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The Co-Creator Of Legion? He Once Made Artwork For Two Magic Cards

Bill Sienkiewicz (Photo by Luigi Novi)

A number of Magic: The Gathering artists really hit it big outside the game. For one artist in particular, success just kept on coming.

Throughout the years, some legendary painters and illustrators were tapped to create the artwork for cards such as legendary Sci-Fi Illustrator Frank Kelly Freas, comic book mastermind Paul Chadwick, and Pacific Northwest art icon Fay Jones. So it should come as no surprise that someone else famous comes out of the MTG art mill.

Bill Sienkiewicz's road to creating Magic artwork was a bit unusual. A comic book writer and illustrator, he tried to break into the comic book industry at age 19. Somehow, in 1985, he got to show off his portfolio to then DC art head Vince Colleta. He said no, but passed along his info to Marvel chief Jim Shooter and, before he could legally drink, Sienkiewicz was working on Moon Knight and The Incredible Hulk. And, within a few years, he was bouncing around the two, going between Batman and Elektra.

Like many artists, he went beyond his regular works into other ventures. This included several card games in the late 80s and early 90s. And, with his work being both realistic and fantasy, Sienkiewicz naturally progressed to Magic. So, in 1996, Wizards of the Coast commissioned him for four pieces of artwork for two cards in the upcoming Alliances expansion.

One was Phyrexian War Beast.

The other was Soldevi Steam Beast.

While many would be happy at this point to be contributing to DC, Marvel, and Wizards at the same time, Sienkiewicz continued pushing forward.

On the music front, he worked for Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame. For TV, he worked on Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego, as well as doing art layout for the Venture Brothers. And, in the late 2010s, the character he created back in the mid-1980s, Legion, got its own FX television show.

Magic artists almost always have or get in the future quite the extensive resume. But in the case of Sienkiewicz, the CCG was just another stepping stone towards greater projects. Even today, not many artists who have done work for Magic can claim quite a resume than Sienkiewicz managed to cobble together.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.