Sunday, September 27, 2009

Guess what the Postman delivered today? #10

Well, I finally got my scanner going again after a few weeks of it not working at all, and that can only mean one thing - I've got some catching up to do!
So, this installment of 'Guess what the Postman delivered today?' actually includes two shipments of Bart Sears comics that I've received over the past couple of weeks.

So pop the kettle on and settle in, because this is going to be a long one.

The first shipment of comics arrived on the 11th of September from my old friends at Mile High Comics. I'd been particularly looking forward to this shipment as I knew it would contain a few more of those issues that may or may not have Bart's work in them.

First off came copies of Chaos! Comics title 'Chaos Quarterly.' In retrospect it was probably a bit of a long shot, but I, at the time, hoped that Bart's cover to Cremator #1 might be previewed or some such in at least one of the issues; so I bought issues 1 & 2. But nope, nothing of Bart's in there.
Next came an issue of Amazing Heroes. I'd done some research into what each issue of the comic magazine contained, and decided on Amazing Heroes #160, mostly because the issue was supposed to be about foreign comics and American publishers of them. So I figured there had to be at least something on Quality Comics in there and maybe a picture or two of some of the covers Bart did for them. But nope, again, nothing like that in there. There was some mention of QC, but only in the upcoming comics section, where these issues were listed-
Of course Bart didn't actually do any of those covers...
On the following page was also an in depth review of Justice League Europe, printed in it's entirety below.
Amazing Heroes JLE Review
Yep, pretty disappointing really, especially considering the fact that Amazing Heroes #87 had an enormous 6 page article dedicated to Hero Alliance, resplendent with plenty of Bart Sears images.
Oh well.
Next out of the package were a few issues of Hero Illustrated, another comic magazine that had the misfortune of having to compete with Wizard in the early '90's. Its actually not a bad publication, certainly less fanboy-y as Wizard, but I believe it suffered from a weak layout, among other things. As a comic magazine, they didn't have much to say about Bart, but at the time Bart was pretty well known as a Wizard guy, so mention of him in Hero is pretty few and far between.
But I decided to take a leap anyway. Issues 7 and 23 both had interviews with Alan Moore, and both of them seemed Violator related. And wouldn't you know it, I turned a page of issue 7 and see this-
Bart Sears Violator Hero Illustrated page 1
Not bad for a stab in the dark. Moore discusses a little bit about his work procedure and Bart is mentioned several times.
As for issue 23, this page is included-
Bart Sears Violator Hero Illustrated page 2
Another result, regardless of how small. Bart isn't mentioned at all in the Moore interview this time, and only Bart's shot of the Clown is actually anything related to him, but its almost worth it for the Rob Liefeld interview, where the interviewer absolutely rips him to shreds.
I also got a few Wizard issues, and boy were they worth getting.
Firstly, issue 3 was another one of those shots in the dark. Bart may have an interview in issue 4, as well as the Wizard mascot being peppered throughout, but I had no idea if Bart was even mentioned in issue 3.
Well, he was.
Firstly, four different Wizard Mascots appear in it, including another one of those Subscription Coupons. But most importantly, this particular mascot appears-
Bart Sears POOF! Running
As previously stated in my post dedicated to the Wizard Mascot , I was under the impression that this particular mascot image went unpublished; that is clearly not the case! Yeah, I was pretty happy with that find. Also mentioned in the magazine is the name of that very mascot, which is, though not entirely PC, 'POOF!' Apparently Gareb Shamus was unaware of the derogatory alternate meaning of the word at the time.
Issue 3 also features this advert on one of the last pages-
Wizard 3 T-Shirt advert
I have absolutely no idea if Bart's Batman cover image for issue 4 (assuming it was indeed that image) ever made it onto one of the T-Shirts, but I've certainly not come across any evidence of it's existence.
Next came issue 5, which I used to own when it first came out, but who knows what happened to it down through the years. I sure wish I had have held on to it because it has some great Bart Sears stuff in it, and at the top of the list is this piece-
Bart Sears POOF! with wand down
Yet another Poof! image I was unaware of! And if you look closely, Bart has even signed the thing, in still another of his many signature variations.
There are a total of 5 Poof's! in the magazine, 2 of which are this one-
Bart Sears POOF! Competition
I know, I know, I had said that this particular Poof! went unpublished as well, but I was obviously wrong in that assumption. But now I, and you, know.
I also got Wizard #11 in the shipment, which has the usual mix of Poof's! scattered throughout, but it also has Bart's second Brute & Babe Tutorial, which just so happened to be the very last tutorial I needed to complete my set of newly laminated tutorials. That's just another thing I can cross off the old Want List, which has been steadily getting smaller and smaller. I now only require issues 9 and 56 of Wizard, both of which are proving tricky to find through my usual sources.
Next out was an actual comic, not a comic magazine. A fresh copy of Mutant X #21 in fact, featuring nine pages of some of the best work Bart has ever done for Marvel, in my opinion. I highly recommend it to those that don't already have it. Those pages have already been put through the laminator.
And finally, I got three issues of The First to replace the ones that I can't seem to find anymore. The issues in question are #'s 6, 12 and 15. If you know you're way around The First, you'll probably pick up that Bart didn't actually do the interior art for any of those issues, Andrea Di Vito did (which would probably explain why I can't find the original copies I had.)
Though Bart didn't do the interior art, he did do the images on the credit pages of issues 6 & 12, shown below-
Bart Sears The First #6 credits pageBart Sears The First #12 credits page
These images, along with all of the other credit page images, first appeared on the CrossGen website even before the first 'First' issue was out, as a sort of 'get to know us' thing. I did print off the images from the website at the time, but the resolution is nowhere near these ones that appeared in the comics, so their good to have.

As for issue 15, I had one of the many letters I had published in The First in it, so I simply had to get it again.
My The First #15 letter
It's no huge claim to fame, by any means, certainly not as big as the Pyrem image I had published in issue 5-
My version of Pyrem
Feel free to laugh as I cringe at it.
For those interested (probably only me), I had a total of 5 letters (all of them praising Bart) and the Pyrem image published in pages of The First, which is probably because I was a pretty vocal fan of the comic at the time, and regularly posted on the CG message boards.

And that was all for the Mile High Comics shipment, which was pretty much par for the course in respect to the other shipments I've gotten recently - some big hits, some swings and misses, but a worthy venture at the end of the day.

My other new delivery arrived on the 22nd of September, and it was my first ever purchase from a place called MyComicShop, who are a pretty good seller, from what I've seen, and they package stuff expertly. I've pretty much exhausted Mile High Comics' inventory of all of the Bart stuff I need, but MyComicShop was thankfully able to fill in a good amount of the holes Mile High Comics couldn't, and at pretty good prices too.
So first off came a few QC issues I needed to relaminate.
Bart Sears Bad Company #1 coverBart Sears Judge Dredd #14 cover
Of all of the 30 covers Bart did for QC/Fleetway, I only require the Scavengers #3 cover to complete their relamination process.
I also got my hands on another Zoom Suit issue-
Bart Sears Zoom Suit #3 Regular cover
This is the regular Bart Sears cover to #3, but there is also a Sketch Edition of this, that I believe is on it's way to me as I write this. The cover is obviously an homage to that famous Superman cover, with a modern twist. I believe the 'Sears Tower' sign in the background was none of Bart's doing, that really isn't the sort of thing he would do (though he has been known to do things kinda similar to this, which will be the feature of another post at a later stage).
After that comes the final Blade cover I needed to complete the set-
Bart Sears Blade Strange Tales #2 Alternate cover
This is the alternate cover to the regular one that Bart did, and is difficult enough to come across now, and is usually more expensive too. I love Mike Atiyeh's colours on this one.
I also polished off my collection of Hero Alliance covers in the new laminating format.
Bart Sears Hero Alliance #9 cover
This cover is interesting in that the signatures suggest that the pencilling chores were shared by both Bart and Ron Lim. I'm not entirely sure which parts Ron Lim did, because to me, it looks to be all Bart.
For those completists out there, Bart did the covers to issues #1, 2, 6 & 9 of the regular Hero Alliance series.
Next up was Justice league Europe #29.
Bart Sears JLE #29 cover
This is another interesting cover in that although it is definitely done by Bart, his signature is nowhere to be seen. He is listed as the cover penciller and inker on the back credits page though. It is also interesting because Bart is listed as the interior artist on the cover, of which he is in actual fact not, Darick Robertson does the pencilling on the interior.
This cover marks Bart's final work for the title that made him famous.
Those 6 previous items mark the end of the comics I knew Bart did in this shipment, but I had a few more comics to come that were questionable.
As regular readers may be aware, I've been searching for that pesky Caliban Handbook image for quite some time now, to absolutely no avail. But the next possible source arrived in this shipment.
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2 cover
This comic was released in April 2006, At least 10 years after the original image was drawn, but wouldn't you know...
Bart Sears Caliban image
I think I giggled a little bit when I saw that picture. I'm not entirely certain that this is the first place this image was shown, but I believe it is. So for now, unless I find it anywhere else, the search is over. Sigh.
The next piece still has a huge question mark over it. I'd read somewhere a while ago that Bart did this particular cover-
Solar Man of the Atom TPB cover
Obviously, they meant that Bart did the Solar hand on the right, not Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam.' After checking through the whole comic, credit pages and all, not only is Bart not listed anywhere, but nobody has been credited as the cover artist at all. I'm not so sure if Bart did it, to be honest, the hand certainly has a Bart Sears feel to it, but it also has a Michelangelo feel to it too, some of the outline is almost a mirror of Adam's outstretched arm. So Bart, let me know if you know anything about this and I'll update this section with whatever you can tell me.
NOTE: To quote Bart, "Nope had nada to do with that Solar cover..." Say no more.
Another item that I'd read/half guessed would have some Bart art in it is was this badboy-
The Dark Convention Book #2
As you can see, Bart is listed on the cover. The book is basically a pin-up gallery of The Dark images, in black and white, and on page 30 is this pin-up -
Bart Sears The Dark Convention Book #2 pin-up
I swear, this image is the most reproduced image of Bart's I know. Let's list it's appearances shall we?
1. Bart's B&B Tutorial in Wizard #22 has it shown in b&w
2. The Dark Regular cover
3. The Dark Red chrome cover
4. The Dark Blue chrome cover
5. The Dark Convention book
6. The Dark Phonecard. Of which only 500 were made, and I have three!

Lastly, I got the obligatory couple of Wizard magazines, this time issues 54 & 100.
Wizard #54 starts off pretty nicely for a Bart Sears fan like myself.
Bart Sears Wizard #54 cover
It keeps on going from there because part of that same cover is reprinted on the contents page, Gareb Shamus talks about it on his Letter page, and then we come to the 'More Picks' section on page 117, which has a quick review of X-O Manowar #63-64, and has this image shown-
Bart Sears X-O unused finished
Sorry about the quality, its a small image. Anyway, this is listed as the cover for X-O #63, which turns out not to be the case. In fact, this image doesn't appear on any X-O cover as far as I know, and as far as I know, doesn't appear anywhere but right there!
Here are the pencils for the piece for those interested.
Bart Sears X-O unused pencils
There is also a great picture of Bart and Andy Smith on the Creator Abbreviations page, that is worth putting up here I think.
Wizard #54 Andy Smith & Bart Sears photo
Lastly, and I mean lastly, on the final page is this-
Bart Sears Wizard #54 Profile
There is some good information on Bart's early life in it, which I elaborated on when I was running the Bart Sears Fan Club all those years ago.
Wizard #100 is not quite the anniversary issue I envisioned it would be, in fact, apart from the poster that came with the magazine when bagged (I got an unbagged copy), showing all 100 covers (I will be getting that hopefully soon), and a few bits here and there, it is barely indistinguishable from a normal issue. At the back, in the price guide section, there are some unused covers shown, and several of Bart's are shown, but the image sizes are tiny compared those shown in Wizard #29.
The only other places anything Bart related are mentioned are on the Top 100 ordered titles for October 1999, where Spider-Woman #6 came in at number 65.
There is also a page that lists prominent artists and writers and how much each one's signature is worth, Bart comes in at a whopping $3!
And finally, this tiny little article at the bottom of page 120 appeared.
Bart Sears Wizard #100 Tidbit
I don't know how "long-standing" Greg Capullo's tutorials were, but Bart did a total of 31 tutorials between issues 1 and 100, and they started at issue 10!
And that's it! Well, nearly it. These two deliveries, and the previous Mile high Comics delivery, all had 1 item each that was incorrectly delivered. By that I mean, for instance, I ordered a particular comic, and a different but easily mistaken issue was delivered instead. The two Mile High corrected issues are on their way, and the MyComicShop one will be soon, so I'll put them up here when they arrive.
But for now, that's me finished in the way of deliveries, for the foreseeable future anyway. Which means that I can do some posts on things other than what arrived in the mail, and concentrate on some other aspects of Bart's work. I have a few ideas in mind, including a proper look at Bart's Action figure work, a statistical study of his career and a look at some of Bart's Kubert School work.
So come back soon!

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