Friday, May 30, 2014

Warlock from New Mutants #21 by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz

Continuing with our robot theme I'd like to explore Warlock from Marvel Comics' New Mutants created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

When Bill Sienkiewicz jumped onto the New Mutants with issue 18, it was a huge shock for New Mutant fans. As the advertisement said, "They aren't X babies any more." Of the New Mutants, Warlock was the one character that Bill most made his own, and every comic artists since has struggled to depict him.
When Bill left Moon Knight in 1983 he was really pushing this new style that wanted to come out. He had done a series of spectacular covers that were unlike anything mainstream comics fans had ever seen. So when he hopped onto the New Mutants I'm sure he wanted to keep exploring this new way of depicting comics.

His new style may have shown up most in a new character that Chris introduced to the book with issue #21, "Slumber Party", a "techno organic" character named Warlock. Bill brought his full abstract sensibilities to the character with his sloppy, expressive form and geometric eyes. One person likened his image to a Kandinsky painting. 

Bill was still new to abstract expression at this time but you would see much more of this kind of thing from him in his later work like his work on the Shadow...

or his magnum opus, Stray Toasters.

At this time Bill was still doing sweeping landscapes...

Beautiful figure work...

And photo realism...

And abstract expression was just one tool in his tool box.

What was really interesting was when other artists tried to draw Warlock. Bill made Warlock so his own that he made it really difficult for any other artist that drew him. Because he was so abstract, there were no real models of them to follow.

Warlock from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #14, 1987, by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Art Adams

Alan Davis

Mike Mignola

Barry Windsor Smith

Adi Granov

Even Bill Sienkiewicz seem to have difficulty drawing him these days.

But at this time Sienkiewicz had a beautiful balance in his work that produced spectacular results.

From New Mutants #18, Bill Sienkiewicz debut on the book.
There is an experimentation with the sequential art form as well as a great ability to render figures as well as incredible landscapes (space-scapes), and page composition. Bill was in his prime and we were loving it!

No comments:

Post a Comment