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"!

: ) 


Jim Doran said...

I think this is my favorite post to date - so cool seeing that art again.

Derek Oberg said...

I'm glad to see that you seem to be getting over your aversion to Maxx. For me (and I'm sure a lot of people my age) it really is one of those things where I was young and just discovering my formative passions that I will carry around with me for as long as I live. Maxx will ALWAYS be representative of that for me. But not just Maxx, you in general as well. When you came back from a long hiatus with Zero Girl it was never a question of whether or not I would follow you. Just a "thank God he's back."

cody said...

So happy for the maxx book, but don't get me wrong can't wait for some troutaverse and by the way some of your fans were in elementry school and are now 30. crazy thanks for all the awesome art, stories and inspiration.

Casey Crowe said...

Aww man, so cool seeing those originals (if only in photo form). You really knocked it outta the park with the Darker Image short - and that cover was killer!

Cloud9 said...

It's nice to see you rehashing on The Maxx this time around. I like the approach of doing a rehash of original material as opposed to reworking it over again. Props to IDW for doing it the way they do and recognizing great artists. Thanks again for the amazing stories!

aperilousfixation said...

I feel that I am like most people, mentioning my history and fascination with your work by way of The Maxx. Originally from a small town in Alabama, I was introduced to comics, luckily, around the same time that your Maxx series started. Unfortunately, it was also around the same time that every comic shop in my town went belly-up due to a lack of customers. So there I was with only a few issues in my possession, because they weren't sold at grocery stores, and no internet to connect me with the rest. I fell off from comics because I was never really into the mainstream heroes that you could find at a Winn Dixie. I've been in the army for 11 years now and I am currently serving the last year out of three being assigned to NYC. Since being stationed here I've been lucky enough to stumble across much of your older work, including Maxx. Believe it or not, I was unaware that you still drew until I relocated here to NYC. Since then I've scored a few signed ashcans and I'm still building my Maxx collection. Sure I could resort to ebay and probably complete it within a couple of weeks, but the fun remains in the search and I stand firmly on supporting my local shops so that maybe they'll never have to close like the ones in my town did. I'm glad that I stumbled across this blog. I'll keep revisiting it to see if I can find an opportunity to meet you in person one day to score an autograph face to face. Until then, I'll look for more of your work on local shelves. Thanks.

Colin Murchison said...

Amazing stuff, Mr. Kieth.

I'm glad that Maxx is going to see a re-release, and can't wait to see your original artwork in all its glory in the (well deserved) Artist's Edition.

adrian trela said...

Hey Sam :)
Can You tell us anything about upcoming HARLEY QUINN #0?
Any hint? :)

Culchy said...

Wonderful so glad you share your gift with everyone. You continue to inspire me.

Sam Kieth said...

To Thanks Jim, Derek, cody, casey Cloud9,

Thanks guys. Dumb to disown/reject any of the old stuff. Fans like you guys remind me it's not about me, just trying to serve the old work. It is what it is. I just don't wanna get in the way of it. Seeing my new covers show why it might be best for me to *avoid* drawing maxx now. I've changed too.

aperilousfixation, kinda cool you hunt down the old issues. Rediscovering it, for you AND me... is half the fun.

Those letter pages in the back of maxx books are kinda a cool window into old school comic book letter columns. Sort of a fan community years before forums, blogs and tweets existed.

Colin, thanks for the kind words too.

adrian, it's just a splash page. I'd love to tell you what it's of, but i haven't drawn it yet. : )

Culchy, Thanks buddy!


Anonymous said...

I know this is a dorky question, but will the Maxx 1/2 be reprinted in the upcoming IDW hardcovers? It was never reprinted in the Wildstorm TPBs.

Sam Kieth said...

Not dorky at all.. actually1/2 WILL be. - first time in a non-wizard maxx comic too.

Don't feel bad, Scott at IDW had to remind me 1/2 even existed, geez... I'd forgotten I even drew it all those years ago, how dorky is that? : )


VeganMike said...

Hi Sam,

So I've spent a lot of time thinking and getting excited about the Maxximized version of The Maxx. I read in one interview where you were very firm that you're not interested in doing any new Maxx material, and as someone who thought My Inner Bimbo was 100x better than The Maxx I'm quite happy to see you keeping with your newer work instead of moving backward. However, something's been lingering since 1996, and I'm finally going to ask:

I honestly only slightly care about what happened after the end of The Maxx in the main story. But I always really, really wanted to see the end of Megan's story and (if I remember correctly it ended on a cliffhanger) The Love of Three Oranges. I know that the old [theoutback] mailing list got its hands on the scripts for the remainder of Megan's story, and they were great... but not find-able anymore. Do you consider this material to be Maxx material that you've moved past, or is there any chance they'll ever be drawn?

Also, sorry for not posting in comments for something like 2 years... let's just say my first attempt at residency didn't go as planned, and the last few years have been quite a time for me doctoring-wise :)

Sam Kieth said...

Hey VeganMike,

Yeah, I remember you.. no worries about bouts between post - my post are kinds sporadic too. Wow, outback mailing list - THAT sure takes me back! - talk about a time warp.

Thanks for the Bimbo compliment. The end of the maxx coincided with my interested on later stories, i wasn't ready to even try something as honest as Bimbo, but Zero Girl and Four women were sort or a bridge to later stories...

Speaking of which.... some script and story boards for Megan, ( or "The Amazon Soccer Queen of Love") will show up in the Worlds art books. Some bits from Three Oranges will be explained in Worlds too. But i'm afraid I don't have the psychical time or creative energy to finish the old stories only half finished during the maxx days. But i'm flattered you remembered them V-man!


Scott Bainbridge said...

Just a quickie to say how excited I am for the reprints and Worlds. It's good to see our favorite obscure artist not fade into obscurity. From everyone I'm sure, I'd like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thanks for the work you give us. It means a lot to us all.
Bring on the rest of the trout books sir!



Victor Cordova said...

Hey Sam, thanks for replying re: Maxx 1/2. I don't think it's dorky of you at all to have forgotten, it just mneas you have had so much amazing stuff to do in the past 20 years, of course you can't keep track of it all!

But me, on the other hand, hahaha, I have kept track of most of it... which leads me to yet ANOTHER DORKY question!

Will you be including the Mr. Gone story from the Happy Endings Dark Horse Anthology? It spoke directly about the Maxx, ways to have ended the series, and perspective, and I thought it was a beautiful epilogue to the series.

Sam Kieth said...

Hey Victor,

Other Dorky Question: Yeah, I will put in Happy Endings... but in a different form. It was originally cobbled together from an unfinished subplot for the Maxx comics, dealing with Yellow Slug.

So I figured i may as well put if back where it belongs in the correct order.

VeganMike said...

Can't wait to pick up the Worlds books then!

And I too am excited about the original version of the Happy Endings story. Any chance we'll see the Gay Comics Sara(h) story republished somewhere? If I remember correctly you didn't write it, but I remember it being well-written, and it showed the coveted-by-fans moment when Sarah changed her name to Sara. I'd understand exactly why it was included or left out of future collections!

My dorky question. Since we all seem to have them... will the shown-in-the-letter column pages of Jasper(?) sticking he hand into the Outback and then having it sawed off make it into the collected edition in their proper sequence, or should we expect them in Worlds?

And my final thing: I've been a huge fan of your work for some time, and I've been singing your praises through a frighteningly long list of schools and sets of friends, a few of whom were comics fans, but none of whom had ever heard of you except some passing knowledge of The Maxx as an MTV show that they didn't understand or having read Sandman. I recently entered residency in psychiatry at the top-ranked hospital in the country, and I finally found another enormous Sam Kieth fan... he's a year ahead of me in the program. So when you're wondering who enjoys your writing, the answer is "people who love to learn about psychology at a very high level." We're out there, and we're patiently but excitedly waiting for everything you publish.

Sam Kieth said...

Oh crap... forgot all about Jasper! Thanks Mike! Does it seem out of sequence? I'll have to go back and check it out again.. but yeah, this is the chance to fix anything that's always bugged us in the series.

And thanks for trying to spread the word among learned-folk about various sam-crap in general! : )

Here's a Maxx question for everybody, in the collected Hard Covers, which would you prefer:

A Any added pages or restored subplots to be added in the story issues itself (like the lost slug pages, or alternate ending), this way it's easier to see where the added stuff goes.

B Put any added/restored Maxx pages in the BACK of the trade, thus keep the original story intact as it was? This Plus of this, is it's easier to see what's been added, but the Minus is it may be harder to envision *where* the added pages were to go- continuity wise.


G said...

Sam --

I'd pick "A". I'd like to see anything alternative where it fits into the story itself, but that's just my vote.

I can't wait to see this!

-- Jonathan

Victor Cordova said...

This is Victor again! Thanks for all your responses, I am so excited for these books, you cannot imagine. This was the series that kept me collecting comics. You may remember me stuttering this to you at SDCC 2005, hahaha...

Anyways, I too vote for A. Make it a director's cut, and make it the Maxx you had envisioned it to be. After all, the single issues and old TPB's are still readily available if someone wants them.

This may be asking too much, but I'd also love the original art from the 1993 Topps card series (with Foil Chases, of course) reprinted into the book, maybe 2-4 per page... and the original covers... and the new covers...

ok, breathe, I'm sure you'll make this the best book you can, and it'll be simply amazing!!!

Victor Cordova said...

Just reading through the comments, and I am also in the psychology field, like VeganMike. One more year and I'll have my doctorate in clinical psychology!

I'm sure all the psychology in your book warped my little teenager head, and helped me get to where I am today!

VeganMike said...

Hi Sam,

I know B was your plan, but I think I'd prefer A. Unless it just doesn't fit right, of course, but I'd like to have as much as possible to just read straight through if it's possible.

Good to hear I'm in good company on my field, Victor! I have a feeling that Sam fans are mostly artists who like abstract ness, then psych-oriented people. Then... well, I guess other people with good taste?

Paul O'Keefe said...

Over the summer, I read a press release that IDW would be publishing The Maxx: Maxximized. Will this be reprinting the Maxx series as individual comic books, or as collected books, or both?

Sam Kieth said...

Paul: both. comics and later, hard covers. : )

Paul O'Keefe said...

Thanks for the clarification.

I remember when I was a broke highschooler and I could only afford one or two comics a month. Maxx was one of them.

I squeezed hours out of each issue of the Maxx. It wasn't a comic, it was this... thing, ya know.

I'm glad to hear that another generation of kids can stumble upon the Maxx for the first time.

Plasmite said...

Ah, the old Maxx...I loved that artwork and still collecting the originals I haven't been able to get my hands on. Keep missing those elusive comic cons you end up at Mr. Kieth!

Any chance some of us might get our grubby hands on some original Maxx artwork, or do we have to buy the book and hunt down an autograph?

Best wishes,


Pete Prochilo said...

Sam, so awesome to hear about the reprints. The Maxx was a huge inspiration back in the day--still is in many ways. Literally wore out the first issue (like someone else said, you could return to them again and again) waiting for the second. Best of luck...

Tech question: For those pieces that have the beautiful full-black backgrounds, what were you using to apply the ink? How did you get it to remain "flat" (a lot of times when I tried this the paper ended up curling because of the ink load).


Paul O'Keefe said...

Ink question to keep pages from curling:

I think I know the answer. You paint (ink) a large "X" from corner to corner on the back of the sheet.

I do this when painting on paper or thin board. It keeps my surface from warping.

Pete Prochilo said...

Paul, thanks for the tip! I will give it a shot..

Kevin said...

Hey Sam,

The Maxx was the comic that got me back into comics as an adult. It's always held a special place in my collection as one of my favorite series because it was so different than anything I'd seen in comics prior both in terms of story and art. I'm really glad to see the series getting some more attention again and can't wait to start seeing issues re-appearing at my local comic shop. Thanks to you and thanks to the good people at IDW.


Godrestored said...

Hello Mr. Kieth. Here is a link to my review of The Maxx Maxximized #1. I have no other way to inform you, so I posted it here. Thanks for your hard work.

nico said...

Hi Sam!!!... I've got your book!!! I'm waiting for it to arrive... this waiting is going to be exciting!!
love your work since always!!! you are the best!! keep it up!

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