Saturday, May 5, 2012

Unpublished story: Falada

This one's about Horses, Art books and half-formed ideas. Before we begin, check out these horses a woman made out of clothing... 

Pretty cool eh? Nothing to do with me, it just inspired me to see fabric used as an unusual way. also got me thinking back to an un-published short story i painted years ago. 

Scanning some art book pages this weekend... so while i'm mentally categorizing the blur of images, I may as well clue you guys all in as to my thinking on... what goes in which art books, and why.

After the Maxx ended, and the Legs comic, I was burnt out so I sorta left comics for a few years. Tons of ideas kept flowing out regardless, and i sometimes drew tons of finished colored stories... but i didn't have any place to put them, so I'd tossed them into the back of my closet. 

Falada's was one of those. It's home has now become the three "Worlds of Kieth" coffee table art books. The only debate on those is WHEN to publish the first volume: either sometime in October? Or do a big deal for it at San Diego comic con next year? Too late to get it out for San Diego this year. But we'll iron that out eventually. 

Anyway, back to unpublished stuff. One such orphaned story was called "Falada". The title was inspired by the Grimms Bros fairy tale of the Goose Girl, and the princess in that story and a  horse head who spoke to her.

This unsettling idea of a horses head speaking to a princess really haunted me.  So that morphed into a My Falada, the flying horse. 

I toy with what it would look like before it was born... sorta had little stubs which might grow into wet baby wings?

Then maybe sprout into giant wings later?

Another of many sam themes, this one is: 'little girl who finds sickly creature' - which reoccurs often in my stuff.  And this 'girl-rescues-sick-creature' in Falada was more less fantasy here, but later appeared in a more horrific way in Ojo.

So i painted out what amounted to a more or less finished 10 page story.  Some panels crude little scribbles, other 'climax' panels, fully painted. I made an animatic of it, (filmed story boards) threw some music and a narration over it, dumped it on video and pitched it around to production studios.  Hope someone might wanna make it into some 'animated thingy'.

You should have seen the executives faces i pitched it too. Most were weirded out by it. I remember Hall Mark Hall of Fame exc. thought the idea of a little girl and a headless horses was 'deeply disturbing'.  One woman said it reminded her of the bloody horsie head in bed from the Godfather movie. She asked me why in the world did i think that belonged in a children's story???

But, in my mind, my 'kids stories' never really *were* for kids, were they? 

Even Julia's childhood story, in Maxx comic, was a adult looking BACK on childhood.  Or Annie in Ojo, sam deal. Heck, lucky thing these executives never read the original Grimms fairy tale, where the princess speaks to a horses head that's nailed to a walkway, and speaks to her in rhyme.  

At least MY horse's head had wings, well.. eventually. 

Once the stubs sprouted.

So, rejection.  

Nobody wanted my weird-ass flying-headless-horsie story. 

So i sighed. Sulked. Felt sorry for myself, like all us artists types do, convinced the world revolves around *us*.  As time passed, I threw it back in the back of my closet. 

The animated tape got lost ages ages ago, and all that remains of the whole goofy idea..... are these painted panels lying around...  

which fortunately, along with tons of other artistic orphans, can find a home in the art WORLDS of SAM art books. 


Now there ARE other odds and ends, 

non-Falada sketches for stories that came towards the end of the Maxx... like Dave's childhood, which was hinted at but never explained... 

..or Uncle Freddie from Love of Three Oranges...

...or Magen from Soccar Queen, 

But seems to me... these *don't* seem to belong in the Three vol. 'Worlds' art books, do they? Nope. 

Freddie, Megan, and Maxx related sketchbook doodles, will go into some future Maxx art sketchbook to be published after these Worlds books.  Why later?  Because, remember there were 35 issues of that sucker, so that's a ton of Maxx related sketchbook stuff.  Yeah, Broadminded, Friends of Maxx stories, Soccar queen are really separate story lines, but don't you think their better grouped under some Maxx sketchbook collection? Since they all flowed from the Maxx universe? 

This way, Maxx fans can get their Maxx fix all in one place. 


Meanwhile, fans of  my'other stuff', like almost everything on the blog, Ojo, Bimbo, Legs, 

plus Dana, Nola, plus TONS of older stuff no one has seen for the last twenty years, paintings, mixed media, process stuff, yarn, clothe, bolts, screws, plastic, metal, glue and bubble gum... can keep us busy while awaiting the Maxx crap-ola.

Thanks for letting me therapeuticly talk it through it as i scan this stuff.

Anways, seeing that link to the horses made of clothe got me thinking about Falada story, all over again.  

Lucky i didn't go with Falada's original title ~   "Angel and her magic boo boo".  

See, her horse was named 'boo boo'. uuuuug. 

Well, nobody can ever accused of having good taste, right? 


Jeff Lafferty said...

Such great work Sam! Inspiring as always ... and looking forward to the art books.

lucasirineu said...

That horse story seems like it would have been an amazing one. I'm loving those few panels you posted, would be great to see more some day.

jlosacco said...

I really can't wait for those art books. Such amazing work.

Marcus Collar said...

wow the soccer queen and freddie



amazing work I like to hear that even when you stopped it still flowed

was the burnout because you had to do EVERYTHING on the comic?

it seems fun to be the main guy BUT being a part of a team is like nothing else!

great link to the cloth horses


Anonymous said...

I'm not getting any younger so publish your art books now. Hurry!

ant said...

yeah, those more finished horse panels look cool, and glad to hear we are getting close to seeing those art books, i'd say shoot for october, you can always do something else for comic con(vol.2)

the danman can said...

Fantastic images!
Love that girl's clothing horse blog post.
Keeping Maxx sketches/art for their own book is a good idea.
Thanks for another great post.

Aaron Desira said...

I hate uncle freddie. He reminds me of the creepy yellow dude in sin city. Anyone with a round face that grins has melted out from the icecream cone of evil. Im talking to you santa.

That is #@$!ing hilarious, the falada story, I love it. Its great how you know what to take away from a chatacter on one page and how to make that same one something magestic and powerful a few pages later. I would hock a kidney to get a weird-ass flying-headless-horsie story original ( but I know you turn us weird ass hockers from your door). My girls real down and she loves horsies, urm horses. This is golden from you, to me this is EXACTLY how children imagine, take something they like and twist it by not knowing all the boring adult facts about it, in this case that a horse has a skeleton and vital organs. I have so many things I want to draw but pushing at the back of my mind is a childrens book about my cousins kids, william and anna- a three year old and a six year old who have travelled africa, europe, australia and south america with their parents, speak flutent german and english and know more about animals then any zoologist. Looking forward to all the art books. Thanks for all the recent posts sam- hell thanks for bothering to share at all.This one really is a gem.

jennifer kraska said...

Another great post!
Thanks to you, I am going to stop trashing sketches, paintings, etc that bug me and squirrel them away for a later date.

e.vura said...

The images from the Falada story are so beautiful. It's an eerie concept, but it's so lovingly rendered that the eerie goes right out of it. Thanks so much for sharing it!

cody said...

Love the art. maybe you were ahead of your time because cartoons now are really trippy

Arjan said...

Hi Sam!
I was an avid comic book reader in the 90's and early 2000's, and I bought everything that had your name on it I could get my hands on. Huge Maxx fan, loved Four Women, Zero girl, Ojo & Inner Bimbo. The combination of your storytelling and great art always got me enthusiastic.
Somehow over years, I slowly started spending less and less time in the comic book world, and the only time I saw my old collection again was when I moved last year. But flipping through the pages lit the spark again, and I am now re-reading all your books I own. And I'm having a blast! And I see I have a lot of catching up to do! You were quite the productive man the past years!
And now I find this blog! I love that you share all this with us. And I can't wait for the Coffee Table books and Maxx related art books that you have in the pipeline. It's good to be back, and even better to see you are still doing what you do best: Create the best comic book art out there and write the most twisted, weird, funny and intriguing stories! Thanks!
Arjan - The Netherlands

lucasirineu said...

Uncle Freddy is one of the creepiest things I have seen in a comic book.

Soccer Queen, on the other hand, one of my favorite things you did. Short, but so damn great.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I've been waiting for THE ART since 2003. Apart from my fist sexual experience, this is the longest I have ever waited for anything. October sound lovely to me. Please. Please. Kindest regards, Spong

cody said...

I know you like jeffrey jones you might want to check this out. doc

jennifer kraska said...

I vote October!

theend43 said...

very cool stuff, Sam!! i've always been interested in how the last 12-15 issues of the Maxx kinda broke away from the rest of the issues and how you got to those stories instead of the first 20 issues. i mean, i know the whole idea of 'the story arc' and how that goes into the whole equation, but, to me it seemed like it went from very personal and insightful, to EXTREMELY personal in terms of storytelling. that's always been a side of yr art/writing that i've enjoyed most! the fact those stories (Friends of Maxx/Uncle Freddie/Soccar Queen/and the story of Dave) were part of, but still separate from, the "main story" appealed to me.
part of me also likes to think that all yr stories+characters inhabit the same 'world'/'dimension'. probably don't but hey, my comicbook nerdidom makes me want that :)
heheh, my wife and i are getting ready to move and i can't help but see the parallels in regards to 'cleanin out the closest(s)' and finding some semi-great/mostly-forgtten ideas/jems! you forget stuff when you either run out of steam or just "meh" it to the 'come-back-to' pile. anyway, glad yr finding this awesome stuff and sharing it!!!!!!! fun stuff and more insight in that brain-stuff of yrs!

theend43 said...

btw- i vote october as well!!!!