Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Art Day - Superman 400 pinup recreation by Bill Sienkiewicz

Last year at NYCC I spent most of my convention budget on two things. The first was a Mike Mignola cover. But then I also set up a commission with Bill Sienkiewicz for him to recreate his pinup of Superman from issue 400 of Superman. We talked about it a bit and Bill told me no one had ever commissioned a recreation of that piece but that he had been thinking about doing one himself, but bigger. In fact I believe he said he had even started on one. So he was excited to take on the commission and then I made my first mistake. I did not sit there and watch him do it, but instead told him I was going home and would be back Sunday to pick it up. He told me he would do it and we agreed on the price for a color piece. Then I went home, a few thousand dollars poorer from these two purchases.

I had thought long and hard about offering Bill some big (to me at least) money for this piece. I had a few smaller ones, $200, $300, etc. but seeing people get these amazing pieces from Bill at cons made me think I had to raise my game a bit. I looked at a bunch of work trying to figure out what to ask for. I was settling on a shot from the Daredevil Love & War graphic novel where DD is kind of bouncing off a car with that crazy Sienkiewicz energy to the piece. And then I remembered a shot Bill did of Superman. It was really a great piece, it has the energy and scratch in Bill's best pieces but also had superb draftsmanship, yes only in a few recognizable parts, of the pinup. I knew immediately this was what I wanted to see Bill do for me.

Well, it isn't a surprise that things did not work out on Sunday. But it really wasn't any fault of Bill's, I just could not find him while at the show that day. For whatever reason he was not at his Artists Alley table when I was hovering and eventually I went home dejected. At least I had not yet paid Bill for the piece, but that was small consolation after planning it for at least 6 months!

Enter an angel from above in the form of John S. (I won't embarrass him with the full name.) I asked the comicart-l yahoo group if anyone could help me contact Bill in case the piece was done and waiting for me. Yes, I am an optimist. Eternally. John S emailed me to say he knew Bill personally and would try to help me out. Well, help me out he did. He kept on Bill every so often and eventually I got an email from Bill saying he would love to do it for me. He was going to do it the weekend of the London Comic Con, and John would be there to make sure it stayed on Bill's radar. Well, I got an email after the show from Bill; he thought I would be in London and had it ready for me. Well alright! 11 by 17 black and white. D'OH! Black and white? It seems in the months since NYCC some info was lost. But I knew that if Bill did it in b/w that it would shine as well, and since it was done what was I to do. So I took it anyway. Gladly. Eagerly. We agreed on paypal half now half when it was received. That was almost 4 weeks ago and I was kind of dreading confronting Bill about it by the 45 day paypal protection limit. But then he emailed me the other day with the piece attached. A few quicks email later it was going to Fedex and now here it is.

Bill Sienkiewicz commissioned recreation of Superman 400 pin-up

Fuckin' A Bill, fuckin' A! Thank you Mr. Sienkiewicz.

1 comment:

xraysteve said...

I like the story as much as the commission. Congrats.