Every day this month I will share with you the first (at least as far as I know) U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator. Here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far.
Today's featured creator is Bill Sienkiewicz!
Sienkiewicz is not only one of the greatest and most acclaimed comic book artists of the past 30 years, but he is also one of the most in-demand pop culture designers period, doing tremendous work on music albums, DVD covers, posters, magazine features, you name it, he's dominated it.
What's interesting is that the characters Sienkiewicz first came to everyone's attention drawing, Moon Knight (in the Moon Knight ongoing series with Doug Moench), was also the very first character Sienkiewicz ever drew professionally! After getting his start working for Neal Adams' Continuity Studios, Sienkiewicz showed his portfolio to Marvel and he was quickly hired.
The not-yet 21-year-old made his professional comic book debut in February 1979's Hulk magazine #13, on a Moon Knight story!
The next month, Sienkiewicz did a cover for an issue of Black Panther...
The next month, he did a story in Marvel Preview #18...
Sienkiewicz continued to work with Moench on the Moon Knight back-up until he went with Moench to the Fantastic Four and then the Moon Knight ongoing. By the time he was finished on that book, he was a star.
The amusing aspect of Sienkiewicz's first comic book work is that TWICE in the issue, the editors rave about what a find he was. TWICE they tell the story of how he came to them with his art portfolio and how they gave him an assignment right away. Twice they told us how he was soon to be a star. That's pretty neat for your first comic book assignment! It's even neater that he lived up to the hype (and then some, as they were praising him for his early Neal Adams-inspired work - later on he became more original and more AMAZING)!