Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz

Sienkiewicz at the 2011 Big Apple Con
Born Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz[1]
(1958-05-03) May 3, 1958
Blakely, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Elektra: Assassin
Moon Knight
New Mutants
Stray Toasters
Awards full list

Boleslav William Felix Robert "Bill" Sienkiewicz (pronounced sin-KEV-itch;[2] born May 3, 1958)[1][3] is an Eisner Award-winning American artist and writer best known for his comic book work, primarily for Marvel Comics' The New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin. Sienkiewicz often utilizes oil painting, collage, mimeograph, and other forms generally uncommon in comic books.

Early life

Sienkiewicz was born May 3, 1958, in Blakely, Pennsylvania.[1] When he was five years old, he moved with his family to Hainesville, New Jersey, where he attended elementary and secondary school.[4] Sienkiewicz began drawing "when [he] was about four or five",[4] 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.[4]

Sienkiewicz attended the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey.[1]

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.[5] 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".[4] His art style was heavily influenced by Neal Adams.[6]



Sienkiewicz drawing during a 1997 appearance in Gijón, Spain.

Sienkiewicz continued as artist of the Moon Knight color comics series, starting with the first issue (November 1980). 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),[7] 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 19841985.[8]

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.[8]

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.[8]

His first major interior work for DC Comics was contributing to Batman #400 (October 1986).[9]

He illustrated the 19861987 eight-issue Elektra: Assassin limited series [10] and the Daredevil: Love and War graphic novel which were both written by Frank Miller.[11][12] After this, he collaborated with writer Andrew Helfer on the first six issues of DC Comics' The Shadow series.[13] 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.[8]

Sienkiewicz was the subject of a 2008 full-length documentary/interview produced by Woodcrest Productions, The Creator Chronicles: Bill Sienkiewicz.[14]

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.[15] In 2010-2012, he inked several issues of Neal Adams' Batman: Odyssey project for DC Comics.[8]

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."[16]

In June 2014, Sienkiewicz was the guest of honor at the 2014 Inkwell Awards Awards Ceremony at HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina.[17][18]

Other work

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 Magazine. 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.[19] Sienkiewicz has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.[20] In 2004, Sienkiewicz contributed to card art for VS System, a collectible card game published by Upper Deck Entertainment.

In 1995, Sienkiewicz illustrated the Martin I. Green biography of Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix. The following year he provided the artwork for the Bruce Cockburn album The Charity of Night, and went on to provide album covers for RZA's Bobby Digital in Stereo (1998) and EPMD's Business as Usual (1990).

Sienkiewicz has also 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.[21]

In 2006, Sienkiewicz designed the layout and art for The Venture Bros. season one DVD set. He also designed the cover art for the season three DVD and Blu-ray set. Still in 2006, Sienkiewicz teamed with Neal Adams to create art for former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters. Their artwork was utilized as video projections for live performances of Waters' song "Leaving Beirut".


Personal life

During the early 1980s Sienkiewicz was married to Francis Ann Dawson, who worked on-staff at Marvel as editor-in-chief Jim Shooter's administrative assistant, and later went on to a job as Marvel's Administrative Manager of International Licensing.[26] Their marriage ended in divorce in 1983.[27]

His grandfather is a famous Polish writer and novelist, Nobel Prize-winning, Henryk Sienkiewicz.


Stray Toasters #3. Front and back covers by Sienkiewicz.

Interior art

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Cover work

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Other publishers

Other work


Trading cards


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Bill Sienkiewicz". Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012.
  2. Salicrup, Jim (w). "Letters page" Fantastic Four 227 (February 1981)
  3. Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "The Marvel Age Interview: Bill Sienkiewicz" Marvel Age 28: 20–22 (July 1985)
  5. Shooter, Jim (w). "Introduction" Moon Knight Special Edition 1 (November 1983)
  6. Thomas, Michael (July 17, 2001). "Bill Sienkiewicz Interview". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. 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?'
  7. DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 211. ISBN 978-0756641238. 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.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Bill Sienkiewicz at the Grand Comics Database
  9. Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. 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.
  10. DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 228: "Produced by Frank Miller and illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz, Elektra: Assassin was an eight-issue limited series...published by Marvel's Epic Comics imprint."
  11. Mithra, Kuljit (January 2000). "Interview With Bill Sienkiewicz". Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  12. Larochelle, Christopher (August 2016). "Elektra: Assassin". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (90): 2–10.
  13. Schweier, Philip (July 2016). "Shedding Light on The Shadow". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (89): 16–17.
  14. "Creator Chronicles–Bill Sienkiewicz DVD Next up at Bat!". December 12, 2007. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012.
  15. Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 334: "DC's version of Hell erupted into all-out war when the rulers of Purgatory, Blaze and Satanus invaded Neron's infernal domain. Written by Keith Giffen with art by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz."
  16. J.D. Lombardi (April 5, 2013). "Interview: Superstar Artist Bill Sienkiewicz & the Creative Process Behind Marvel Comics Daredevil: End of Days". Archived from the original on September 22, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  17. 1 2 Meth, Clifford (June 24, 2014). "Inkwell Awards 2014 Winners and Hall Of Fame". Everyone's Wrong and I'm Right (The Blog of Clifford Meth). Archived from the original on July 29, 2016.
  18. 1 2 Almond, Bob (June 1, 2014). "Bill Sienkiewicz is Guest of Honor at 2014 HeroesCon Awards Ceremony". Inkwell Awards. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
  19. "Friendly Dictators". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  20. "Phyrexian War Beast". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.
  21. Booker, M. Keith, ed. (2010). Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels. ABC-CLIO. p. 574. ISBN 0313357471. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Bill Sienkiewicz Awards, Exhibits". Archived from the original on February 7, 2012.
  23. "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  24. 1 2 "17° SALONE, 1986" (in Italian). Immagine-Centro Studi Iconografici. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012.
  25. YouTube - Inkwell Awards 2014 Ceremony, Bill Sienkiewicz Guest of Honor
  26. Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated January 1983.
  27. Sim, Dave (2003). "The 'Synchronicity' Triptych". Archived from the original on August 26, 2012.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Sienkiewicz.
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