1. When will you be appearing at _______ ( insert whatever Comic Con or Comic Book Store) in my area? 

  Probably never. It's nothing personal against my fans.  Contrary to many rumors, I'm not a TOTAL hermit... I'm just  more comfortable keeping in touch with my fans through my comics & art books, rather than in person.  I really want to emphasize I am NOT snubbing my fans or looking down my nose at anyone, though some folks mistakenly assume so.  I'm very grateful for every fan who checks out what I do, always! 

2 Can I get a sketch, or a comic signed? 

  Uhh.... well, this is sorta covered by the previous answer above. 

3 Do you sell any original artwork? 

  I gave up taking art commissions a few years ago.  Original art-wise, you can find what's left on Albert Moy's web site here.  Most of my later comic pages are 80% digital, and there's not much need for a 'half-finished page' to sell to anyone.  I'm not looking to part with the older art, either, by the way. 

  New paintings, or 'non-work for hire' art such as in my sketchbooks, I do mostly for myself.  What I do with my old art falls into Three Categories: 

A:   I either KEEP it. 

B:    I SELL it to a small circle of collectors who are open to portraits, abstracts or whatever else I enjoy painting.  This isn't to exclude comic fans; most of them just want pictures of buffed-up superheros, so they're fine skipping other subject matter I find interesting.  The idea is to sell FEWER pieces overall, but for the few fans out there (and we may be talking only a couple) who want an Asian woman or tree painting, then I'll be asking a bigger price, because it took longer to paint and I am more invested in it personally.  

 As to fans not being able to get my cheaper pages, there're tons of sketches and art on Ebay and Albert's site for very reasonable prices, so no one's been left out. 

C:   I BURN it. In other words, send it back to the earth.  Which is kinda nice, considering a tree was often killed to make it in the first place.  I understand this disturbs or horrifies some people, and I respect that.  I can see why, but I explain my reasons for doing so below: 

Burning Artwork: Am I Crazy or What?
Why Burning Art is Not Just Non-Destructive, But is Basically Harmless and Also Ultimately Very Fulfilling: 

The danger of burning one's art is that it seems, on the one hand, destructive in a self-indulgent tantrum, or, on the other hand, like self-absorbed narcissism—both of which apply to me, as with all artists.  But when I burn my own art, this isn't the case.  I'd almost say it's almost a matter of faith, sans any particular dogma underpinnings.  Yes, I'm as greedy as the next fuck, and like to profit from my art.  I don't burn ALL my art, just some of it, and it's an experience that's very much therapeutic—a kind of release. 

I don't think my work is any WORSE, or better, than other art work. It just 'is'.  But... it just seems like... some artwork ....seems to need/want to go back into the earth, you know?  It's like it's being called home.  What's that old Mose Allison album: "the earth wants you"... 

I enjoy watching Native Americans and Tibetans spend months creating sand Mandalas.  It never seems a horrible shock when they're begun, finished, witnessed, and ultimately destroyed.  It's a spiritual act that seems to spare us any artistic ego focus on results or self-consciousness.  Like, once upon a time... the Burning Man Festival was.  Ashes, soot and good rich compost create awesome new growth.  Artistically too. 

Besides, it's all landfill once we're dead.  I don't mean that bitterly; nothing last forever, and I believe decay, mold, moss (a nice revenge for all the dead trees that artists slaughter) are actually the most natural closure any of us could ask for.  But I'm a  freak: when I watch TV shows like "When People Are Gone", I root for the plants, fungi, bugs and moss.  They can eat up all the paintings too!  How cool is that? 

'Course, that could just be me.  But since I'm alive and it is MY art (and let's face it: it is JUST artwork), then why not join me in celebrating its creation, enjoyment and destruction?  

Sam Kieth
May 15, 2010

  Again, I wanna make clear I totally respect 'work for hire', and superhero art too. But at the risk of seeming pretentious, please respect my desire to also do 'personal art' for myself and the few folks who like, 'get' or wish to purchase this kind of work too.

4 What art supplies do I use?  

 Anything goes... pretty much pen, pencil, brush, feathers, straws, twigs, watercolor, acrylics, glue, crayons, sand, mud, human hair, moss, grease, dirt, mold, macaroni, wood, garbage, bones, and any other debris lying around my studio or outside that I can dig up. 

5 When will the Art of Sam Kieth book be out? 

 End of this year.  Promise. 

Yeah.  Pretty sure. 

No really.  - - I  PROMISE!  : ) 

6 Will you ever draw the Maxx comic again? 

 Nope.  I can't.  I'm not the same guy who drew it anymore.  And my guess is my fans have changed too.  I don't know about you, but I just can't go home.  Nostalgia is cool if that's your thing.  That why God made reprints. 

7 How to get into comics? 

 Do the opposite of everything I foolishly did.  Don't toil away, refusing to take art classes for years.  Don't copy other artists' styles at the expense of your own.  Avoid—stubbornly ignore—the advice of editors, other fledgling professionals and friends who offer constructive criticism and suggestions that might, like, ... HELP you change, morph and grow into a better artist.   

 Come to think of it, maybe I should write a book on how NOT to get into comics, as I've a knack for making every boneheaded mistake known to man.  I'm not just being cutesy either; I really am a total idiot. 

 Just ask my wife, the Head Gardener.  Believe me, she knows.