Friday, March 14, 2014

Maxx, Worlds Sketches. . . 20 years ago today. . .

            ( Update added to bottom of this post! ) 

FYI:  The Sandman exhibition at Cartoon Art Museum ends on April 27th. 

There's a sandman piece Mike penciled and I inked in the a Museum catalog, limited to 1,000 copies pre-order copies now, since they won’t be going back to press with this one once it sells out. (I didn't post it because i forgot to scan it - sorry.)

If your a sandman freak, GET this book. 
Just remember my and Mike's Sandman pin up are only one one page of it. But it does help a worthy cause, (the Museum), so here's order info

Hopefully your not too sick of the Maxx. . .  

. . but here's a few versions of another painted cover.

Thanks to everybody - looks like IDW blew through those Maxx Limited books pretty quick. 

Promise to make the Maxx sketches worth it - I'll throw them up online as I work my way through them . . . so everybody gets a chance to check 'em out too. (remember, *this* one is a Maxx cover, not a sketch!) 

I'd be forever if i tried to draw every sketch with this much detail. 

Wanted to try something a little different with this Maxx cover, hmm. . . . not sure about the orange under-lighting.. 

getting a little psychedelic. .  even for me. Let's see if i can't save it.. 

. . or make it LOTS worse...

 either one. Okay, still a little busy? Too much going on? Probably.

 Above's an earlier version and one i painted a little later, side by side. Tried to ground all that orange in the 2nd version. 

Which do you like better? 

Notice i painted over my signature. it was too big anyway. : )  

I still think i can make the top of the 2nd version darker on the edges. 


I'm also doing some sketches for a few friends in some Worlds books too. 

Notice the ink's still wet here. Can't close this cover yet. I love working on this brown paper.  So restful this stained coffee brown isn't it? I love 'defacing' all my own art here.. scribbling over the inside pages like this. 

Here's another one.  

i'm not sure this is enough, seems kinda boring... 

let's adding something else here. little blobs of white out floating up from this guy's eye ball... 

Okay, this one's totally out of control now! * sigh * 

In fact take a look at the same page ( below) in another Worlds book for comparison, see?  

By now you've spotted the third book, and the little orange guy. 

Just another weird same monster. Outback creature. whatever. Just more weirdness. 

if the eye looks a little odd around the edges it's because i pasted it in. couldn't get the acrylic smooth enough. 

That's what sketches are always hit and miss aren't they? It's like musicians playing live. No safety net. Esp. if you doing it in a big-ass art book, more pressure not to screw up. 

But this (my worrying) is just me psyching-myself-out. . . because you couldn't ask for a more appreciative buncha fans than you guys n' gals out there..  'course with friends there's should be even less pressure, right? 

But it's fun too. A challenge. I'm leaving this guy alone. No need to busy it up top any, less is more here, eh? 

Check out how the flash caught some of the paint texture in one pic, and hid it with a secondary source of light.  Funny how light can either . . hide. . .  or expose. . .  brush texture, isn't it? 

Okay, enough of this little guy... 


It's weird looking at all this old Maxx art. Most of my problem with Maxx had to do with publishing/editorial/printer things that had nothing to do with the story itself.  Production crap, and various professional 'dirty laundry', ego, greed, gossip, tons of worthless crap that won't help anyone by being aired publicly and most of which have - thankfully - faded from everyone's memory. 

For me, Maxx is like having Four Ex Wives, all getting together and revisiting you, and each compare notes.  Tons of mixed feelings, affection, regrets, embarrassment, ambivalence. All that. But that's MY own personal baggage and neurosis, and damage, not yours. 

Yeah. Maxx lasted. Weird. Kinda pretentious sounding, but I don't mean it in an ego way either. For some odd reason, it HAS left an imprint. 

I know for a fact it's changed some people. . . because of the TONS of letters I've received over the years. 

And even at SDCC, various strangers, who in an instant touched my arm, leaned into me, looked eyes with mine, and this weren't strangers at all... people who assured me yes, they *were* deeply moved by something in Maxx. Or that something happened in their life, *while* they were reading it. 

Key moments, teen angst, someone they loved, lost, or discovered. Personal hardship. Trauma. Abuse. Broken heart. Healing. Recover. In the middle of a whole world or crap, they found . . . some glimmer of hope in the stories. words. ideas.  

I know, because you've been kind enough to share it with me. This humbles me.  Drawing him is second nature to me.  All this, reminds me that, in a way, " I ", really have nothing to do with the Maxx. 

It's something that travels far beyond me . .  

even if it happened to have started  because of me, you know? 

Okay, enough of my babble. Thanks for listening. 

. . and looking. 

- Sam 



Also, kinda interesting fact, as you can see above, the original Maxx 9 panted cover is NOT red colored.

The original art's (right) was actually PEACH colored..!!! ~  years ago, i had the production guys at Image reddened  the cover up in photoshop because i though the original didn't look 'violent' enough. Now, i actually prefer the original peachier colors. Which do you like?

Above is a cool contrasts.. my New Maxx 9 cover. on the left, and the classic Maxx 9 cover on the right. In some ways, how i paint Maxx is totally different than how I used too, and in other ways, some of same weirdness. . . .  carried on with a changing bag of tools, tricks, ideas.


Here's the same cover, hours earlier. Paints still wait on top, as I've darkened a new upper layer.

This is like the third variation on this cover's background. So much gets lost in the printing too.

Started so bright and psychedelic.  Now look at it..

Another shot, but this one catches more of the texture.

Some things i would have never done back then, like the orange under-shadows.. also Way$hak pointed out for some odd reason i'm making Maxx's claws curlier now.. never noticed that.

I threw it up here again, since my black Maxx logo covers the top background,  so now you can *what* the black logo actually covers up. Notice once it's dries, much of the texture is lost in a scan. But that's what's cool about seeing art from different lighting angles.

Okay - enough already! 

- Sam 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Maxx Sketch Limited

Here's a LINK to ordering the Maxx Sketch Limited - which went "live" today! ( meaning you can order it) ! 

Now i'll get back to posting some more artwork for a change.. 

..about time, eh? 

: ) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

he Maxx Vol. 1 Limited Edition Book

IDW Limited, (and well... ME....).. are announcing:  

The Maxx Vol. 1 Limited Edition book  book (Ltd to 25 copies ) which you can get on March 11.  

Each book will be limited to 25 copies and will include an original piece of *Sketch Art* - by me, Sam, featuring one of the characters from the Maxx Universe.  Each copy will also be signed by me, (Sam again), and will be printed in an exclusive oversized format.  Just to be clear, these are Maxx 1-4 of the recolored comics. Also this will have 6-8 pages of maxx sketches in the back.  But this will *not* have any extra unpublished pages. Some collectors  don't want that stuff, so for folks who liked Limited runs, signed copies, and Original Sketches... this is for them. 

Cost per copy will be $495. 

For any questions, drop a line to Nate Murray who manages IDW's marketing. He's a cool guy. 


Now, the 25 sketches I do... ? Remember, they won't always be Maxx or Julie. 

Sometimes maybe just an outback creature. 

Some have a little color, some not - but more or less i will try to throw in some Maxx related theme.. trees, creatures, whatever. 

Here's some maxx cover's i'm still finishing.  Still kinda raw, eh? 

.. I'm so behind in everything right now. 

I'll try to post some of these other 25 sketches in the next few months... so you can see if what your getting.  Now not everybody's gonna wanna buy a book with a sketch, that's why there's only 25 being made. 

If you miss this round.. remember there's 35 Maxx issues, 4 issues a trade… so that's something like 9 Vols. of these books, so there's a few more chances you can snag a sketch in there somewhere.  Not trying to gouge you guys, but since it's so rare i do commissions anymore,  this gives the rest of you a chance to get something not as pricey as a commission. 

A lot of people are worried I've softened my resistance to the maxx. But don't worry - I still hate it, honest. Actually i was thinking about this... the only reason drawing Maxx again feels so easy... is because i deigned him myself. The shape, color, cartoony-ness, rawness... is all something that comes natural to me. 

Unlike Marvel and DC super heros, no one will ever be able to tell me i drew Maxx wrong, because it's too late, it's already looks goofy and screwed up. 

The design is so simple... anybody can do it! 

This is probably one of my favorite painted maxx cover's i've done so far. 

In case you wondered... the reason she has two left feet, is because the original Maxx comic page i stupidly drew Julie with two left feet... so now I'm STUCK painting it that way.... * sigh * Serves me right, eh? 


Here's a goofy diagram i made that either may help... or just confuse you further. 

Down the road, for fans who wanna skip popping the extra money a Limited Sketch version?  Well, sometime next year we'll have some "Absolute" style trades that include EVERYTHING.. in "Maxximized Deluxe" version.  It'll be cheaper, will have all the letters pages ( missing from the wildstorm trades), Maxx 1/2 and all sorts of added goodies. This one's less for Limited edition collectors . . . and more for the general reader who wants the story with a few extras.

Meanwhile, for the hard core fans who don't want those extras, and may never get a sketch from me at a comic con… the The Limited gives you a shot at that.  Plus, if you don't wanna pop for sketch version, don't worry.. just wait a few months and you can buy a cheaper version of the same Limited four issues, only *without* a sketch/signature on IDW's site too. 

And remember... on't feel obligates to buy ANY of these.. that's why we made the single issues, which are cheapest of all! ( this is why i suck at 'selling' myself,  and am better of relegated to the drawing table. )  

To everyone else in the comments - thanks. If you wanna use my art for tattoos, GO or it, just grab something from one of the books.  More ART.... and less 'talking' next time. Promise. 


Here's another unfinished one... ( see last image on the left ) - 

...on the other hand... maybe it IS done already? Less is more????? 

Or am i just being lazy? You tell me.