Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Out now at your local comic store! #1

Hey gang, just thought I'd give you all a heads-up about a few comics featuring Bart's art that have just arrived in stores. Firstly, there's the long awaited release of the comic adaptation of Bruce Campbell's new movie, 'My name is Bruce.'

Bart Sears My Name is Bruce cover

As you can see, it features a cover pencilled and inked by Bart. This puppy was actually originally due to be released late last year, but it got delayed for some reason, probably to do with the movie.

Another item that was delayed, but is out now, is The Helm #3
Bart Sears The Helm #3 cover
This was originally due out a few weeks back, but got pushed back to today.
So there you go, pick them up next time you're in your favourite comic store.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lost & found #1

Seeing as I'm on a role with the whole starting up a new ongoing subject thingy, why not introduce another, I say.
With 'Lost & found,' I'll let you folks know whenever I either come across something I have no idea where it is from, or when I find where something is from as well as any other discoveries.

So first up, here are a few items that I photocopied off Bart but have no idea where they are published, if at all.
Bart Sears Handbook - CalibanBart Sears Handbook - Caliban coloured
Here we have the mighty Caliban, which Bart drew some time in the middle '90's, my guess would be 1996. At the top of the page, Bart has written 'Handbook' which would obviously suggest the 'Marvel Handbook.' There are Handbooks out at about that time, but I've yet to get my hands on any copies. The righthand picture is from some website I discovered last year (can't remember which site). So the picture has obviously been inked and coloured. I'll let you know when I found out more about this.
Bart Sears Handbook - Captain Universe
This shot of Captain Universe is from about the same time, and also says 'Handbook' at the top, so I assume it's in the same boat as the Caliban one. Again, I'll find out more and let you all know.
Bart Sears Prophet Pin-Up
Next is this Prophet pin-up, from 1994, which I imagine was produced to generate some cash for Ominous Press. I have no idea which issue of Prophet it is in, if it was printed at all. As soon as I get my hands on the right issue, I'll let you know.
Bart Sears Klingon Pin-Up
This super-cool Klingon pin-up/cover was produced somewhere between '94-'96 by my estimations. I've done a bit of research into what happened to it, but to no avail, I'm afraid. Note: Bart has since informed me that this piece was created for Valiant/Acclaim Comics during Bart's Birthquake run on X-O Manowar. Valiant/Acclaim had put together a proposal to try and get the rights to the Star Trek comics and Bart was tapped to do this image for the proposal.

If anybody knows where any of these pieces are printed, please let me know, and you'll get a thankful mention here.
Now, things I've recently found.
Bart Sears Astonishing Spider-Man #94Bart Sears Astonishing Spider-Man #97
Here are few things I found just the other day, which was rather exciting for me. I just love finding new stuff. This items are from the UK, and are normally sold in news agents and the likes. They normally reprint 2 or 3 issues of previous comics. #94 reprints Peter Parker: Spider-Man #4, whilst #97 reprints Spider-Woman #1 & 2.
Bart Sears Mighty World of Marvel #47
This one is also from the UK. Bart only did the cover for this, which brings the amount of places this image has appeared up to 4!
So there you have it. I have a few other Lost & found items to show, but I'll leave it for next time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Original Art uploaded

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that I have just added another 5 Ominous Press pieces to my Bart Sears gallery at ComicArtFans, so check them out!

I still have a few pages to scan in, clean up and upload to complete my collection of his work. Shouldn't be long now.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bart Sears Rare Finds #2

Well, I'm on a roll, now. So here's a couple more rare finds for you all.

I'm sure you all remember Bart's run on Eclipso back in 1992. He did the two Eclipso Specials, and the first three issues of the ongoing series that followed. But there were also a few pieces of memorabilia that were released too.

There were two Eclipso posters put out and they look like this.
Bart Sears Eclipso Poster 1 Bart Sears Eclipso Poster 2

The one on the left is made of a heavy duty card stock and the diamond in his hand is one of those prism hologram things that was so popular in the early '90's. I've only rarely seen this poster for sale, and I didn't get my hands on it until Bart gave me it on my second trip to Florida.

This next item is a small poster which I assume was meant for stores to display as a sort of promo piece. I got my copy of this off Bart again, though I have seen it go up for sale every now and then.
Bart Sears Valor & Eclipso poster

Next up is an actual advertisement that ran through the DC line prior to the Eclipso Specials, with art produced specifically for the ad. I've yet to scan the actual advertisement, but here is the black & white version, minus all of the text.
Bart Sears Eclipso advert
Kinda reminds me of Bart's poster for The First, well, no, it doesn't really remind me, it's almost exactly like The First poster, just 10 years older.

Next is the Eclipso card, from the DC Cosmic Cards set of 1993.
Bart Sears Cosmic Card - Eclipso

Sorry about the scan, it's a very dark card. Bart did three cards for this set, all of them bad guys - Eclipso, Starro and Despero.

Another item that was more for the comic shops, is the Eclipso shelf card.
Bart Sears Eclipso Shelf Card

As you may be able to see, the image of Eclipso is taken from the prism poster above, with a bit of cropping involved. Basically, the shelf card sits behind a stack of comics, with Eclipso popping out of the top. Pretty cool, eh? This is another item that is super rare, I don't think I've seen it since I bought it, back in 2000.

Last but not least, is the Who's Who Eclipso pin-up.
Bart Sears Who's Who - Eclipso

This cool image is from Who's Who in the DC Universe #13, from October 1991. 'Tis nice.
So there you have it, the full list of items featuring Bart's rendition of Eclipso. It's a fun portion of Bart's career, I think, where he really could let loose with his style, and be quite dark.

I'll have a look through my collection and see what other full sets I can show.

Until next time...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bart Sears Rare Finds #1

As a sister to the 'Guess what the Postman delivered today' entries, I thought I'd pull out of my vast Bart Sears collection the items that are perhaps a little bit more difficult to come upon than your average comic. So here is the first entry into a new series titled, simply, 'Rare Finds.'

And why not start off with a piece of Bart Sears memorabilia that is so incredibly rare, that I have only seen it come up for sale two times, one of which I purchased, though I may have missed the odd sale, however unlikely.
Guessed what I'm talking about yet?

Of course you did!
Bart Sears Wizard Comic Binder
I was well pleased when I received this in the mail some time in the year 2000 (somehow I forgot to mark down when I received it, strange for me). I'd been looking for it ever since I'd known of it's existence, some years previous, and when it came up on eBay, I bid way high, there was absolutely no way I was going to let somebody else win this, no way!
The Wizard Comic Book Binder was manufactured in 1993 by both the Wizard magazine gang and Pro Gard, an association that spawned several fine comic protection and storage products.
The image, obviously by Bart, is taken from his tutorial in Wizard #16. It features the first incarnation of everybody's favourite metalloid, Brute. He's the first incarnation because, as you can see, he's sporting his original hair style, the Kirby-esque black spots. This would be his hair-do of choice for several years until Ominous Press came into reality and he changed his style to the more recognisable energy burst.
The binder itself is a 3-ring binder, there are no other features to it really, no pockets, no sleeves, nada.
Bart has a copy of the binder himself, and he also had a production sheet of the material used to cover the binder, image and all. Bart very generously signed it and gave it to me in 2004 when I was visiting him for the first time. I've never seen it in this form before or since and it is doubtful it exists anywhere else.
So there you have it, the Wizard binder, a rare find indeed.
Stay tuned for more rare finds from my Bart Sears collection in the form of the Eclipso Shelf Card, Comic Shell backing board and so much more.
Tell your friends.

Batman: Going Sane TPB update

I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the new Batman: Going Sane TPB, and I'm happy to say that, yes, it does reprint Bart's work from LOTDK #200, and not #100, as stated in the DC promotional text.
Your welcome.

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #4

You know, there are times when, as a Bart Sears collector, I receive something in the mail that is that little bit more special than your average piece of Bart Sears memorabilia. Something that makes me really proud to be the #1 fan of Bart Sears. I mean, who else would see this item and realize he must have it!
Bart Sears Portrait
Don't ask me what it's from, I have absolutely no idea, I couldn't even tell you what year it was taken. It looks like early '90's to me, but I could be wrong. My best guess is it may have something to do with the Kubert School. I can almost imagine walking down those hallowed halls and seeing this picture among the other greats that have taught there. Or maybe it's a convention photo. Who knows? Well, if anybody does know, I'd very much appreciate any information that can be given.
Did I mention this is probably the rarest piece of Bart Sears memorabilia I have ever seen. As far as I know, it's a one-of-a-kind deal. Which, excluding original art, makes it one of the only pieces that is such.
I really should stop bragging so much on this blog.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Postcards from Scotland

I was in Scotland last week, thanks to my wife giving me the trip as a birthday present. As I was planning what to bring with me (binoculars, etc.), I had the genius idea that I should take along a few small Bart Sears items and get my picture taken holding them in front of famous places. Genius, I tell you!

So here they are -

This first one is taken on the waters of the mighty Loch Ness, home of the beastie himself. I'm holding a signed and laminated Brute Postcard, a favourite of mine because I own the original sketch and final art for it.

Bart Sears Mael Postcard on Loch Ness

This second photo shows me standing in front of the imposing Edinburgh Castle holding a copy of the B&B Infinity mini-comic, another favourite of mine because I own so many of the original art pages from that comic, tee-hee.

Bart Sears B&B Infinity under Edinburgh Castle

Inking over Bart Sears = shaky hands Jay

Most of you Bart Sears fans out there will be familiar with the name Darrin Wiltshire. For those that aren't, Darrin is a big fan, and like myself, takes his fanaticism beyond just collecting, he does something with it. Darrin has had many commissions done by Bart, which can be seen over at his gallery at ComicArtFans (whilst you're there, check mine out too).
Either Bart or Darrin normally email me scans of these commissions, which are usually in pencil, and I often get the urge to ink them. A few people have inked some of them over the years, most notably Andy Smith, but I thought I'd give it a go myself. So here they are, shown for the first time, as far as I know.
Bart Sears & Jay Penn Wonder ManBart Sears & Jay Penn Golden Defender

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #3

A few weeks ago, I found a cool site called Trading Card Central. TCC is basically a trading card site, with message boards where people can list the cards they have or want to trade or sell.
I was on a hunt for the few Marvel Overpower cards Bart did that I still needed and came across a member that had a whole stack of Overpower cards.
I contacted the member in the hope that they both had any of them, and would be willing to sell them to me. The member, Rogue, got back to me and said that she did have a few of the cards I needed. I said "Great! How much do you want for them?" She replied that she couldn't accept any money for them and would be happy to send them out to me. Can you believe that!?!?

So, a week later, on the 15th of August, I got the envelope in the mail and there they were, in crazy mint condition, Deadpool and Thor.

Bart Sears Marvel Overpower - Thor Protect Teammate cardBart Sears Marvel Overpower - Deadpool Super Spy cardProof!
And for those of you that don't believe Bart did the art for those cards, here are his pencils, the Thor one owned by me, tee-hee.

Bart Sears Marvel Overpower - Thor Protect Teammate pencils
Bart Sears Marvel Overpower - Deadpool Super Spy pencils

Friday, August 08, 2008

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #2

Lots and lots of Wizard magazines!
I got these badboys yesterday, and I've put them to work already. I got issues #4, 8, 16, 17, 20, 21, 26, 29, 39, 50 and 75 from a dealer in the UK for about $40 odd.
 Bart Sears WizardsI mostly got these magazines for Bart's Brute & Babe tutorials, which are featured in 16, 17, 20, 21, 26, 29 and 39, but there are plenty of other things in there relating to Bart. The first issue, #4, has an interview with Bart and several of Bart's illustrations for columns and departments, which are all in the shape of the Wizard mascot that Bart produced 10 different versions of. There are also plenty of advertisements featuring Bart's art, and of course the Wizard Top 10 Artists list, featuring Bart who seemed to hover around the #7 position for a long time.

Now I'm sure I can hear you ask 'Don't you already have all of this stuff?'
Well, the short answer is: Of course!
I have all of the B&B tutorials, have so for many years, but hindsight is a bitch, and I didn't hang onto all of the other stuff, like the articles that mention Bart's name, or the credits pages that have Bart listed, so...
This also gives me the chance to re-laminate the things I already have, now on the A4 sheets so they are uniform and just flat out pretty.
I managed to cut out a total of 74 pages with something or other to do with Bart, which will get the laminating treatment early next week. If I get a chance too, I'll list what appeared in each issue, for those interested parties, or is it just me...?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Bart Sears Checklist

The Bart Sears Checklist has been a work in progress for many years now, and it is intuitively an ever-evolving thing. I know of no other compiled list of Bart's work, let alone anything near as comprehensive as my list. With Bart doing less comic work these days, the checklist is about as complete as it is ever going to be, minus things I haven't discovered as of yet.
As it stands, it is crazy long, far too long to list here, that's for sure. There are over 250 comics listed, all of his Wizard stuff, posters, books, action figures, cards, and much more.
If any of you are interested in getting a copy of it, send me an email and I'll be happy to send the file to you. I will be putting it into PDF form eventually too, heck, I might even print up that booklet of it I've been attempting for years.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Look out! A veritable flood of Bart Sears TPB's are coming our way

First wave, The Joker: Going Sane TPB

Bart Sears The Joker: Going Sane TPB

This one is a tricky one. DC's website lists this TPB, due out on July 30, as such-

Written by J.M. DeMatteis, Eddie Campell and Daren White;
Art by Joe Staton, Bart Sears and Steve Mitchell;
Cover by Staton and Mitchell
Discover whether The Joker would become sane if Batman disappeared in this thriller collecting Legends of the Dark Knight #65-68 and #100! After a life-and-death struggle, The Joker seemingly kills Batman. Faced with the loss of his nemesis, the insane Joker can only retreat…into sanity.

But Bart didn't work on any of those issues, curse it. So, either they mean LOTDK #200 (which Bart did do) when they say#100, or it's an error and he has nothing to do with this TPB. I'm hoping it's the former, but it wouldn't be the first time it would be something like the latter.
I'll obviously be checking up on it when it comes out, which will probably be a few weeks after the release date (my comic shop can be a bit slow), and I'll let you all know what the situation is.


Next up, Invasion! TPB

Bart Sears Invasion TPB

Written by Keith Giffen and Bill Mantlo
Art by Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, P. Craig Russell, Joe Rubinstein and others
Cover by McFarlane and Rubinstein
The massive 3-issue miniseries from 1988 is collected for the first time! In this universe-spanning saga, the deadly but emotionless Dominators have come to Earth to wipe out the threat posed by metahumans. But what is the real reason for their attack?

This one is also quite interesting, and perhaps a little bit frustrating. If they use the above image as the cover for the book, and list Todd McFarlane as the penciller, I shall be very upset. Why? Because -


Bart has confirmed this with me in the past, because I was once unsure myself, considering there is no signature visible. But, yes, Bart pencilled all three covers for the series, as well as pencilling the interiors of the final issue. I wrote DC an email several weeks ago stating these facts, hoping they would alter the mistake before the book went off to the printers, but as of yet have not received a response, and I suppose I probably won't. In which case, may it be on their heads!
Still really looking forward to this book, though.
Look for it on August 27.


Lastly, The Scream TPB

Bart Sears The Scream TPBWriter: Peter David
Penciller: Bart Sears
Inker: Randy Elliott
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Publication Date: December 24, 2008
Price: $13.95
Danny Duncan's life is a mess. His job is mind-numbingly boring, his elderly father is slipping into senility, and since Danny got out of the Belle Foux treatment facility people have been saying he's crazy. On top of all that, odd things have started to happen around Danny. His emotions are affecting coworkers and customers in bizarre ways. But nothing could prepare him for the Scream--a horrible manifestation of his most powerful feelings.Follow Danny and the intrepid reporter Sian Ferguson as they attempt to uncover the disturbing reality behind Danny's newfound abilities, its connection to Belle Foux, and the dirty businessman who will protect his secret at all costs!

This was a shock to find, I must confess. For a series that wasn't particularly good, and didn't exactly light the sales charts on fire, why would DH bring out the trade? I ain't complaining, mind, I'll definately buy it, it's just a bit odd, I say.
This Trade is conveniently scheduled for December 24 2008, because none of us have anything else to do that day... knuckleheads.

The Helm #1

Bart Sears The Helm #1Hey look! There's a new Bart Sears comic out!
Helm #1 from Dark Horse comics came out on the 16th of July, and I'm actually surprised at how decent it is.
It's written by comics newbie, Jim Hardison, who does a pretty good job of it. The story is well paced, humorous, and perhaps most impressively, original.

I think it is fitting to compare this series to Bart's previous project, The Scream, which is after all in the same sort of vain, is finished by Randy Elliott in both instances, and of course, both are published by DH.
Whilst there are many similarities, the books are worlds apart. Firstly, Peter David, a comics veteran, wrote a pretty pathetic story for The Scream, Bart put in some fairly weak breakdowns and Randy's finishes were a real hit and miss.
Enter Jim Hardison, with his fresh story, Bart's more refined breakdowns and Randy's more detailed finishes and Helm blows Scream out of the water.
Sure, there's only been one issue of Helm, but even if the skill level dips in the remaining issues, it would still be miles ahead of Scream, which I consider to be Bart's second worst project in all of his career, only marginally ahead of the deplorably bad Spider-Woman.
Now, I'm certainly not saying that this is Bart's best work, nowhere near it, but the past few years have been lean times indeed for the average Bart Sears fan, so it's good to see Bart's work on a comic that is successfully executed, popular or not.
On a collecting point of view, this comic is awesome! The paper quality is sensational, a healthy stock. The advertisements are conveniently back-to-back, which means that when I go to laminate the pages, I can just pull out the advertisement sheets, leaving the 11 comic page sheets and cover. I love it when that happens, though it is very rare, as stated in another post.
So there you have it, why don't you go check out Helm #1 at your local comic shop, I give it 2 thumbs up, for what it's worth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #1

Back in 1987 and 1988, DC comics produced a series of comic backing boards with images of DC heroes and villains on them, 8 characters to a sheet. There were 6 sheets in the first series from 1987, and 9 sheets in 1988. Sheet number 2 in the second series features an image of JLE #1.

A few weeks ago, I saw this DC card on eBay, and knew it was something I'd not come across before, so I bid on it straight away. Then, with a bit of research, I discovered the card's origin and found out that it was originally part of a backing board, but was now cut out to stand alone as a card.

So what is it, a card or a backing board? Well, I think it is both. It originally came in backing board form, for sure. But the way the backing board was designed suggests it is a card as well. I come to this conclusion because on the back side of the 'card' there is some text that fits the front exactly, and each image on the board has a number on the back, the JLE card being #50. That says it is a card to me.

So anyway, I won the bidding, for a ridiculously cheap US99c, add on a few dollars for shipping and that badboy is mine! It went into my Bart Sears card folder straight away, and all of the pertinent details were added onto the Bart Sears Checklist.

Bart Sears JLE Backing Board Card front

Bart Sears JLE Backing Board Card back

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What to do with all of those Bart Sears comics

Let's face it, collecting comics can be a space consuming affair, especially if you're in any way a serious collector, because that means you're probably using bags and backing boards for each comic. My own comic collection probably peaked at about 1000 comics at one stage, back in the mid 1990's when there were just so many comics out there. There came a day, though, when I came to the conclusion that enough really was enough. So I culled, and then a few years later, I culled some more, then a few more times. Now I probably have about 200 comics, excluding my Bart Sears ones of course. And that is plenty for me, thank-you very muchly.

So I've got a comic box for all of my non-Bart Sears comics, and they're happy where they are. But what about my Bart Sears comics, which are obviously far more important to me. For a long time I had them stored in boxes that perfectly fit comics, the boxes previously containing ketchup squeezy things. Then they were upgraded to a custom made wooden comic box I knocked up in woodworking class in High School. Next they were stored in Michael Palin book set slipcases, that, again, were the perfect size for comics. And most recently, they've been housed in two small wooden chests, the perfect size once more.

But late last year, I undertook a monumental task that will take me over two years to complete- I have chosen to laminate every single Bart Sears comic page!


How many pages is that, you ask? Over 2000, that's how many.

And it get's worse. The anal retentive freak that I am demands that I don't just buy any old laminating sheets; nope, I need the good stuff- 250 microns of sturdiness.

So why am I doing this? Won't that cost a fortune? Isn't it a waste of time? Well, yes, it will be expensive, the laminating sheets I use cost about US$40 for a pack of 100. That's why it will take me over two years to do, I'm restricting myself to one pack a month.
The question of whether it is a waste of time? I don't think so. If you think it is, go and pull out a comic you own from the 1980's or earlier and have a proper look at the paper. Do you remember it being smoother, brighter, cleaner? What if you could encase that comic in a plastic seal that would ensure the pages neither fade nor wear, ever!

If I felt as if I would ever consider selling my Bart Sears collection, then yes, I probably would resist the urge to laminate the pages, but that is never going to happen, never ever never.

So the way I see it, I'm giving these comics that I cherish so much an extended shelf life with no side effects at all. I still have posters of various things that were laminated nearly 20 years ago, and there is no sign of decay or anything like that.
So while some of my Bart Sears comics could be little more than a pile of dust in 30 years, they could theoretically still be around in 300 years now thanks to my trusty laminating machine. That thought alone makes it feel more than worthwhile to me.

So I've been laminating my Bart Sears comic pages for a few months now, and I know I've made the right decision. I've just started laminating the Justice League Europe issues, and they look fantastic now. True, they take up much more room than they ever did before, but the trade-off is worth it. I put each page slap-bang in the centre of the A4 sized laminating sheet, put it through the machine, and leave it that way, I don't trim the excess laminate off, I just stack them on top of each other and put them in a A4 sized box.

Some comics are easier to do than others, namely Justice League Europe, in which every page is double sided, so no advertisements show up on the final product. Other comics aren't so accommodating, unfortunately. There have been several comics with a comic page on one side that has an ad on the back, with no opportunity to double up (doubling up meaning when you can take two pages that are consecutive but also have ads on the opposite sides that can be put ad to ad to form a single page). But these are rare enough. Each issue has an average of just over 13 sheets required to complete them, with the most sheets for one issue being Invasion! #3, which took all of 42 sheets to polish off.

I'm trying to laminate the comics in a chronological order, but there are some comics that I am sorely tempted to bump up the list, and I can't wait for the day when the whole lot is done. But I'll keep you all posted on how it is progressing.
So stay tuned.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What's it all about then?

Well, this little Blog of mine is dedicated solely to the art of collecting the work of Bart Sears, that's what.
Sure, it sounds easy enough, but it ain't, believe you me!
Why, I've been doing this for the better part of 17 years, and, I've said it before, I'm still finding stuff I previously didn't know about.
But as I draw closer and closer to completing my Bart Sears collection, my thoughts turn to storage and preservation of this hard-earned stockpile. So, in future blogs, I will go in depth and impart what I have learned about the art of collecting.
As I said earlier, I'm still coming across things I've not known of before. Which means that I still keep the postman in business every now and then with deliveries of new Bart Sears goodies. And I want to share those with you. So whenever I get a new Bart Sears item, I'll tell you all about it in an ongoing series of posts titled 'Guess what the postman delivered today?'

So stay tuned for all sorts of interesting (I hope) tips and plenty of fun and laughter.