Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wizard the Guide to Comics: Bart's Mascot

Bart Sears has had a long history with Wizard, going all the way back to its first couple of issues. Over the first 100 issues, Bart produced more covers than any other artist, even Alex Ross.

But he also did other things for Wizard other than covers (the covers of which will be featured in another post soon), and the one thing I want to concentrate on in this post is the Wizard Mascot that was used from Wizard 4 through 16.

Bart produced, as far as I've seen, a total of 10 different Mascot images for Wizard. Let's go through each one and what it was used for.

Mascot #1 - The Headshot
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Headshot
This image was used in the regular article titled 'The Wizard's Crystal Ball,' it is the only Mascot image using only his head.

Mascot #2 - The Director's chair
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Director's Chair Bart Sears Wizard #8 Coupon
This image was sometimes used on the regular article 'Hollywood Heroes,' but was also used on an issue 9 full page advert in issue 8 and one side of issue 8's Subscription Coupon.

Mascot #3 - The Spotlight
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Spotlight
This particular image was definitely used the most of all of the mascot images. It was used on the section called 'Wizard Spotlight,' but also appeared on 'Wizard Comic Watch,' 'Wizard News' and 'Recommended Reading, as well as the back side of Issues 8's Subscription Coupon.

Mascot #4 - Lucky Dip
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Wizard's Hat
This image wasn't used much, but features in 'Picks from the Wizard's Hat.'

Mascot #5 - Strike a pose
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Posing Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Wildcats Card
As far as I know, this image was only used three times, most notably on the Subscription Coupon for issue 4 and on the card featuring Jim Lee's Wildcats. It is pretty badly pixelated, and I've never seen a good copy of it.

Mascot #6 - Mailman
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Mailman
This guy was used a lot in the 'Magic Words' section, which was essentially the reader letters column.

Mascot #7 - Ta-da!
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - TaDa
Another one not be used much at all, only in issue 15 as far as I know in the 'Special Thanks' column.

Mascot #8 - Really hot comic
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Comic
Yet another image only used once, for something called the 'Wizard Cool C.O.R.P.S.' in issue 12. The Cool C.O.R.P.S. was some kind of fan club they set up, can't imagine too many people joined it with a name like that.

Mascot #9 - I'm excited about something!
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Jumping
This Mascot was never used, as far as I know, so its another exclusive to this Blog, I guess.

Mascot #10 - Now I'm running from something scary!
Bart Sears Wizard Mascot - Running
Again, this Mascot wasn't used, I guess they couldn't find a department for him either.

Please note I am yet to scoure issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 11 for Mascots (a problem I'm hoping to remedy soon), so there may well be further Mascots out there. But I though I'd go ahead anyway, seeing as they're such as nice little corner of Bart & Wizard's history virtually unknown to most people. Hope you liked it.

I've got a lot more to say about Bart's work for Wizard The Guide to Comics, so this is only the first step into that world. I still have to write about Bart's covers (both used and unused), interviews, adverts, articles, and most importantly, his Brute & Babe tutorials.

So check back often for further updates, which will be coming thick and fast from now on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bart Sears Hero Initiative Wolverine 100 Project

I've been sitting on these pictures for about a month now, having received them from Bart directly. I've been holding off on putting them up here for fear of getting myself into trouble. But to hell with it, their too cool not to share.

So here they are, exclusive to this blog, Bart Sears' two contributions to Hero Initiative's Wolverine 100 Project.
Bart Sears Wolverine 100 Project #1Bart Sears Wolverine 100 Project #2

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #6

This is the delivery I've really been waiting for.
As I mentioned in my Mile High Comics post, I've bought a lot off of them, and this is what I got in the delivery that arrived today-

Bart Sears - Bad Company #3, Rogur Trooper #14, 15, 17
Bad Company #3 - cover by Bart. I've had a copy of this for about 10 years now, maybe longer, but about 5 years ago, the tape that I use to seal the backing board and bag got stuck on the cover, and ripped a nice little chunk off it. It'll be going through the laminator tomorrow so that doesn't happen again.

Rogue Trooper #14, 15, 17. Just cool early covers. Replacing old laminates.

Bart Sears - Weapon X #5, The Dark Blue, LOTDK #200
Weapon X: Days of Future Now #5. My worst laminating moment. I laminated my original copy of this and the laminator chewed it up. I'm a far more experienced laminator now, and it hasn't happened since.
The Dark #1 Second Printing, Continum Comics. There are two variant covers to the first printing of this, one with a Blue Chromium cover, one with a red. I didn't know about these until I saw that Bart had copies of them when I was visiting him. They're cool looking.

Legends of the Dark Knight #200. Another replacement copy. I bought LOTDK #200 the day it came out, but didn't think to check the comic for printing mistakes, and wouldn't you know, when I got home I noticed that there was some odd ink smudging going on. This new copy is clean.

Bart Sears - Stargrazers #2, Ramayan Guidebook, Wonder Woman #28
Legends of the Stargrazers #2. This comic has such a cool pin-up by Bart on page one that I've bought it twice now. Actually, this one is a case of my old laminated copy wasn't laminated the best, so this will replace it. I used to use laminating sheets of about a 150 micron thickness, I now use 250.

Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded Guidebook. Has all of 1 reprinted panels from Bart's back-up story in Reloaded #5. Still, now I know.

Wonder Woman #28. This issue features a full-page Ad for Justice League Europe. Nice.

Bart Sears - Wizard #37 & Infinity insert
Wizard #37. Hands down, the best Wizard for Bart stuff ever. First off, you get the Brute & Babe Infinity mini-comic in the bag, there's a 6 page 3-point perspective tutorial by Bart, not to mention a 6 page Ominous Press interview. I've actually owned two copies of this magazine, but have needed to redo the laminating.

Bart Sears - Wizard #61, X-Men Special, Wizard #115
Wizard #61. Has a cool Sabretooth v Psylocke cover. Again, I've owned it twice, but needed to re-laminate.

Wizard X-Men Special. Another one to be put through the laminating machine. This cover is interesting in that it features Wolverine, Cyclops & Jean Grey, but Colossus & Nightcrawler were then added after printing. It features Wolverine with those dumb-ass skeletal claws.

Wizard #115 Megacon Edition. The Megacon Edition has a cool cover of Seahn & Persha from The First. It's a hard enough issue to come by, and this one will replace my previous version and it's old laminating style. For those interested, my old laminating style consisted of laminating the page, then cutting off the excess laminate to the edge of the page. I now buy A4 size laminating sheets, center the page on the laminating sheet, and store it properly. They look great done this way.

Bart Sears - Wizard #83 & 110
Wizard #83. Not much in the way of Bart stuff in this issue, but it does have a full-page Ad on page 129 for the X-Men Special, and the advertisement uses Bart's cover for Wizard #56, but mirrored over.

Wizard #110. Pages 14-15 have a two-page Ad for The First. Wizard #'s 109 & 111 also have two-page spread Ads. Each subsequent Ad has a shot of Elysia from above, zooming in as it goes. I got these issues when they came out and actually joined the Ads together to make a poster, but I now have them all again to laminate normally. Anal much?

So there you go. Not a bad bunch, I think.
Jay (the Laminatrix, to coin a word)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #5

Isn't she a beauty!
Bart Sears LOTDK #200 page 38
Way back when I was visiting him a few years ago, Bart had a folder with photocopies of all of the LOTDK #200 pages inserted into it. Bart rather casually handed me the folder and told me to pick a page from it and the original art would be mine, as soon as he got it back from DC.
Well, I scanned through the pages, noting a few that took my eye. There were plenty of cool Batman pages in there, and some nice action scenes, but then I saw this page, and knew it was the one for me.
I love the fact that it is a self contained page, it tells a story all on it's own. And it isn't like your typical splash, it really shows to me Bart's storytelling ability. Look at the curved shadows from the skylight, they're as warped as is the Joker's mind. And I love Bart's Joker, it ticks all of the boxes in my mind. He's mad, childlike, dangerous as hell and playful at once.
I'd like to thank Darrin Wiltshire for sending this on to me. If you don't know, Darrin handles the majority of Bart's original art sales, sold through this website -
Check it out for some great art at some great prices.