Monday, August 31, 2009

A Mixed Bag of Bart Sears Goodness

Going along with the theme of the last post, or the lack thereof, I thought I might, this time around, show some Bart Sears art that really doesn't fall into any particular category I've established here. There is some unpublished work, some early work, some commissioned work; yet all have one thing in common - they're all freaking good!
So let's take a dip into the gigantic bag that is my Bart Sears collection and have a look-see what comes out.

First out is a fantastic piece from way back in 1986!
Bart Sears Marooned
This is one of the many pieces I came across whilst rifling through Bart's boxes while staying with him and the family on my second trip, in 2006. I don't believe it was for anything in particular (Bart?), and I've never seen it published anywhere. Which is a great shame, because I think it is one of Bart's better early pieces, surpassing many of his QC QC covers from a few years later, in my opinion. It is also one of Bart's few forays into pure Science Fiction. And the sword thing is just nifty looking.

Let's see, what else have we got in here? Oh, ever seen this before?
Bart Sears Warlord 10 page 1
Whilst staying with Bart that time in 2006, Bart was working on Warlord #10. Bart asked me if I'd like to help with the inking of it. I swear I nearly pooped myself when he said that, half out of fear of messing up the inking, the other out of excitement at getting the oppurtunity to do the inking.
I ended up helping out on about half a dozen pages, filling in blacks here and there, sometimes a little more. The pinnacle was probably this page though, where I did most of the detail in the background. Bart first gave me a photocopy of the page to have a go at it first. He gave me a few notes after I'd done that, and then handed me the real page, and this is the result.
I was pretty excited to see our work on the printed paper, but unfortunately, DC pulled Bart's rendition of Warlord #10 and replaced it with another story, so none of the work we did ever made it to the printer.
I'm still mad at DC about that.

But anyway, on to the next item.

Here's another of my favourite pieces of work by Bart. And it's another unpublished item.
Bart Sears Incredible page 1Bart Sears Incredible pages 1-2
Cool huh? Actually, this is probably one of the best things Bart has ever done, in my opinion.
These three pages were originally intended for Marvel Comics' 1997-98 title 'Shadows & Light,' but Bart's work never got past the third page, I don't know why (Bart?). Bart did, however, produce a fantastic Colossus pin-up for issue #3, dated July 1998 which is worth checking out (I'll post it here when I've got it scanned in).

Here is another very early piece, and is probably one of the most unrecognisable pieces of Bart Sears art ever.
Bart Sears Slammer 1
I'm sure you'll have noticed that the credited artist is somebody called 'MILO,' but this comic strip is, in fact, an early collaboration of both Bart and Michael J Morrissey. I unfortunately don't know much more about it apart from the fact that there were perhaps four or five more strips completed, and they were published in a local Syracuse newspaper. I'm kinda hoping that as soon as Bart reads this, he'll fill me in with some more details, which I'll obviously post here if forthcoming.

Finally, some of you may know that whilst Sears Studios was open for business back in 1993-94, Bart was commissioned to design the vast majority of Marvel & Toy Biz's X-Men and X-Force lines for those years (he also designed several Fantastic Four figures and some packaging art too). Whilst there is an interesting story to go along with these designs and that deal, I'll leave that for another post, but give you a taste of the sort of designs he was producing for them.

The first piece is a character called Quark, often associated with Mojo and Longshot. He's a lesser character (Toy Biz produced quite a few lesser characters for these series'), but its a cool design image.
Bart Sears Action Figure - Quark

Next is packaging art for the Spider-Man 'Web of Steel' series of figures. Unfortunately, the final artwork looks to have been slightly altered from this art, but I still consider it a Bart Sears item, in spite of this.
Bart Sears Action Figure Spider-Man v Carnage
On a different note, those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook will know that I recently purchased an item that I hoped would contain some new Bart Sears artwork for me. Well, true to form, it didn't have any new Bart in it. The item in question is the 'Essential Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition Volume 1 (is it just me or is that just stupidly long for a title?).

This Handbook reprints entries from the (take a deep breath) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition series from 1990-93. It has entries for both Captain Universe and Caliban, and I, perhaps a bit optimistically, hoped that it would have these images for those entries.

Bat Sears Handbook - Caliban Bart Sears Handbook - Captain Universe

But alas, it wasn't to be. But fear not, I am on the trail of another possible location for these images, and I'll bring any news to you as soon as I have any.

And finally, I just came across this cool T-Shirt, which takes the art from Bart's 'Contract #1 Solo Missions: Panzer' cover for A First Salvo.
Bart Sears Panzer T-Shirt

I'm back at work tomorrow after a blissful week off, but I'll try and do another post next weekend.
Until then...

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