Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weathered Old Lady..

I've decided to pour in some more personal insights into the art book... Enzo was actually a separate book I think will fit better into the art book. Not a re-hash of history... when I read an art book I always wonder, what free floating thoughts, music, smells or seasons occurred when such and such a page was drawn?

That's the plan. We'll se how it all jells together. At least it might make it worthy of a second read rather than just be a big 'picture book'..


Meanwhile... here's something else I tried.

I decided to 'age' the paper I drew it on, just like her skin is aged.

You can see I wanted her scarf to cover more of her head so I clumsily pasted over another piece of paper.

I love the leathery skin ones gets as they ages.

Tried to 'blur' her mid way down the body...

....trying for some feeling motion?

actually, could almost be an old man. Funny how depending on the body type, the gender almost disappears in some people.

Hey, I have to throw in some quasi -normal portraits between all these abstracts I do, eh?


Btw: Thanks for the kind comments.. it's flattering when fans see my whole body of work as a whole piece. More and more... it feels like that to me too, even if some of it was work for hire or owned by a publisher, and some i own, it all bears my thumb print in some way, eh?


Have a cool holiday everyone!

ps: .....lastly hear it is... scanned... without all the wacky dutch camera angles.


Two Bonus "Chewed up Stuffed Animal" Post from the Cap'ian:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chewed up Stuffed Animals..

Here's a goofy little thing i *was* going to throw up on Tumblr, but instead we'll throw it up here.

While i'll try to resist posting those annoying *cute pet photos* most folks post... I don't mind showcasing occasional pics of dismembered stuffed animals our little dog has his way with.

Besides, it gives the Cap'ian something to do, doesn't it?


I know, i posted this Hollows Preview already - but I had used up some space, so I to bought some extra gigs on the blog so the photos should open bigger again now. For a few posts they weren't opening as large. So that's fixed.

Figure you won't mind clicking and see this a little larger.


Pre-New Years Resolution: I have promised myself to start making things out of all the piles of crap material in my studio - new rule is, before i can buy anymore paint, fabric, clay, or bristol board, i need to dig into all the *unused* stuff longing to be made into something.


I briefly tried out Tumblr last week, but i found some of my other fans had thrown up tons of my art already. Hey, they've done  a far better job than i could, which is way cool because it saves me the trouble.

Any fans who get my art out there for other folks to see, that's totally cool by me!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Maxx Commissions and Death's Wall.

Because I'm still swimming my way out of comic pages before the Holiday hits... here's a few extra commissions you may missed, or I forgot to throw up.

This is the first Maxx i've drawn in a ga-zillion years... but don't get your hopes up i'll do the book again. I know it's a losing battle fighting fan's nostalgia, but ere's a few myths about the Maxx:

Myth One: Maxx made sense, sorta... at 2am, if you weren't stoned. Truth: Maxx didn't even make sense to ME... so it's doubtful anyone else could make sense of it. I had a few rough ideas of how 1-20 would end... but you could tell past that i kept trying to cram other non-Maxx stories into Maxx, which didn't work...  and is why it's GOOD news i moved onto to Zero Girl, Four Women, Ojo and Bimbo. Plus THOSE suckers made sense. Mostly.

Myth Two: This was my 'peak'. Creative freedom wise? Possibly.  Ideas we're flying out like sh*t from a goose. So to speak. Skill wise, nope. Maxx was *very* hit and miss. And most fans I talk to agree it the most inconsistent art of any comic I've drawn. Some really ugly wretched panels, and pages... don't believe me? I'll dig a few up someday and show you.  Tiny little line wise: Marvel presents had more tiny lines ( if that's the sophomoric narrow permitters we're measuring 'good' art by) - but Epicurus is actually the best ( detailed ) art I've done in my book.

I know ratings are silly and subjective: But detail wise... I'd rate Maxx art as a C plus, Marvel Presents Covers and a few other pieces as B-, and Epicurus as A-.

Inspiration wise: I'd take some of the paintings I've done over my blog, (and some older ones too) as being valid in their own way. The point of he Museum show is for me to stop quibbling and just be gracious any body likes all four sams: 'Vintage Epicurus Sam',  'Classic MCP covers Sam',  'Underground Maxx Sam', Storyteller Sam ( Bimbo, Zerogirl, Ojo), or ' Weird-ass-Patings Sam' .

I think I added an extra 'Sam' in there somewhere. Oh and there's Weird Antiques Sam, and Trout Sam, and Dana and Nola Sam ( probably better filed under Storyteller Sam, or maybe Trout Sam.) Gets silly in a way... but when someone asks you

Do you like Sam Kieth? The question that spring to mind is:

...which Sam?

Thanks to all the folks who requested these commissions in the first place.  (Hey...Is that SuperMeatBoy in there??? ) And I promise, no more bitching about Maxx.  Ignore any gripes I make. Hey, If i didn't have *some* affection for Maxx (or all my other creations), i wouldn't have dreamed them up in the first place, right?

Just trying to bring all my halves... or fourths... (or sixteenths?) together. That's what all these art books are trying to do... as a shift from 'middle age sam' into 'old man sam'.  Looking for a little Closure. Rest. Compassion on myself.... and for all my various 'drawing highs'.... and 'drawing lows'. It's the lows that make the highs possible. Sublime and Grotesque, that's my art in a nutshell.

Here's Lastly... an old commission I did Neil threw up on his Tumblr account and had a nice word for it.

Getting a 'wonderful' from Mr. Gaiman... is kinda cool.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two Trees, or Blobs... or something...

Here's one of two wet-in-wet watercolor blobs i made..

...which i turned into a tree just for the heck of it.

it's pretty crude the closer up you get.. but like i said, their kinda small..

the second blob of color i used a white trunk, so now it looks more like lightning or a brain scan, doesn't it?

Or maybe a reversed (white) image of a tree trunk.

actually i'm not really sure what the second one is.. and since no one's demanding an answer, and people are use to me drawing weird crap to begin with..

it can be whatever people want it to be.

maybe two pieces of moldy brown broccoli? i dunno...

Thanks for all the supportive comments in the last post too!

- Sam

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vassilis Gogtzilas, and Hollows.

Here's a montage of Hollow's art - i'm blown away and thankful retailers have ordered the first issue! Without fans and the few comic stores still out there, I wouldn't even still be working in comics, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who supports my goofy art style.

I know Hollows may not be for everyone. You might dig my old stuff or a less lose style than i'm using on the Hollows, but heck...  I'm always just surprised when anyone picks up a creator owned book anymore! No one gets rich of these suckers, their a labor of love.

Here's a Hollows piece you may have seen already, but if not...

Also those three Fantastic Four covers I drew for the Heros Charity are up if anyone's interested..  

Apologies i've been sluggish in posts the last few weeks.  Playing catch up on hollows last two issues left me kinda spent. But i'm recharging my creative battery so don't worry, new posts are in the works!


I waned to talk in this post about my old pal Vassilis Gogtzilas. Like a few other artists he saw my work when he first read comics, and gradually grew into a story that is his own. I did the same, tried to copy the styes of others when first read, then later trying to break in.

I tried to drag Vassilis into working with me on Nola... and he always blew me away with his amazing art. In the end I decided I wanted to draw that particular story myself. It was tough call, because I had become good friends  with him by then, be he understood why. No rejection of him, and he's been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

See, the secret i never told Vassilis, was that while i asked him to help me on Nola... truth was i learned a lot from him. I think I learn from every artist i work with, but Vass is  special. He's so versatile,  humble, and one of the fastest artists i've ever met!

His art can get as 'big-foot' or cartoony as my cousin Dave Feiss's style got sometimes.

In fact i sorta flash back to Fred Flower and Uncle Italian Moose or the Cow and Chicken days when Vassilis is in cartoony mode. Yet his style is it's on animal here too.

Cartoons or Illustration.. either way: Frantic, energetic and full and life.

Another thing I admire is he can move to things like this... portraits and figure drawing that's solid as a rock, yet his pen or brush style stays lose...

Vassilis CAN add the detail, but like Eddie Campbell or Sienkiewicz do,

Vass has the skill to use a scratch pen style that strips the face bare... and seems to carves everything extraneous away.

Then he'll pop back over to something like this big-jawed guy.

This is why i love his stuff.  All over the place, in a good way!  (Plus bonus points because he's not afraid to draw big butts too!)

I'd be a fool NOT to learn and absorb from artists like Josh Hagler, Jon Way$hak, Vassilis, they 'teach" me things... change me, affect me... every time I look at their art.  Even if we never directly speak about it. Some of them may be young enough to look upon me how i look upon older comic pros. But that's irrelevant now.

They emerged from the shadow of my 'style' like I fought to emerge from being a Berni Wrightson or Bill Sienkiewicz clone, or a  clone of illustrators like Bernie Fuches or Bob Peak, or painters like the women of Klimt,  beauty/ugly of Schiele,  whimsy of Paul Klee,  elongated faces of Modigliani, or even variety of styles Kandinsky tried. Not throwing those names out to seem pretentious, but they all inspired when i first discovered them.

Then later when trying to break into comics.. their immense talent, skills, pure imagination... intimidated the hell out of me.

But i did tried to do.... what Way$ak, Hagler and Vassilis succeeded at. Emerging from another artists's shadow or style.  Now it's their OWN styles they get to enjoys the fruits of.  Or be frustrated by. Sure, questions still swirl in all our minds:

Am i just a clone of.......?

Do i look to much like........?

Meanwhile, as the questions fade, the good news is all we're all left with is ART. Cool art, different art. People miles apart that hardly look anything like one another now, but once part of a long chain or guys and gals inspire by each other.

So, this post is dedicated to Vassilis, one of the best kept secrets in comics in my humble view.  He's his own guy now, and his secret is starting to seep out.

Well known writer J.M. Dematteis talks about working with Vass on a new comic called Augusta Wind too - check it out!  

There's also lots of cool art from Vass in this piece too.

Okay, enough already, i will get back to throwing some of my crap up next post. I'll leave you with two sepia looking pages Vass drew from a comic, dealing with ordinary people. Seems appropriate since we've been talking about artists insecurities and failures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lost in trees... mostly..

Loose idea that stared as a Tree coming out of some rocks,

but instead, sorta became a woman at the last minute ..

it's layered, the creaminess of oily pastels.  some wet in wet..

..a little acrylic, some gouache, which i usually don't use much of for some reason.  You'd think i'd use gouache more... being so partial to watercolors as i am. 

kinda quiet last week..

i mean, i'm working like a maniac as usual. i just mean not much editor or freelancer contact, as lots of people flying back from NY comic con on Monday and probably fried on Tues. which is fine, can be left to myself.

not sure where this is going..  ( i know, what's up with the spots? no idea. )

this one has a sorta melancholily to it, but maybe that's just me.

 ..not sure this is coming out how i envisioned, but that's a losing battle. Trying to control what happens on a blank page.

i mean, how can now can we take credit it for what is often 90 percent accidental? Including spots? that's about it for this one.. leave well enough alone.

Yes, i admit, i AM always trying to aim for  *something* when i paint something,

but it's too.... harsh to hate what comes out... just because it's not what i envisioned. not anymore.

sorta like hating your children, isn't it?

every piece we do it somewhat our 'kids' aren't they?

Some a little wonky, and other's surprise us.

doesn't mean we have to love everything we do, does it?

sometimes it sings, sometimes it sobs.

sorry Chick.