Tag Archives: bill sienkiewicz

The Joker Celebrates 80 Years with a 100-PAge Spectacular in April 2020

Since his first appearance in April 1940, The Joker has become one of the most iconic and compelling characters in comic books and all of popular culture. Time and time again, his drive to sow discord and chaos has made him more than a match for Batman and his mission to protect the citizens of Gotham City.

As The Joker enters his eighth decade of criminal madness, fans can celebrate with a one-of-a-kind collectible tribute comic book. The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a Prestige format one-shot homage to The Joker featuring an original lineup of tales by comics’ most celebrated storytellers, including Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Paul Dini, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder, Tom Taylor, Jock, José Luis García-López, Mikel Janín, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, and more. The stories run the gamut from terror to humor to outright anarchy, showing how The Joker has left his indelible mark on Gotham City, from the gates of Arkham Asylum to the Gotham City PD, from the local underworld to Batman and his allies.

Artists from across comic books are stepping up to pay their respects to The Joker through a series of variant covers depicting Batman’s arch-nemesis:

  • 1940s variant cover by Arthur Adams
  • 1950s variant cover by David Finch
  • 1960s variant cover by Francesco Mattina
  • 1970s variant cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
  • 1980s variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
  • 1990s variant cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto
  • 2000s variant cover by Lee Bermejo
  • 2010s variant cover by Jock

The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a 100-page, Prestige format one-shot comic book available at comic book retailers and participating digital retailers on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 for $9.99.

The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2

Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor explore yet another “life” of The Question in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2. The issue is mainly set in Hub City during the 1880s aka the Wild West. However, this isn’t some John Wayne redux. It probes deep into the racial violence that characterized this time period in the United States. The protagonist, Charlie (who later becomes the Western version of the Question) deals with the guilt of his actions during the Comanche War.

Sotomayor uses plenty of reds and blacks in his palette to contribute to the book’s bleak tone. It complements Sienkiewicz’s scratchy inks. I went back and glanced at The Question #1, and Cowan’s art style is utterly different. Empty spaces, bursts of violence, and shamanistic quests for meaning contrast with non-stop media commentary in the previous issue. Cowan still uses plenty of grids in the comic. However, their purpose seems to be to slow down and focus on pivotal moments in the story. An example is Charlie talking to some witch figure about a primal conflict between good and evil or his friend, Booker, about to be hung in a racially motivated, kangaroo court and not to simulate TV or smartphone screens. Cowan’s storytelling is impeccable. It’s easy to follow the action on the page while mentally trying to pull together Lemire’s reincarnation-driven plot.

The themes of rigid, Randian objectivism versus a more fluid zen Buddhist ideology continue in The Question #2. Lemire and Cowan have traded out philosophizing for gunslinging. (Lemire writes Charlie as super-reflective though.) For all its hallucinations and “deep” observations, the plot of the comic is about a man, who has done bad, making up for it by doing some good. It’s a white hat shooting a black hat, someone more tolerantly minded pitted against a racist.

The traditional Western with a bit of political commentary baked-in part of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 resonated with me stronger than the part of the story where he’s seen as more of an archetypal figure. Yes, it’s a great plot device on Jeff Lemire’s part. It allows Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor depict the Question and his ideology in different eras. However, it’s not as memorable as Charlie riding back to his old town in the twilight reminiscing on his genocidal past and how he is going to avenge a good man and his wife. The process page in the back of the comic shows how much black spot inking Sienkiewicz added to Cowan’s pencils. Chris Sotomayor’s rusty palette show that Charlie’s return isn’t triumphant, but a reckoning. He wants to kill the devil and find peace.

Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor use the creative freedom of the Black Label imprint to tell what is a damn fine dark Western with some mystical elements. They show how shitty the 1880s were with a loose, gruesome approach to the violence instead of something more stylized. In the bigger picture of the miniseries, it digs into Charlie/Vic/The Question’s identity a little bit more setting upcoming ideas and revelations as Lemire and Cowan continues to jump eras in both plot and visuals.

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 7.8 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 (of 4)

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 (of 4)

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: Jan 15, 2020
SRP: $6.99

DC Black Label, Prestige Plus, 8.5″ x 10.875″
In modern-day Hub City, Vic Sage died. And then he woke up. In Hub City…in the 1800s! The legend of the Man with No Face rides across the Old West, discovering a shocking connection running through history all the way to the day he died…and pointing to more carnage yet to come!

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 (of 4)

Preview: Roku #3 (of 4)

ROKU #3 (of 4)

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by RAMÓN F. BACHS
Colors by STÉPHANE PAITREAU
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
Cover B by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover C by SHAWN CRYSTAL
Preorder Edition Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
On sale DECEMBER 18 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The lethal assassin Roku is reeling from a brutal defeat, but an even bigger fight awaits…

It’s round 2 between Roku and the superspy Ember-1!

ROKU #3 (of 4)

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

DC Black Label branches out from Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn in the gritty and trippy The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1. With a dedication to both Question’s original creator Steve Ditko and his finest writer (Up to now) Dennis O’Neil, writer Jeff Lemire, artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, and colorist Chris Sotomayor attempt to bridge the character’s portrayals as an Objectivist, who views the world in strict black and white terms and as an Eastern philosophy-influenced fighter of systemic evils, who donned the Question mask to right wrongs that newscaster Vic Sage couldn’t. They also craft the first chapter in one hell of a mystery. It features an art style that is far from the usual capes and tights.

Bringing back artists Cowan and Sienkiewicz from The Question’s original DC Comics series was a stroke of genius. It’s what initially got me interested in this series. Sienkiewicz’s scratchy inks and Cowan’s almost journalistic portrayal of human nature roots the first half of Question in the violent, yet ripped from the headlines crime stories that characterized the original run.

The comic opens up with Question muttering something straight out of a Mr. A strip or an Ayn Rand novel and catching a Hub City councilman in a brothel with underage girls. He knocks the creep about a little bit but is mostly concerned with recording footage for Vic Sage to play on the evening news where he openly accuses Hub City mayor Wesley Fermin of being connected to organized crime that leads to a lawsuit and more trouble. The sequence sets up Sage’s very public persona and role as the gadly, or voice of truth, in Hub City. That makes it necessary for him to wear face-warping masks courtesy of his old chemistry professor, Aristotle “Tot” Rodor.

However, this dual identity isn’t so simple. Lemire and Cowan play with the different sides of Question and Vic Sage’s personalities. They show that Question’s single-minded quest for justice sometimes makes him lose the big picture. An example is the police shooting of an unarmed man while he’s following a lead about a ring that was on both the councilman’s finger and the mayor’s lawyer’s. The Question is a skilled detective but his conspiracy-driven nature can blind him to the everyday issues of his city. Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor show this visually through a wavy line, lots of black ink, and a darker color palette. It culminates in Question’s discovery of a literal abyss and some surreal imagery where you can really see the Sienkiewicz influence shine through.

Thankfully, in the second half of The Question #1, Lemire and Cowan create the context for these images. It’s a departure from the crime fiction of the comic’s first act to something more mystical. Hence, Richard Dragon shows up with insight and potty mouth one-liners. (Think the Bride’s sensei in Kill Bill sans the misogyny and xenophobia.) From a big picture perspective, the conversation between Dragon and Sage also seems like a conversation between O’Neil and Ditko. The former taking Question into more of a zen Buddhism direction while Ditko used him as the avatar of his black and white view of the world. That was passed onto his creation Mr. A and Question’s spiritual offspring, Rorschach. (The nine panel grids and the use of “Hrrm” are a nod to that fellow.)

Richard Dragon believes that souls can travel between bodies while Question just wanted to learn martial arts to kick ass and is talking to his old teacher to solve a mystery steeped in symbolism, but connected to Hub City and its corruption. To take a page out of the German philosopher Hegel‘s book, Dragon is thesis, Question is antithesis, and they are a long way from synthesis. The last few pages introduce another wrinkle in the status quo in a natural non “Oh shit, we need a cliffhanger” way. Cowan makes fantastic use of recurring metronome motif to slip readers into another world. It’s like seeing a hypnotherapist as the story shifts in genre. His solid storytelling and well-placed use of six and nine-panel grids, as well as larger layouts, doesn’t waver.

The debut is steeped in the classic O’Neil and Cowan run as well as the ideology of Ditko. Lemire, Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor make sure The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 isn’t a nostalgia-driven retread. In a current era where political corruption runs rampant, and the said corrupt don’t even try to sweep it under a rug, a character who isn’t afraid to speak truth to power is incredibly relevant. However, the Question also engages in Randian purity policing and has a primal, childish view of the world. He’s far from an inspirational figure. This is why Cowan and Sienkiewicz’s naturalistic, almost dirty art style is a good fit for the book. They and Lemire also aren’t afraid to get a little weird. I’m interested to see how they synthesize the various versions of the Question in both the spiritual and physical realms.

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

(W) Jeff Lemire (A) Bill Sienkiewicz, (A/CA) Denys Cowan
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
SRP: $6.99
DC BLACK LABEL – PRESTIGE PLUS FORMAT – APPROX. 8.5″ x 10.875″

For years, Vic Sage has worn the faceless mask of the Question to clean up the streets of Hub City by sheer force of will. He knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire joins forces with the legendary art team of Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…

The Question: The deaths of Vic Sage #1

Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution is out November 5

The name Bill Sienkiewicz is synonymous with groundbreaking illustration. A classically trained painter, Sienkiewicz’s art incorporates abstract and expressionist influences and combines oil painting, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, collage, and mimeograph. It is in no way overstating things to say that when Sienkiewicz made his debut in 1979 as a comic book artist drawing Marvel’s Moon Knight that there had never been another comic artist like him.

For four decades, Sienkiewicz’s style and storytelling have pushed against the preconceptions of the comic book medium, in the pages of comics like Stray ToastersThe New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin and on the iconic covers of SandmanDaredevil, Dazzler, and more.

Sienkiewicz’s art has been exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and art galleries in Paris, Barcelona, and Tuscany. He’s created iconic album art for the RZA’s Bobby Digital and E.P.M.D’s Business As Usual and the popular game Resident Evil. His artwork has been central to advertising campaigns for Nike, MTV, Nissan, and the 2006 Winter Olympics, and he’s provided storyboards for dozens of Hollywood films. It is a career breathtaking in its scope and diversity.

Tomorrow, November 5th, Six Foot Press debuts the first volume of Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution, an unprecedented, three book celebration of a unique and unpredictable artist. This first ever Bill Sienkiewicz’ art book features:

  • An introduction by bestselling writer Neil Gaiman;
  • A comprehensive and incisive essay by Ben Davis, the award-winning Senior Writer for Artnet News;
  • A candid interview with Sienkiewicz, conducted by Chul R. Kim, about the artist’s influences, techniques and the future of comic book art;
  • More than 200 pages of art, much of it rarely seen;
  • A 9.5 x 12″, 224-page hardcover book, covered in luxurious 100% cloth fabric, with two embossed, tipped-in images on the front and back cover;
  • $49.95 available everywhere books are sold.

Also available November 5th from Six Foot Press is a Limited Edition format that is numbered and signed by Sienkiewicz, limited to 1,000 copies and retailing for $350.00. The Limited Edition includes a fabric-wrapped clamshell box containing a collection of 40 individual deluxe reproductions of previously unpublished paintings, drawings, sketches, and mixed media works from four decades of Sienkiewicz’s notebooks and personal collection, as well as other private collections.

With the publication of Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution andthe artist’s induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame at this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego, there’s never been a better time to acknowledge one of the most respected and innovative artists. And if you’re wondering? It’s pronounced sin-KEV-itch.

Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 Begins to Explore Vic Sage’s Past and Present

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Lettering by Willie Schubert
Cover by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Variant Cover by Jeff Lemire and Marcelo Maiolo
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
Final Orders Due: Oct 21, 2019
SRP: $6.99

The series will go through multiple time periods and explore aspects of Vic Sage’s past and present that have never been explored before. Combined with Bill Sienkiewicz’s inks and Chris Sotomayor’s deft color touch, this may be the best version of the Question yet.

–Denys Cowan

Vic Sage knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Legendary artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz and letterer Willie Schubert return to The Question, alongside Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire and colorist Chris Sotomayor, to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…and again….

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage will carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor (for mature readers) and will ship bimonthly in DC’s Prestige Plus format. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 hits shelves January 15, 2020.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

Preview: The New Mutants: War Children #1

The New Mutants: War Children #1

(W) Chris Claremont (A/CA) Bill Sienkiewicz
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 25, 2019
SRP: $4.99

STRONG AND FREE!

Don’t miss this momentous event as legendary creators CHRIS CLAREMONT and BILL SIENKIEWICZ reunite with Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Cypher, Mirage, Karma, and Sunspot to share this never before told story of the New Mutants’ past! When Warlock experiences a nightmare, he begins going haywire, and it’s up to his friends to save him! But as Warlock grows more frenzied, they should be worrying about being able to save themselves…and doubly so when Magik’s inner demon, Darkchylde, threatens to break free! Also, a special guest appearance by none other than Kitty Pryde!

The New Mutants: War Children #1

Spawn #301 Opeña, Ross, Sienkiewicz, Campbell covers revealed

Image Comics has revealed a few more of the highly anticipated covers for the upcoming record-breaking, history-making Spawn #301 issue by Todd McFarlane, President at Image Comics and creator of Spawn. 

This record-breaking SPAWN #301 hits stores on Wednesday, October 2. 

  • SPAWN #301 CVR A MCFARLANE – JUL190084
  • SPAWN #301 CVR B CAPULLO – JUL190085
  • SPAWN #301 CVR C VIRGIN CAPULLO – JUL190086
  • SPAWN #301 CVR D ALEXANDER – JUL190087
  • SPAWN #301 CVR E CRAIN – JUL190088
  • SPAWN #301 CVR F OPENA – JUL190089
  • SPAWN #301 CVR G VIRGIN MATTINA – JUL190090
  • SPAWN #301 CVR H PARODY MCFARLANE – JUL190091
  • SPAWN #301 CVR I B&W MCFARLANE – JUL190092
  • SPAWN #301 CVR J 25 COPY INCV VIRGIN MCFARLANE – JUL190093
  • SPAWN #301 CVR K ROSS – JUL198671
  • SPAWN #301 CVR L VIRGIN ROSS – JUL198672
  • SPAWN #301 CVR M SIENKIEWICZ – JUL198673
  • SPAWN #301 CVR N VIRGIN SIENKIEWICZ – JUL198674
  • SPAWN #301 CVR O CAMPBELL – JUL198675
  • SPAWN #301 CVR P VIRGIN CAMPBELL – JUL198676
  • SPAWN #301 CVR Q BLANK SKETCH CVR – JUL198708

Momentum and frenzied buzz surrounding the classic antihero series continues to build leading into the record-breaking Spawn #301 when SPAWN becomes the longest running creator-owned comic in the world.

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