Monday, September 1, 2014

Sandman Bookplates, a few Maxx Covers....

This little package came on Friday...

Bookplates for the Comic Art Museum's Sandman book. Mike Drigenberg did a fantastic job penciled it. and tried not to goof it up too much when i Inked it. - Mike suggested it would be cool to do the reverse of how we worked together on Sandman.

Just wanna assure anybody who ordered it this limited edition Sandman art book, that - yeah, it *does* exists . . .

. . and it *is* going to be mailed to you - soon as Mike and i finish signing these suckers.  I'll leave a space for Mike to sign on the left.. since he's penciled version got the ball rolling.


Same goes for those 25 drawings for the Limited Maxx collection. Those are FINALLY done too!!! - they went out to IDW last week.

 Will try to throw a few extra pics of those too in my  next post.

But enough of that sketch stuff....

* * *

Now back to starting various Maxx covers..

... in various states of decomposition. 

I tend to work on batches of Maxx covers at the same time . . 

.. . . sorta like multiple downloads.. traveling at different speeds . . . 

This one's changed since i took this photo yesterday. It looks pretty gruesome here while it's wet, and the bronze paint is better blended now. Kinda fights the purple here.  Hopefully I can pull it all together. 

Okay, let's jump over to this one now. I'm trying to stay lighter on this cover, not over-work it like i did the previous one. 

I love jumping from one cover to another.  I like to think doing a series of covers together... means they may influence each other. But maybe not.  Who can say? It might just feel like that in my head. 

Either way, doing a "gang of covers".... it creates the *illusion* I'm getting a lot done, 

Or the possible alternative is . . . . .  that i'm slowing myself down by finishing several covers at once. Maxx is peaking out from behind this branch here. 

It's weird how. . .  after you draw it, it seems like it's really happening, does't it?  Even when your the one drawing it. 

I don't seem able to not do pages, stories or covers out of order, and thrive on doing on various projects at once. Doubt I'm alone in this. 

Looks confusing until i finish this tree, doesn't it?  'Floating mushrooms' on a yet-to-be-drawn-tree . . . 

Wanna try to make the Maxx logo here like different too.. more fantasy like, just for this one. 

But for now let's jump to a third Maxx cover instead... 

This one has Gone in it.. here's the whole thing. I penciled it tighter than usual here. Not sure i'm wild about Maxx right elbow sticking out like it does. 

Okay, bold choice - rounded off that elbow. . . not it looks like Maxx's arms are an inner tube, doesn't it? 

Might be a huge mistake... on the other hand, Maxx is the ideal character to distort, sorta like a beefier version of plastic man, isn't he? 

Well in comics energy and moment is everything.  It's amazing what you can get away with if your bold and confident. Or sometimes you don't.  

Either way i doubt one elbow will make or break this cover. 

I'm changing my focus from "the elbow question" back to Gone's face. 

Here's a goofy accident, swirling this cover around and it got caught in the ripped bristol i use as a pallet on my art table.  But it also makes a handy 'grip' to hold the cover in place. 

Leave some space for Gone's fingers to dig into Maxx's arm here.  All thefolds in Gone's cape means this Cover will take longer, so won't get far on it this round.

Color helps... but still a ways to go on this sucker.

Meanwhile, here's a fourth one I finished last week.. so you have something more finished to feast upon.

Sadly this one happened to fast i didn't have time to even grab a camera.. sometimes you get in a groove and hate to break the spell.. you know?

Okay, hopefully that will hold you for a little while.

Wanted to add, thanks for all the comments. While I rarely get around to replies, your comments feedback and praise is *never* lost on me!!!!!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Maxx Limited Sketches... and Mars Attacks is DONE!!!!!!

Maxx Limited Edition Prints

Things have opened up enough for me.....

.... to finish off these 25 Maxx sketches.

Although their not always OF the Maxx himself...

I tend to like doing outback creatures like this odd looking "Outback Bird"...... so they may tend to have a splash of color on them, not always, but sometimes..

Sometimes I'll do Julie,

..... or maybe Gone,

.... or even Maxx once in a while ...

...but I don't wanna burn out too soon.  Remember: A little Maxx..... goes a looooong way.

Kinda got burnt out on commissions, no one's fault.  Probably mine, took on too much.  That's why i stepped away from them for a while.

Trying to make these fun..

...doing them as if I'm drawing them... for myself... mostly.  Which usually works best for me.

Which explains why their all done in different colors ink or paint,

Like this guy... another long necked. Outback Creature.

Yeah, sometimes they look simple and scribbly ... sometimes rough and abstract...

Sometimes they spill out of that little square too!

sometimes like a doodle... Here's a julie who looks to slim-fast for my taste, so will add a little weight to her. You can see I've already moved her boobies down, so they droop a little.

Hey... Time and Gravity... affects folks in the Outback too!

and sometimes just plane weird. this Gone, done in brown ink.

why in brown?  why not?


Kinda cool to think one of these will be in someone's hands someday soon.



Finished Mars attacks!  Here's two version of a splash page for issue 3, which do you like better?

The white one appeals to me, but the brown background is probably more dramatic.

- actually felt pretty good about this series... i like my hand drawn style, kind or an evolution of what I tried in the Hollows.  It's not just the art that I enjoyed doing, but the story too.

Writer Chris Ryall was nice enough to let me co-plot..

Meaning after we discuss a rough plot, i basically draw whatever the heck i want, and *then* we try to make sense of it all.  Takes a lot of trust for a writer to do this. Course it helps i'm invested in the story too, plus Chris is talented enough to pull it off. He's my 'net' for plausibility, continuity, and logic.

Here I was caught miss spelling the word "Trauma" ( on the left ) ... even after i googled it to make sure it was spelled correctly, wrote it down... somehow, by the time i got back to my art table... i lost an 'a' somewhere.

I think I'm also proud of the story because I was able to work in an older grandparent figure and a little girl.  ( Notice here, i double checked before i added Trauma again! )

My subconscious seems drawn to this combo of kids and grandparents. I notice Director Miyazaki has lots of kids and older people in his stories. Maybe that's why were all drawn to his sensibilities as a storyteller.

Funny how often 'old people' are left out of a lot of modern stories.

Another issue dealt with was Grief.  Loss. Here i didn't even realize a panel i drew at the bottom of this Marks page, Clair struggling with her attachment to the baby marian...

which partly echos Annie giving up little Ojo ...

And also, Lo in Bimbo waiting for his wife to return.. staring wistfully.

Same lost figure staring out the window as he is dealing ( or afraid he'll have to grapple with) some future loss.

And  I won't even get into Maxx lying around on chairs and couches in a fetal position,

....that's *another* story.

* * *

Thanks for listening. And Thanks to Chris Ryall for enduring me as both collaborator...

and friend.

- Sam

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Call Off the Search Party...!!!

After an absence this long, not mentioning it is pretty silly, even for someone as sporadic at posting as I am.  However whatever personal issues I was or continue to go through, my dirty laundry - is not why you check this blog, is it?

I don't mean you don't care - I just mean.. Your mainly here to look at cool crap. Or hopefully 'interesting crap'.  Or even 'crap that totally fails', but hey... a 'look' is free, right? Esp. online. So remember, when i 'disappear'.

There's is always a valid reason. No snub or disrespect intended.

'nuff said.

Above is a brief evolution of Maxx Cover 13.  I kept avoiding adding to much color to the maxx..

.. preferring the 'brown paper' version of Jungle Queen Julie with her hair up..

But it's unavoidable. For better or worse... purple guy always sticks out like a sore thumb.

I came across this in a pile of art, it's a film for the printer, back in the negative days.. you'll recognize what page it's from.

Notice the primary colors on the left, the gray bar on the right. Kinda creepy image with the light coming through isn't it?

Was thinking when i die someday and - out of context, if somebody came across this in a thrift or garage sale.. somebody who didn't read comics of know the Maxx,

...they'd have no friggin' idea what the hell it was... would they?

Here's a Heros cover I did for their charity. Nightcrawlers hair is the star of the page. Weird to think for most kids who know him from the X-man movies, he's not gangly or skinny at all.  A deign or 'character language' that only exists in comics.

Here's another Heros cover, just parody of my cover above. Just for fun. No idea what Adventure Time was, had to google it.  Took ten minutes to draw, and it shows. But It still cracks me up.

If anyone bids more than 5 bucks for this sucker, their getting ripped off. : )


Highlights off of wet ink on a page. Nothing like it.

Here's the third piece i did of these "Two Sisters" artwork, which i've posted before. Here's the anima version.. only i had to 'ruin' one of them.

The point of the original one was looking past an idealized view of women. Of in this case, an asian woman in a kimono.

Huge fan of Junko Mizuno, so part of it is just loves the cuteness of Anima/Manga, yet another part of me that gets sick of how cute it all is. Notice i made a smudge on the sister on the right, so i HAD to add a smudge to the sister on the left too...

So here's the next in the series. I didn't feel I'd 'messed up' the sister on the left enough. Yeah, her eyes were wonky, but i had to go further... ... *that's* more like it!  Gold-Green-Orange is a jarring combo.

Now before you freak out, just calm down. It wasn't that great looking of a face, was it? The point is the facade of beauty, or at least that's what i intended..

Gold paint's always a bitch because it usually scans so it looks flat. It's seeing the highlights in person that adds to the glowing effect.

Now before you have my guts for garters,  remember i did a similar defacing of the original Sisters artwork too. But you know what... much as a lot of people scratched their heads, or wondered " aww, why'd he have to screw up those faces?"... ( which is a valid question ) ...

My heart was touched by one fan who stood in line at the Comic Art Museum. He pointed out this  specific piece (below), and he thoughtfully explained me how, in his opinion, he felt it was not just a moving piece of art, but that it really touched him personally.

Geez.... that really melted my heart to hear that.

He's not alone either.

For some people they feel that same way about the Maxx.  I think anybody who was open minded enough to pick up the Maxx in the first place.. is obviously open to new unusual kinds of illustration and story telling.

Heck, if a comic fan hated my art that much, they'd have to be *masochistic* to keep reading that book otherwise.. right?

I mean, i'm not even ashamed or bothered by it anymore...

My art's messed up, and so am i.

Come on, admit it...  compared to most comics ~ the Maxx it IS...... a friggin' weird-ass looking book!

..but then, i guess, basically... everything i do pretty much is.

Thanks for hanging in there for me.