Personal message to Gerd from Germany:
Send me your email address so we can discuss further.
If you want to be able to remember how to spell Bill Sienkiewicz’s name from memory, start a Tumblr blog showcasing his work, forcing you to type it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Amazingly, his name is easier to tackle than it could have been: he was born Boleslav Felix Robert Sienkiewicz.
Culturally, [Sienkiewicz] means something like “Son of the son” in Polish. In Poland, it’s as ubiquitous as “Smith.” I wanted to know what the actual pronunciation was. Very early on, when I first started, I did what one of my uncles had done, which was to spell it as it was pronounced. S-I-N-K-W-I-C-H. [Later] I decided no. Whereas my mother and my sister pronounced it SINK-O-WITZ. Whatever way somebody would approach it, as long as they got within the general ballpark, they’d respond. It sounds like splitting hairs. “Mr. Sinkowitz…” No, it’s SIN-KEV-ITCH.
One thing that gradually revealed itself to me as I went through the Bill Sienkiewicz retrospective is how he signs his work. Usually an artist will arrive at their signature and stick with it (while abstracting it) for their career.
Not so Bill Sienkiewicz.
His signature has evolved as much as his artwork over the years. Not only that, but he will use different ones during the same period and even go back and resurrect old ones. It was interesting enough to me to merit it’s own post as I wrap up my Sienkiewicz retrospective…
1979: The first instance I found was this combo signature in which he does this bookends thing with the S and the Z. Only saw this once.
1980: first iteration of a written signature
1981: experiments with a version with the stem of the K towering above everything else
1983: boxed and unboxed variations of a stacked BS. He used this one a lot and has even cropped up in recent pieces.
1984: a new iteration of a handwritten version
1985: The boxed BS lightning bolt
1985: An expressionistic extended written version
1986: Scribble-y handwritten version
1987: Three-story stacked version. Seldom used
1990: added a graphic “db” shape, usually next to handwritten signature. not sure what it’s supposed to represent, if anything. Only used a few times.
1994: as Sienkiewicz started using the computer, he began using actual type. Early version with tracked-out sharp capitals
Late 90s/early 2000s: understated generic type
2010s: Stretched handwritten with a long tail.
2010s: Another handwritten variant with some vertical pen stroke flair.
fuckyeahmeikokaji said: Two questions: Is there any Sienkiewicz stuff you're still looking for? Do you have a list of some sort of what has already been posted? This whole run has just been the fucking best. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words — I am an unabashed sucker for compliments. This blog is a labor of love, but a labor nonetheless so it’s really rewarding to hear that people like it. All the “Likes” and “Reposts” certainly help in that regard, but I know that when people do that, it’s because of the awesome artwork by the famous artist, not because of some anonymous obsessive curator behind the scenes.
Yes, there are a few things that I didn’t get. Usually that means:
There was even one instance of comic I bought online but the condition was too beat up to post. I’m good with Photoshop, so sometimes I can perform some digital restoration (the box covers to the political card sets were insane examples of this). But that comic cover was too darn faded and scuffed up to use.
I do use a spreadsheet to research each artists’ work and keep track of what I have, what I’m missing, and what’s been posted. I exported a copy of it to a Google Doc (link below). That’s the full list — the items in red are the ones I couldn’t track down or afford.