Comic Artist Evolution

A year-by-year retrospective of some of the greatest comic book artists to put pencil to paper. Now featuring the incredible work of: BILL SIENKIEWICZ! 

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: unused cover intended for All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #12
According to Sienkiewicz’s website, this image was supposed to be an alternate cover for issue #12 of a series that only made it to issue #10 before falling into limbo. Whatever the fate of the series, I am eternally thankful that it produced this unbelievably stunning painting of the Joker for us to drool over.

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: unused cover intended for All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #12

According to Sienkiewicz’s website, this image was supposed to be an alternate cover for issue #12 of a series that only made it to issue #10 before falling into limbo. Whatever the fate of the series, I am eternally thankful that it produced this unbelievably stunning painting of the Joker for us to drool over.

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: Spooks #3 cover

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: excerpt from The Next Issue Project #1 (Fantastic Comics #24)
Color: Erik Larsen

The Next Issue Project brought in a diverse set of writers and artists to create anthology comics featuring characters that fell into public domain, published under the titles of defunct Golden Age comic series. In this story, a character goes back into time (and myth, apparently — sorry Bible literalists) to “correct” crimes of history.

An added treat is how Larsen simulates the imperfect printing method and color cast of the newsprint.

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: excerpt from Five Color Comics #1
Five Color Comics was an unusual project spearheaded by Paul Grimshaw and Erik Warfield. It was an artist jam project wherein each artist…
contributed just a single panel
worked from a description of just that panel, and were not permitted to see the panels leading up or continuing from their own (to eliminate any kind of influence)
restricted to just five colors: “prussian blue, jade green, rose pink, the gray paper background and white” [I guess black must not qualify as a color].
More details about the project at CBR.
Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: Stray Toasters trade paperback cover

Bill Sienkiewicz 2008: Halloween: Nightdance #1 cover, alternate cover

Bill Sienkiewicz 2007-2008: 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow #1-3

Sienkiewicz teamed up with longtime friend Steve Niles to produce this chapter of the popular 30 Days of Night series. Given Sienkiewicz’s stylistic approach, it’s amazing that it took over two decades for Sienkiewicz to tackle an actual horror project (as opposed to horror-themed heroes). 

The three-issue series was fully painted and Sienkiewicz shrouded the scenes in darkness and expressionistic brush strokes. He discussed his approach with Jonah Weiland of CBR:

I’ve always felt the mind will fill in the more horrifying images than you can just simply show the audience. The way horror has been handled for the most part is there’s always a lot of darkness, but just for darkness’s sake. What I’d like to see is a little bit more contrast and beauty and set-up in terms of the landscape being a character. Let the environment play a role. So, when things go horribly wrong, you’re suddenly plunged into a horrific world, made ever so much more so when compared to the beauty you were just looking at. Or, have something very dark happen out in the sunshine. True horror can happen unexpectedly and it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in a dark room that’s been dirtied up a bit.

Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: Dark Sector: Zero

Dark Sector: Zero was a tie-in comic to the Dark Sector video game, setting up the premise to the gameplay. Although it’s skews a bit more commercial comic product than typical comics, it gave Sienkiewicz a great opportunity to mix together a number of elements into painted splash pages: video game horror with a veneer of shadow government operatives in eastern Europe.

Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: Marvel Masterpieces: Series 6: Dracula

Bill Sienkiewicz 2007-2008: Wolverine mass-market paperback covers: Violent Tendencies, Nature of the Beast

Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: excerpt from Daredevil #100
#100 was an artist-jam issue and who else do you get to tackle the Elektra chapter but Sienkiewicz?
Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: All Flash #1 cover
Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: Jonah Hex #18 cover
Bill Sienkiewicz 2007: pinup from Vampirella Quarterly: Spring 2007

Bill Sienkiewicz 2006: X-Men Fairy Tales #3
Interior color: Guru eFX

X-Men Fairy Tales was one of several Marvel titles that loosely blended classic fairy tales with Marvel story lines. This story adapts the Scott/Jean/Logan love triangle and Phoenix possession.

Also of note for modern readers is the distinctive X-shaped design over Cyclops eyes, which is now part of his current costume; and him carrying this all-seeing oversized eyeball around, ala Original Sin.