Saturday, January 30, 2016

Plug Sandwich.


 This is the top half of a 'plug-sandwich'. Plug on top, art in the middle, plug on the bottom.

Plug for my old friend Bob Chapman at Graphitti. He's painstakingly rounded up scans of vintage Sandman pages from all over the globe.

Don't ask me when he's found all this crap, but it's an impressive feat. 



You can find it HERE …  then search for it under: "Sandman Gallery Edition".

I've unboxed it today, and even as original art sized books go, this one is unusually LARGE.

In fact I'm not even gonna bother to remove it from the plastic.  Why bother to break it open.  Heck, i know what my art looks like anyways, right?


In addition to some Sandman art from me, there's also pages from Mike Dringenberg, P. Crag Russell, and some others Sandman artists too.

Now these here suckers comes in three formats:

* Cheapist is the Regular Edition.
* Next up is Signed Edition by me and Neil, which cost a little more.
* Last is a limited Remarqued Edition, which means it had an original sketch of Sandman in it by me, so because there's less of theme.. they'll costs most of all.



Here's  an example of my sketches for the Remarqued Edition.





I've struggled with my feeling bad about my art on early sandman issues, but I've learned have compassion on my fledgling efforts on this project, and to since my Creative DNA is hopelessly mixed up of the Sand-a-verse...

over the years, with the support of friends like Mike and Neil, it's finally dawned upon me that in spite of sometimes flawed sophomore efforts on that book, that mainly because of the great work of so Neil and so many other artists did after me...

that it is definitely something to be *proud* of.




Now onto other crap..  Here's a page from an upcoming mysetry project


As you can see it still needs some panels to be finished. I wanted to fuse together an Art Nouveau 1890s design with my love of swamps and organic moss and swamps.

I liked how lose and unfinished the Hollows mini series i did looked, so i thought it would be cool to return to a more detailed ornate look, but mixed in with more stylized way. That's what i was shooting for, well see if i can pull it off.

Even if i fail, it'll be an interesting to at least try.



These two again. Can't get rid of them, can we?



I kept fiddling with this cover till the very last minute. I wanted something that looked more cartoony and loser. I think it took a while on the Maxx covers to relax, and nothing relax you more than failure.


By failure, I just mean ...  if it doesn't come out how i imagined, i can be disappointing.




But if someone else digs it, than who cares what indulgent temper tantrums we artists puts ourselves through? Besides, sometimes i'm dead wrong.  Sometimes i come back years later, and i say to  myself: " Hey, this isn't so bad as i remembered, what we my damage over it anyways?"



Here's a Maxx cover i decided to leave in black and white.  Mainly because adding color by hand might lose some of the detail.



Yeah, i could add it digitally, but i just thought it would be cool to have *one* B&W cover in the run. I did a lot of mixed media stuff in the original Maxx series, but i was too timid to add a mix of color AND black and white Maxx pages in the book. I came from the "if it's not colored, it's taboo" school of comics. The exception being books where were all black and white.



The Maxx illustration style was founded on breaking so many rules in mainstream comics, wasn't it?



If i ever so a Maxx series again, i think i could go from color to black & white, yet do to it in a way that wasn't distracting and made since to the story - what do you guys think?




It's funny how differently Julie looks in all these covers isn't it?  All over the place, style wise.


I remember before i broke in, i wanted to avoid having any kind of style. I wanted to at least TRY to be as eclectic as possible. The problem is i ran up against limits to what i could do.



I still am humbled by this, plus i failed, in that my style sticks up like a sore thumb. But i think trying to stretch ourselves, however horribly we fail, can result in being a more interesting artist than i'd ever dreamed of becoming.

So were back to Sandman and "precieved" failures. I'm telling you guys, just ignore my words, their totally useless.

My art alone... says anything that's worth saying. 


Here's the bottom plug.  Sorry Jon, last but *not* least.



This plug is for my old buddy Jon Way$hak who has a new Kick Ass mini series he's  drawing/inking, called Devoultion. It's overdue for Jon to get some of the attention he so richly deserves!





Jon usually lavishes his Mind-Numbing detail on advertising art, so it's a rare treat when he digs into comic books, so check 'em out!
Okay, sorry this post went on forever.. but at least your done now.

Finally eh?




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Maxx 1-6, Artist Edition



I'm not the best at promoting my own work, but this blog is the easiest way to let everyone know when i've something new out. The best price to order the Maxx artist edition, which reprints Issues 1-6 and Darker image 1 and 2, can be found HERE.




If your not into original art sized hard covers, no worries.  Since it's been so long since i've put out any books lately, so until Worlds of Sam 2 ( which, yes, i am working on ) comes out, this should give you guys something new to check out.


I also thought i'd throw up a few Maxx pages you can check out, in case you don't wanna pop for something like this.  I know it's mostly for fans of original art sized Artist Edition books, which are a smaller hard core group of collectors than most of my fans are.

So don't feel obligated.  See?  Told you i suck at self promotion.





Thanks again.









Sunday, January 10, 2016

More Twout Crap..



Here's a few bits n' bobs from an upcoming Twout related Project..



Coming out sometime coming later this year.  Finger's crossed.  Above is a rather surreal looking piece, lampooning the usual Maxx-Wolvie pose i drew on so many comic covers over the years.


The Trout has appeared in many forms, even in a 1950s newspaper strip. ( Obviously un-proofed,  but then nothing i write on my artwork is spelled correctly anyhoo... so why start now? ) 


Here's the original art from a Sunday page from the 1900s,  note a speck of white paint has accidentally turned watch "parts"... into farts.  Sadly, such accidents are common place in the Twout-a-verse.


Here's a 20 x 40 inch vintage poster i doodled various trout ads onto... kinda hard to see here, but these and other art will appear in the Mysteries of the Twout-a-Verse book sometime in December, and also some sort films i'm finishing off just for fun.

Course i'll try to keep pumping out more slightly commercial Maxx stuff to help pay for all this creative detours and otherwise bizarre tomfoolery

which i keep inflicting on all my loyal obsessive Maxx-Heads...

or, Twout-Heads...

or maybe it's Sam-Heads? 







Thursday, January 7, 2016

Random Crap lying around my Studio.




Here are a bunch of things lying around my studio. I've posted this asian woman before, but the textures on her kimono I just got just got around to finishing this week.



It's funny how a series of images, however randomly strung together.. it's odd how our minds make a story out of them.



This gold & pink texture are just brush twirls, and smears of acrylic paint, but the interesting patterns  have inspired me to try similar textures in finished covers.

In fact you can't get a more different texture than the gritty, almost metallic looking aggressive smears in the bristol on my drawing board..



... and the wet-in-wet watercolor bleeds in this woman's kimono.

It's weird to think they came out of the same artists' hand in a way.  


Something else i see dozens of times a day: dirty ink bottles:

I notice Higgins ink isn't dark enough lately, and it also it tends to bleed through Strathmore bristol board. 

So i'm trying Bombay India ink for a change. The finished blacks are a little flat, but at least i don't have to add multiple layers of ink just to get solid blacks. We'll see how it goes.


Another random object lying around,  an alternate pillar i wound up not using for one of the Maxx covers.


Here's the pillar i went with instead. I still think i could have added more highlights to this version, blended it better... it looks kinda blah now that i look at it.

Course most people may not even notice the pillar and just look at the Maxx.. so i may be overthinking it. 


I keep coming back to this asian woman, i was tempted to make it a Julie cover, but i don't know if i see Julie as wearing a Kimono, or not being blonde. On the other hand, she died her hair red and went through all sorts of different looks in the Maxx, didn't she?

Naw, this doesn't feel like her.


I've always been a huge fan of matte paintings. From Citizen Kane to the early Lucasfilm Mattes, Star wars & Raiders Paintings, long before Digital backgrounds kicked in.

Course i don't posses photo realistic illustration skills, and besides, i have grown to like the hand-drawn..stylized ...and sometimes cartoony feel to my art work has...


But these little roughs, are for a series of full scale paintings for a series of 'cities in the Twout-a-verse' paintings.  They will also show up in some short films i've done over the years. You'll notice i worked a few of my fashion & asian paintings into the cities too.  Recycled crap, New crap, everything has a home. Nothing wasted in the twout-a-verse.

Though these sketches are tiny and crude, it's funny how small thumb nails like these can inform, give birth to and finally grow into full scale fully detailed pictures, isn't it?

Most of my covers came from crude little thumbs like these.



From different angles this kimono pattern almost looks like electric impulses in the brain doesn't it?



One of a dozen unfinished Maxx covers. You can see one of the Marble Watercolor brown boards overlapping it too, which will get gobbled up into another piece of art down the road.



Okay, almost done. Thanks for being patient. The delicate kimono woman and the crude gold-orange-pink metal images side by side. One of my favorite things about this woman's image is how i left the bottom empty.

It's taken me years to develop the courage to leave things open. 



When i was taking these pics, i happened across this little 'end' logo, i did on the back of a piece of brisol, because i'd forgotten to add it to the end of a story.. so i drew, colored and scanned it in later.

Now it jumps out at me, all by itself... a small little 'end' image. Hiding alone at the end of a stack of art paper in the corner of my crap infested studio.

Seems like a good 'next-to-last' image doesn't it?




Okay, your probably sick to death of this one by now, but i had to throw in at least one shot of it - head on - to make up for all the distorted photos of it.

Thanks

Sam










 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

three small trees




These were done on  4 x 6 pieces of watercolor paper i cut up... sorry if this one's a little blurry.



Sometimes the holidays stir feelings of melancholy in some of us, and i'm no different. 




So i decided to take a break from the purple dude... and do a few of these.

Some relaxing trees.



All I'm trying to do with this red-ish tree is make it somewhat different than the first.  It's not literally based on any known tree i've ever seen.



Here they are together, for contrast.



Some people ask me why i sometimes draw my pages all different sizes? Most assume it's easier to draw an original art smaller sized, but it's actually more difficult, and sometimes drawing smaller has often made me work harder and focus more, and not be as sloppy in the larger size.

I also noticed my work tightens up when i bounce back the normal 11 x 17 page.

So working small can help sometimes.



But trees, have no rules.

Their probably the most intuitive thing i draw, outside of outback critters,
which are also mostly totally made up and pulled randomly out of me ass, so to speak.



This third tree was inspired by a miniature bonsai tree i saw once. I doubt the top leaves were that thick though.



It was years until i'd explore working subtler subject matter into my work, like the trees in the Hollows series, or minimal brush strokes of sumi brush painting.  Still love the detailed stuff, but it  took a lot of courage to creep out on the branch of organic subject matter, and the 'taboo' of daring to omitting detail, a devotion to detail that i too worshiped while trying to break into comics. Detail i still dig sometimes.

But what's so cool is, you guys get that too. In many ways, you are more open minded than i am, and  keep reminding *me* that all of it...

...large and kick-ass stuff, small and delicate, crazy detailed, or bare and minimal, it's all 'sam-a-verse' crap, for lack of a better word.

take care of yourselves and thanks for letting be yammer on.

Sam