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An interesting thing popped up in my morning stroll through RSS feeds of interesting sites: artist Bart Sears is doing his first sketchbook. Titled Odds-n-Ends, the book promises 52 pages “crammed with sketches, drawings, designs” including many unpublished works. It’s an interesting piece from an interesting, and largely overlooked, comic artist.
Sears is a unique figure in comics. He’s worked in most every corner of the comics industry, from Justice League Europe to Todd McFarlane’s Violator, and was even the art director at CrossGen for a time. Many fans probably remember him for his instructive art column “Brutes & Babes,” in Wizard magazine. In the past few years, Sears has worked largely outside of comics, as an in-house concept artist for video game developer Heatwave Interactive. The few comics he has done recently were published by Dark Horse: a miniseries titled The Helm and a two-issue Conan series with fellow CrossGen alum Ron Marz.
Sears’s art style is like a dynamic mind-meld of the sinewy style of Barry Windsor-Smith crossed with the muscled men and women of Boris Vallejo. His work goes to the root of power-fantasy, making him hyper-specialized so that only certain kinds of books would fit his work. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel, DC or another publisher someday finds that right book that shows off Sears’ work to its fullest. This sketchbook offers a unique glimpse at what the artist himself might want to draw, and might give some ideas for readers and comics staffers as to where Sears could fit.