Bill Sienkiewicz ~ “the Shadow Portfolio”, published by DC.
In the first proper conversation I had with Bill Sienkiewicz (a fellow skinny brunette with an eastern block last name with whom I feel a kinship), he described his process for the cover of the Shadow #4, the one above with Shiwan Khan reclining in a wicker chair. He’d just come off the painterly craziness of Elektra: Assassin — when he was drawing the Shadow, I mean, not when we had our conversation — but DC wasn’t interested in him getting too crazy with the interiors. The series was a spinoff of Howard Chaykin’s superhit Shadow mini, and they wanted to keep the visuals in that wheelhouse. Which a bit blows my mind, but then, I’m a huge Sienkiewicz fan and not an editor at DC comics in the late 80s. I may have missed that boat.
So The Big Sienk spent his six issues on the Shadow experimenting with drybrush techniques and practicing drawing hats and desks, which gives the run this interesting sketchbooky look that matches the faintly madcap motley crew Snatch-type feel of the book. But to covers, the covers. That’s where he got to do the Elektra.
Issue three’s cover was done on wrapping paper, first of all, presumably drymounted on either bristol or artboard. The chair was hand-assembled out of interwoven strips of paper. The Shadow’s shadow was lightly diffused spray paint. Khan himself was also spray paint, a more concentrated stream, which he then painted the facial features on top of. He’s bad ass. If you felt bad not getting me a present for Christmas, just throw literally anything the man’s ever done my way and have a happy new year.
(His run on the Shadow was followed and maybe even surpassed by an earlyish showing from the tremendous Kyle Baker. Do I own the entire thing, and even bought it all over again when I temporarily misplaced my original collection? That’s a curious thing to be asking me.)
This. All of this. Dan is a man of taste.