Sunday, December 1, 2013

Some New Warm-up Sketches...

Mucho Apologies for the lack of post. Tons of thanks to everyone who's reached out to make sure I'm 'okay'.  Also thanks to Karel Kelly who threw up an interview with me here

Started a new sketchbook.. probably no new lines I have to make, but sometimes a different size or colored sketchbook makes us *feel* as though there's a fresh start.   New possibilities. Some sense of hope.  Here's some more surreal Trout doodles.. ( or Twout as it's sometimes spelled).. 

My therapy is... usual escape into creativity and doodles... here's a spread from a Mars attack comic that's eventually coming out. A wistful post-martian-attack mom.. fits the mood I'm emerging from. 

You probably already know the drill we all go thru.  Defaulting to "hermit-crab" status... during the impending pre-thanksgiving- and pre-christmas-cluster.... 

....that makes some of us all plunge into various forms of our own private holiday regression. 

No excuses. Not seeking pity. Mostly lack of posts are because of whatever cyclothymic moods I'm trying to push my way through. The good news is... i've remerged and more or less back. 

Most of these are material from either Worlds sketchbooks 2 and 3, 

.....or Nola and Dana sketches. 

But you've probably already figured that out, from all the "Dana" and "Nola" scribbles. 

Plus various other weird little disintegrating faces here and there.... 

just quick most little warm up sketches.. 

Trying to ease back in. Hope everything's cool with all of you guys too - 

... I wish you all the BEST.... a Stress-Fress-Holiday ( whenever possible ). 

Take care,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Leaves, Fires, and a Hundred Trees...

A burnt leaf.  Rough times out here on the west coast.. all these damned Fires are turning a lot of lives upside down.  Emotionally.  Psychically.  Tons of ways.  My thoughts and sympathies to all those affected, some I don't even know personally.

Also, i wanted to also Thanks Ted Adams and the guys at IDW for getting behind the Hollows, and my art books.  Ted the guys and gals at IDW have been a safe port in a turbulent sea.

Speaking of that, here's some loooooong over-due Hollows covers.  There's over a hundred of them.  I was discouraged by drawing these... so I decided to draw a bunch of Trees on these comic covers,....

.....because Trees always inspire me.

Can't go wrong with a tree. Well, you *can*.

Yikes - i learned that during the first 40 or so that i drew.

These are comic cover sketches for retailers who ordered the hollows.. but i'll throw some scans of them into an art book so you can check 'em all out next year. Maybe do a separate art book full of just Trees and Bonsai?

Yeah, Sam's Big gook of Trees n' Bonsai" ~ that'll give the super hero comics a run for their money, sales wise. : )

Don't worry, i know there's a lot of you out there who want a sketch on a comic book like this. I'm sure some of these will pop up on eBay down the road too.

Meanwhile... these really show one thing... there's only so many ways to DRAW a hundred trees without repeating oneself, isn't there? : )

Hopefully these retailers won't be too horrified their getting a tree.  Least most are in color.

But i prefer the simpler ones...

I don't know what it is with me and trees.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me through various personal and artistic slumps.  We all go through them.  Sometimes ... I think i'm pretty much done creatively.  Worry i'm out of things to say. Out of 'ink'.

But then, something.. somehow, a new day starts, and new crap pops out of me, just like the rest of you. Life, finds a way.  Sheesh ~ ow i'm quoting Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic.

Time to quit this post before i embarrass myself any further, eh?


Monday, August 12, 2013

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Maxx Scans... (plus SDCC edition of Worlds of Sam books came)

Scanning - scanning-scanning... I'll probably be soooooo sick of seeing Maxx at the end of all this, but has to be done!  That my camera cord dangling across the Maxx art.

People who see page one often ask if there's some significance to all those maxx 'logo' lettering in the upper left.  Just a artsy design element, nothing more.

Here's a little friend of maxx cover.. on small paper.. i did the previous friend cover on larger paper, but it has less detail than this smaller version. Really no rhyme or reason to why pages are different sizes.

For ease of printing headaches most Maxx pagers were mostly 10 x 15, the comic art size. This just fit those big 11x 17 scanners.

Sometimes the art was a little bigger on the Darker Image Maxx pages. Course i need to stop taking pics and put the art on face down if we're gonna scan now, eh?

Here's probably one of my favorites... i don't mean it egotistical way.

I just mean... *this* kind of creature is more like what i'd naturally draw, instead of trying to stuff Wolverine or Ghost Rider into my usual oddly-shaped proportions.

I could totally relax... be myself... while drawing this guy.. Maxx is really more of a fantasy book than super hero if you think about it.

Another nice part of the collected and Artists edition is.. i always intended to have the whole series start with darker image 8 pager ... following by Maxx issue 1.    I never got around to doing it in the old Maxx reprint trades from Wildstorm.

But we may as well get it right this go-around. Above is a little panel that kinda gets lost in the color. Kinda crude actually... but it's easier to see original art size.

I felt kinda embarrassed about a Artist Edition. Walt Simonson,  Mingola, sure. They deserve it. Honestly a lot of later issues of the Maxx have really hit and miss art. My fault mostly. Not Jim Sinclairs'.

I'm not fool enough to equate myself with the classic artists who IDW's done. I know it's just commercial popularity of the Maxx that would call for a Maxx artists edition.

I'd love to see an 'Epicurus' Artist Edition too... but that's much less popular (and not as well known. ) What i should really do is shut-the-heck-up and be grateful their even including Maxx in this series.

Yeah, while old school classic golden and silver age art collectors may cringe a 90's 'Image' comic made it in Artists Editions ... remember, Maxx is 20 years old. Some fans who were in high school at the time,

....those who grew up on it... *they* might dig checking the originals, right?

And if not, don't buy it, right?   I'll never be able to please everybody out there.

Luckily i don't have too.

Because, suddenly ... it happened!

Rescue! Salvation: a Box showed up today. Some art books from IDW... ?????

Thus, this handy-dandy box of books....

..... gratefully begat overflowing fruit, and pre-pachaged junk food, and thus these Magical Worlds art books, .....spared us from yet another bout of "Sam's Neurotic self-loathing over his old art-work"!

: ) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

One last "Worlds of Sam..." peak.. and "Anatomy of a Nola"...

Hey Folks... screwed up and accidentally deleted this last week's Sandman post.. Grrrrr - sorry! I'll try to dig through the pics and videos... reassemble it later.  Didn't save the text, but what i wrote wasn't all that long.

If you missed it, i just talked about the Sandman panel and my Spotlight panel at comic con. No biggie.

Meanwhile to make up for it... here's a little more artwork from my 'Worlds of Sam' book... some fashion-y drawings, a forlorn figure study.. i almost feel guilty when I draw a glammed-up fashion women.. feel compelled to add a 'normal' looking one with flaws. There's obviously room for both, but just feels like the balance is needed. Personal vs Glitzy.

Here's the original Female Disapproval Sean Monster from the Bimbo book.. It went through many incarnations.. This was the 'big red worm' version... it seemed to violent.

I eventually returned to a more archetypal classic Sea Monster... minus eyes... i felt a dark shadowy head was more in line with Lo's unconscious fears of pleasing women.

Ahh...not that i have issues about pleasing women or anything. ; )

When he stopped by my place and he was looking at the art book, I was telling Josh Hagler one of Dana's books "Confessions of a Dislexic Sex Slave" doesn't have any real kink in it. People always seem a little disappointed when i tell them this.  Esp. the guys. So why the salacious title? i guess a cheezy attempt to grab attention..

Plus I love cut out and pasted in... 'ransom' style of collage lettering. These page with a big-ass orange C.. and puffy F letters.. only pops when you take photo at a slanted angle in dark lighting. Scanned it just looks to flat, and these angles really catches the letters' depth.

Might be kinda hard to make out this Trees face in this illustration.  I didn't even intend a face, just finished the tree... still didn't find it compelling enough,

so added a face on it at the last minute.. simple change, but not people seem to pause when they see it. Maybe their just thinking it's better, maybe their secretly thinking: "Aww crap, why the hell did i screw up that tree by putting a stupid face on it?" Who knows what they really think? If I'm smart i won't ask, eh?

Here's Dana in an imaginary world called the Snack-a-verse... her version of an outback, but with junk food growing on trees and bushes. Kinda proud of he high lights on the M&M pieces.  Here's a secret, (one that i DON'T mention in the art book) about this piece: Notice the yellow M&M's up top? I didn't intend them to blend into the tree. Yeah , did add those two candies later, so the yellow paint kept fading so the tree shadows showed through. Even Acrylic  wasn't thick enough.

I finally decided i liked how surreal it looked some Candy's might faded into the trunk.

Or I got too lazy to fix it - either one is kinda true.

In the back of each book will be art almost none of my comic fans have seen, little cartoons i did for my wife's local poetry magazine. I liked closing off the book with simple line drawing cartoons. These always come so easy to me i tend to dismiss them, but they get the strongest response from people.

At base, i'm probably a cartoonist more than anything else. Taken me a half a lifetime not to be ashamed of that.

One of only two maxx pieces in the Worlds book. I decided to throw most of these into a 'Art of Maxx' book that will come out later next year. This cover seems to strike a lot of people who see it, so understated. As a teenager i'd curl up in a little ball in a chair... 'going fetal' as Mark Oliver might say. Good ol' teen angst.

This old maxx cover always felt like that to me.

Here was the original colorized version of the T.G.F.D.S.M. logo.. maybe a little too pastel looking? Maybe. Seems ironic the outtakes or discarded pages from Bimbo get to be in an over-sized art book, while the comic is so much smaller. But that's kinda cool, sometimes the left over's, bonus tracks on a record... are better than the original?

Yet another retro girl... where does all this come from? I suppose it was always there, just not much chance to do fashion in super hero comics. It started to flood out during zero girl.. with the Mom with the square head... It's not real world fashion is it? More like my mutated-goofy-assed-sam-kieth-quasi-60's-70's version of fashion. Indulgent designs, swirls, textures for texture's sake.

Here's one of my favorite Drawings of Nola - ever. It's not perfect, she's rather elongated here, but the body language feels natural, even though we can't see what she's leaning against.

In fact, i'm going to take a de-tour from this art book posts and show how this line drawing page of Nola eventually wound up. It's a piece i nick named "Anatomy of a Nola".. 

In a way you could say it all started with a zipper. One i found in a bag of doll clothes i found at a thrift. Girls's doll and Barbie clothes are smaller, easier to work into paintings than larger fabrics for adults. 

First I cut out Nola's body in the middle.. pasted it into a new board.  But I didn't want to over-render her skin or face.  I wanted her top to look 'colored-pencil' style... with a little water color to soften her cheeks. 

Something that felt hand drawn... in a crafty sort of way.  

So here we are so far... Not perfectly blended, the point is it's pasted in like a child might do. deliberately crude. Some doodling along the edges..

There's a kind of rhythm to the curves of her body frame here, tried to play that up with both the 'straight' and 'swirly' lines around her arm. Notice i modestly snuck in my signature at the bottom, which you might not notice at first. 

Now over to the left.. some crude little graffiti doodles on the left side here.. could be more detailed, but i don't want to obscure the fact these are pasted down pieces of paper here.. that's the point of the collage feeling. 

Moving down we have some lace glued in.. more doodles of various faces sprinkled in for fun.. 

Now here's some further gleeful debauchery.. not only do i add pink pieces of colored paper, which might looked photoshoped in a scan... but i work to make sure the pasted in paper under the circles causes a creese .. another unmistakable clue it's delightfully un-apologetically hand made. Also some more fabric and from a dolls pair of shorts. 

Now were along the bottom.. Nola's bell bottoms have blended into more cut up pieces of the original spread of her in black and white, up top. 

You can also spot some soft looking light brown 'insulation fur' pasted in too...  

Everything's going to hell here.. sorta like Kandinsky threw up. 

Or Steve Ditko in one of those a surreal Dr. Strange universes. Lots of little shapes and swirls. Only mine is a drunken, psychotic and far less disciplined version of either of those. 

This is a little burry, but you get a sense of the far the fur pops up here off the paintings surface. So goofy i get a kick out of that, isn't it? 

Now were back up to the swirls around her arm... and my signature again.. plus you can see the original paper pasted onto the new board. 

In the middle i added some crackely Gel Medium too.. cut some extra shapes lines into it with a knife. 

There in some design-y purple doodles on the upper left too.  Tried to resist the urge to watercolor her top.. but i wanted it rough.. like her hair is... scribbly. 

The danger os this Nola pieces it that it has so many textures on the edges... that you get lost... don't know where to look. No resting place for the eye.  

It still may fail on that level. 

But it started with a zipper.. and ended with one. (well.. only because we worked out way back the same zipper. ) 

so - walla! Were done ~   

This may have been more fun to create, or take photos of than look at, the scan or straight on version still doesn't seem to grab be like these side photos do. 

Maybe some higher rez photos of that Nola one will make it into another art book... who knows? 

Here's the other Maxx page in Worlds. 

Still scanning Maxx pages for the reprints... will throw some more of those black and white Maxx pages on a future blog,  next post.

 Couldn't resist throwing in a couple Chickens pages too. 

also some other goodies.. the children's story is in there too. 

My art is kinda rough in places, 

but i like art books that have some unfinished stuff, don't you? 

...and back to this old gal again. 


Oh yeah, one last thing about the Sandman post i stupidly lost?

 I felt bad about throwing up the video of the fan who accidentally spilt water on me.  It was kinda tacky of me to post it...  I've remember the fan who took the pic (and accidentally spilled the jug of water.)  I've saw him at con earlier.. and he's enthusiastic and a really cool guy.. probably shouldn't have threw that clip up. Hope he wasn't embarrassed. I'm sure he doesn't want to be known as 'the guy who spilled water on sam'.

He's deserves better, and If your out there buddy, my apologies.

You totally cool in my book.

- Sam