Friday, September 18, 2009

My Favourite Piece of Bart Sears Art.

This is a post I've been meaning to get around to doing for a long time now, even before this blog existed. About three years ago, in fact, I wrote a huge article on my single most favourite piece of Bart Sears art, and perhaps suprisingly enough, it isn't an Ominous Press piece! Sure, those three Ominous Press comics are by far my favourite Bart Sears comics, but when it comes to picking a single piece of Bart Sears art, be it a cover, a card, a poster, a comic page, to my mind at least, there can be no going past Bart's cover to Cremator #1.
In my original article, I waffled on about lighting, focal points and all sorts of criterion to drive home my point. I even equated the cover to some fantastic David Gemmell scene!
But to spare you the chore of wading through my entirely unnecessary pontification, I, here, will give you the watered down version of that original article.

Firstly, a bit of history.
I still quite clearly recall the day I was paying a visit to my favourite comic shop back in Melbourne, favourite because they had the best range of back issues and they let you open the bags. I was browsing away, not a care in the world, when I saw a poster on the wall that I'd never seen before. It was advertising the new Cremator series by Chaos Comics, and listed that Bart did a variant cover.
Bart Sears Cremator Poster
So I went and checked the shelves, nothing there; the back issues, nothing there. It would be another year before I chanced upon that variant issue at a collector's fair, some time late in 1999.
Bart Sears Cremator cover
Pretty cool, huh? I'm glad you agree.
There's just something about the way the anatomy is drawn, showing both sides of the arm in all of it's Searsian glory, coupled with fantastic weaponry, lots of severed heads and the fact that while the character is pin-cussioned with arrows, he ain't done yet, he's ready for more.
So this cover almost instantly became my favourite piece of Bart's, but nothing really could prepare me for what I found at Bart's place the second time I visited him in Florida.
In a box, hidden away amongst other sheets of paper, were 6 pages of thumbnails and roughs for none other than that Cremator cover.
First off, the thumbnails, which are a really interesting study of how to go about developing an idea. You can kind of map Bart's process of honing in on what he likes and discarding what he didn't, though I'd like to see him finish all of those thumbs.

Bart Sears Cremator thumbs
So, it looks like Bart preffered two of the thumbs, both the sixth and the third last, which he then expanded into larger roughs. Shown here as images 1, 2 & 3. Somewhere about that time he must have discarded those ideas, and gone for the fourth rough, which is quite close to the final cover.

Bart Sears Cremator roughs

I've mentioned to Bart my love of this piece, regarding it as my favourite, and he has told me that he personally doesn't see it. Not to say that he doesn't like it, I just think he prefers other stuff. But he's clearly wrong, so...
Anyway, I naturally purchased those 6 pages off Bart, and they are some of my most prized posessions. I have seen the final artwork on ComicArtFans, and I hope to eventually own it one day myself. But I'm content with what I've got for the moment.

Incidentally, I have received another shipment of comics from Mile High Comics this week, as soon as I have everything scanned and cleaned, I'll write a post for it, its a good one too.
Talk to you then.

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