During SDCC17, Bill Sienkiewicz talks about his incredible run on the consummate 80s series, The New Mutants. Fox is developing the film, and it is planned for an April 2018 release. Maisie Williams is on board and more details will come out as time moves on.
Bill reflected on his own origins by noting he grew up “bailing hay in horse country.” He talks about letting go of the vices that got in the way of his art. “I broke my drawing hand while I was drunk. Immediately after, I realized this was my whole career. I ended up giving up booze, cigarettes, sugar, caffeine, my marriage. I freely admit to that. I’ll own it.” Farm living can be tough. Alcohol can get in the way of what you need to do, but it certainly helps folks to escape for a while.
Neal Adams was a big influence on Bill and he worked hard to emulate his style. After he went to art school, then his craft started to develop a bit further. His love for art and illustration had a huge impact on his creativity and it came through in his work. He picked up after Sal Buscema left the title. Jim Shooter used to call him into his office and read to him the amount of people who were really upset.
Bill didn’t like too many people inking his work apart from Tom Palmer and Joe Rubenstein. Sienkiewicz eventually decided to dive in and ink his own work. The rest is history, so to speak.
Touching on notable New Mutants creations, Legion came to being. He also brought the Demon Bear storyline to life. This nightmare scenario pushed this title to the edge. In fact, in the bundle packs, New Mutants comics were sandwiched in the middle so that it didn’t startle too many kids. Whoa.
Bill talked about his work with Dune, Carmen Sandiego and GI Joe Extreme. With Carmen he provided the character designs and then he was moved on to other projects. “It was disconcerting,” he said, “only because I would be working on something and it would be handed off to someone else. I was loving the idea of taking everything animation was teaching me and finding a way to shoehorn it into comics.”
Hopefully, the producers will follow Bill’s distinctive take on this amazing series for the film.