|Born||Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz|
May 3, 1958
Blakely, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Inker|
Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz (// sin-KEV-itch; born May 3, 1958) is an American artist known for his work in comic books—particularly for Marvel Comics' New Mutants, Moon Knight, and Elektra: Assassin. Sienkiewicz's work in the 1980s was considered revolutionary in mainstream US comics due to his highly stylized art that verged on abstraction and made use of oil painting, photorealism, collage, mimeograph, and other forms generally uncommon in comic books.
Sienkiewicz was born May 3, 1958, in Blakely, Pennsylvania. When he was five years old, he moved with his family to the Hainesville, New Jersey section of Sandyston Township, New Jersey, where he attended elementary and secondary school. Sienkiewicz began drawing "when [he] was about four or five", and continued doing and learning about art throughout his childhood. His early comic book influences include artist Curt Swan Superman comics, and artist Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four.
Sienkiewicz received his classical art education at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey.
After art school, he showed a portfolio of his work to DC Comics' art director Vince Colletta, which led to his entering the comics field at age 19. The artist recalled in 1985, "They didn't have any work for me, but that didn't bother me. I just figured that if comics didn't work out I'd have done advertising or illustration. Vinnie called [renowned comics and advertising artist] Neal Adams, who put me in touch with [Marvel Comics editor-in-chief] Jim Shooter. Soon after that I was drawing Moon Knight, in The Hulk [black-and-white comics] magazine". His early art style was heavily influenced by Neal Adams.
Sienkiewicz continued as the artist of the Moon Knight color comics series, starting with the first issue (November 1980). His eclectic art style helped shed the early perception of Moon Knight as a mere Batman clone. Four years later, after a stint as artist on the Fantastic Four, he became the artist on Marvel's X-Men spin-off New Mutants, beginning with issue No. 18 (August 1984), producing cover paintings and character designs. From this period on, Sienkiewicz's art evolved into a much more expressionistic style, and he began experimenting with paint, collage, and mixed media. He illustrated New Mutants from 1984 to 1985.
Sienkiewicz produced covers for a range of Marvel titles, including Rom, Dazzler, The Mighty Thor, Return of the Jedi and The Transformers, and drew the comic adaptation of Dune.
Sienkiewicz's own first writing credit was for the painted story "Slow Dancer" in Epic Illustrated in 1986. Sienkiewicz both wrote and illustrated the 1988 miniseries Stray Toasters, an idiosyncratic work published by Epic Comics about a criminal psychologist investigating a series of murders. His first major interior work for DC Comics was contributing to Batman #400 (October 1986).
He illustrated the 1986-87 eight-issue Elektra: Assassin limited series and the Daredevil: Love and War graphic novel which were both written by Frank Miller.
After this, he collaborated with writer Andy Helfer on the first six issues of DC Comics' The Shadow series.
In 1988, he contributed to the Brought to Light graphic novel with writer Alan Moore. In 1990, Sienkiewicz and Moore published the first two issues of the uncompleted series Big Numbers. Sienkiewicz painted the Classics Illustrated adaptation of the novel Moby-Dick.
Sienkiewicz was the subject of a 2008 full-length documentary/interview produced by Woodcrest Productions, The Creator Chronicles: Bill Sienkiewicz.
In 2007, Sienkiewicz penciled 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow. In 2008, Sienkiewicz illustrated a story for The Nightmare Factory - Volume 2 graphic novel. That same year, he inked the Reign in Hell limited series for DC. In 2010–2012, he inked several issues of Neal Adams' Batman: Odyssey project for DC Comics.
In October 2012, Sienkiewicz teamed with fellow artists Klaus Janson and David W. Mack on the eight-issue Marvel mini-series Daredevil: End of Days. Regarding the contrast in art styles, Sienkiewicz related that it was deliberate, in order to "give a very definite break from the "everyday reality" that Klaus' art is meant to portray, as well as the impression of a flashback."
In June 2014, Sienkiewicz was the guest of honor at ceremony for the 2014 Inkwell Awards at HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In April 2022, Sienkiewicz was reported among the more than three dozen comics creators who contributed to Operation USA's benefit anthology book, Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds, a project spearheaded by IDW Publishing Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier, whose profits would be donated to relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees resulting from the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sienkiewicz would provide one of the covers to the softcover edition of the book.
In addition to his work in comics, Sienkiewicz has also worked in numerous other media, especially in the music and trading card industries. His artwork has been published in magazines including Entertainment Weekly and Spin. In 1998, he collaborated with writer Martin I. Green to produce the children's book Santa, My Life & Times.
In 1989, Sienkiewicz painted the art for the Friendly Dictators card set published by Eclipse Comics which portrayed various foreign leaders such as Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, and Anastasio Somoza Debayle. This card set was followed by Coup d'etat : the assassination of John F. Kennedy (1990), a 36-card set including his meticulously detailed and stylized imagery of Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Marilyn Monroe.
Sienkiewicz has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. In 2004, Sienkiewicz contributed to card art for VS System, a collectible card game published by Upper Deck Entertainment. In 1995, he illustrated Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix the biography of Jimi Hendrix by Martin I. Green. In 1996, he provided the artwork for the Bruce Cockburn album The Charity of Night. Additional Sienkiewicz album covers include RZA's Bobby Digital in Stereo (1998), EPMD's Business as Usual (1990), and Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009). Also in 2006, Sienkiewicz teamed with Neal Adams to create art for former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters.
Sienkiewicz has worked on character design for animation. His work on the television series Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? received two Emmy Award nominations in 1995 and 1996. In 2006, Sienkiewicz designed the layout and art for The Venture Bros. season one DVD set. He designed the cover art for the season three DVD and Blu-ray set.
In October 1979 Sienkiewicz married Francis Ann Dawson (Franki), who worked at Marvel as the administrative assistant for editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and later was Marvel's Administrative Manager of International Licensing. They divorced in 1983.
Studying Neal's work, ... I became obsessed ... and became fixated on it. It was like my intention was to be Neal. ... There was no one at this point saying don't do that, you've got to be your own person. ... When I finally got started, what got me hired was the fact that I drew like Neal. Neal in fact called up Shooter and said, 'I've got this kid fresh off the street and he draws like me. Is that a problem?'
Professor Xavier's young students were given their own monthly title. It was written by Chris Claremont and drawn by...Bill Sienkiewicz, who illustrated #18 to #31.
Batman celebrated the 400th issue of his self-titled comic with a blockbuster featuring dozens of famous comic book creators and nearly as many infamous villains. Written by Doug Moench, with an introduction by novelist Stephen King...[it was] drawn by George Pérez, Bill Sienkiewicz, Arthur Adams, Joe Kubert, Brian Bolland, and others.
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