally ho!
Bill Sienkiewicz is also known for his fascinating work on the unfinished opus Big Numbers, with Alan Moore. It’s a shame it will never see completion, because it might’ve turned into one of the best comics ever made. Dang.
I’ve got to at least mention his notable work on the Shadow, as well as his other other masterpiece, the award-winning Stray Toasters, which he wrote and drew. I’ve never read it, though. Yes. I am a bad comics fan.
His most prominent comics work is as a cover artist. He’s drawn and painted and composed glorious, mind-fracturing covers on an uncanny variety of series, from Batman to ROM to Dazzler to ALF. Yes, ALF. And it was awesome.
Bill’s also a fantastic inker/finisher, elevating other artists’ pencils to new levels of greatness.
Yep, and he doesn’t just work in comics– he works in music and design and storyboards and loads of other artistic media. For instance, check out this great art that came with the Venture Bros. DVD:
Who am I to speak for Bill Sienkiewicz’s art? After all, the art can speak for itself. And if it can’t, Bill can speak for it, like in this fascinating CBR interview from several years back. It’s great reading.
Enjoy the art I’ve provided, and seek out more for yourself. Bill Sienkiewicz is a comics treasure– supremely talented and relentlessly expressive. You can find his under-construction website here, and the previous incarnation of said site here.