Posts Tagged ‘Bill Sienkiewicz’

Girl Comics (or women of the ’80s Marvel Bullpen)


Saturday, October 2, 2010

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Howdy folks! Welcome to CC‘s weekend edition. So, I bet you’re wonderin’ how can I transition back to riffing on romance comics after two weeks of SPX tunes? Well, see at SPX, me and Heidi MacDonald were talking about Marie Severin. We were looking at a Tales to Astonish cover (#98) and trying to figure out who inked it. Bill Boichel said Severin inked it. And then Jaime Hernandez said Dan Adkins inked it. Heidi looked it up on her phone. It was a fun little game. One that we used to play at comics conventions in days of yore. Try it – you might like it and hey! if it ain’t your thing, that’s fine! I’ll be right here. Talkin’ to Jaime. (more…)

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Has This Been Posted Everywhere Already?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

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If not, it will be soon:

Big Questions Big Numbers 3!

Of related interest: a big chunk of the issue’s original script.

And Frank discusses the earlier issues.

(Thanks, Sean H.)

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News and Updates


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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Painting by Ben Jones

I realize it’s quite crass of me to only post here when I’m promoting, but as those who know me will tell you, I’m a crass jerk. So, that said, I’ll sprinkle in some appropriate content with my promotional text.

For example: Favorite comic taken home from SPX: Or Else #5. Post-SPX realization: Elektra Assassin is only good because of the art. And man, that is some fine, inspired cartooning. He was never better. I think Miller really is saved by his artists. It’s not that different in tone than his recent drekky stuff, but so beautifully imagined. Also, Ivan Brunetti’s new Yale anthology is just brilliant from top to bottom. I can’t help but smile at what he go away with: basically making a highly personal anthology for a major publisher. It’s so wonderfully indiosyncratic. I love it. Also, the complex and funny cover by Clowes reminds me why he’s so damn good, and that I can’t wait for whatever he does next. Plus, Ivan’s book finally gave me the little inspirational boost I need to get going on Art Out of Time 2, which at this point is so late it’s not even funny. Gee, what else… does anyone read Achewood? I’ve never read it. Maybe I’ll do that now. None of the above is actual, substantive writing, but, well, at least it’s something, and now on to the shameless promotion:

1) The Ganzfeld 7 is out now and will be in stores this week or next. 10 stores only or online. No Diamond, no bookstore distro. Edition of 1000. They are going very, very fast. Surprisingly so.

2) We’ve reduced prices on lots of stuff in the store again. All comics and zines especially. Poke around and you’ll find some deals/steals. Also, all King Terry stuff is back in stock.

3) Non-comics: Norman Hathaway has created a fantastic blog for Overspray: Riding High With the Kings of California Airbrush Art. Most PictureBox fans should check this out. I’m hugely proud of this book.

4) Also non-comics, but a little comics, since Michel, after all, did a comic:

Promoting his new book, You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It, Michel Gondry is out on tour! Go see him!

Los Angeles:

Oct. 21, 7 pm: Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire, L.A. (A conversation and book signing)

Oct. 22, 7:30 pm: FAMILY, 436 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. (book signing)

New York:

Oct. 25, 12-5 pm: NY Art Book Fair (PictureBox Booth I3), 450 West 15th Street at 10th Avenue, 3rd floor, NYC (Book signing)

Oct. 26, 2-5 pm: NY Art Book Fair (PictureBox Booth I3), 450 West 15th Street at 10th Avenue, 3rd floor, NYC (Book signing)

Oct. 27, 7 pm: The Strand, 828 Broadway, NYC (A conversation and book signing)

Well, that’s all I have for now, I think. Bye!

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Formal Formula


Monday, August 18, 2008

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Here’s a spread from the kinda rare Big Numbers #2 by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz published by Mad Love back in 1990. Big Numbers was, for me, impenetrable to read, like some overcrowded black and white photographic contact sheet. The series was never finished and honestly I never really read it. I would just pull it off the shelf every now and then and look at the art. I like Sienkiewicz’s energy and line but this book was too stilted, modeled, posed. Yet there are some great formal devices that he uses that feel right to me, that are successful simply as two page spreads. There’s an affinity for direct observation drawing and for realism, photographic realism, that I find pleasing and balanced. The images also reflect the character’s inner subjective view through varying the media and the approach, and that is really a strength of Sienkiewicz’s which fascinates me still.

The issue itself though is a little too formal for my taste and veers into straight up fumetti but it is an interesting mix of drawing and photography. A big influence on the Dave McKean school of cartooning, and sort of responsible for jump starting the last 15 years of photo-realist comics–Big Numbers is what you thought, what I thought, was going to be like a graduate class in the best comics had to offer in 1989: Moore and Sienkiewicz. Maybe it would have been great, but after trying to read the two existing issues, I started to wonder if they both were just totally burnt out by then. They both had almost ten years of monthly or semi-monthly deadlines (something I could never measure or fathom) and were simply dead. Reading it feels like trying to make your way through a crowded funeral parlor. Sorry, mates.

Okay, wait, I take that back. It’s an inspired work, but there is this lack of motion, of movement that adds to the density. Beyond the incredible glass shattering sequence in the first issue, it’s basically a quiet European film of a comic. I’m sure Moore’s script was pretty intense and Sienkiewicz does a decent job of mixing and matching talking heads and word balloons with these formal devices that “open up” the page and let it breathe a little. But again because of the photographic sources, there is always this middle ground focus where every character is shot from the waist up, gesturing. There will be two pages of dense talking head panels and then some sharp detailed sketch within a scene (like above) that is very focused, not only in technical articulation but in feeling. They show great restraint and balance and then release into sketchy memory. The pages are clean in their black white and grey purity but somehow the palette only adds to the gloomy claustrophobia of its rigid structure and square format. Big Numbers, just plods on and on formally like this and ultimately feels like a straight-jacket.

When the series tanked, Sienkiewicz just decided to go the other way and do finishes on Sal Buscema pencils for Spider-man. Buscema would do really light breakdowns and Bill would just go nuts on the flourishes. I remember them being totally off the wall.

Anyways, anybody know what happened after the second issue came out? Wasn’t Tundra going to continue publishing it?

at top, detail of two page spread of Big Numbers #2, pages 4 and 5. The top image is what I see first when I open to this spread, which is the top of page 5, natch. Then my eye goes over to the top of the left page. So, I’m just focusing on the stuff that really moves my eye around formally. There are elements to the spread that don’t relate to the mirroring of the dinner table scenes, so I didn’t scan the whole spread, cool? Cool.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

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An anonymous source sent in the information below. Who knows why. Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics shill and dear friend was, as we all were, a young fan once. Why, I myself once waited in line for what seemed like hours to have a stack of comic books signed by inker John Beatty. Yes, we all have our secrets. I shudder to think what long lost letter/picture etc. someone might find of mine. Like the one I wrote to Jaime Hernandez when I was 15 explaining about this awesome band I’d just learned about: The Clash. That was in 1991. Oh boy.

Dear Mr. Goodwin, Elektra: Assassin is some of the finest (if not the best) work Frank Miller has ever done. It even topped his recent issues on Daredevil and Dark Knight for DC. The events dealing with Elektra’s birth were very shocking. I never knew the details of Elektra’s birth or origin, and this story gave me an idea. I was really glad you could fit Matt into the story (if only for a few panels).

As for Bill Sienkiewicz, (how does he get “Sinkevitch” out of that?), I’m not too sure about his art. His old Moon Knight stuff is some of the best I’ve ever seen, but this book looks like he drew while on acid. I’ll have to keep in mind that Elektra was drugged during this story, which I hope accounts for her abstract thinking. If she is sane and/or not drugged next issue, I hope the art will reflect Bill’s true talents. All in all, it was a great book and I’m looking forward to next issue.

Eric Reynolds
Huntington Beach, CA

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Various Business


Friday, January 18, 2008

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1. I was just beginning to wonder why Eric Reynolds and the Fantagraphics gang weren’t putting up any new posts on the FLOG! blog, and now I know: it’s because they switched their online location. Bookmark it here.

2. An anonymous commenter to our last post pointed out a pretty interesting new interview with Bill Sienkiewicz.

3. Another (!) interview with Frank, this time including a glimpse into PictureBox:

Part One

Part Two

[Not that it matters, but I edited this to change the order of the items; it seemed weird to put so much video up top.]

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