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July 31, 2013

The Maxx Is Back!!!!

Sam Keith will always have a special place in my heart when it comes to comic book artists, no matter what he ever does in the future. My man Sam is responsible for the killer art that shaped the book 'Sandman' by Neil Gaiman, still to this day my all time favorite series. Although he was very early in his career and only was the lead artist for like 5 issues, Keith made a huge contribution to Gaiman's seminal series because he came up with Morpheus's signature look. He stepped away after a few issues and honed his craft, and in the great Image Comics movement of the early 90s he created one of the weirdest and wildest comics of all time.... 'The Maxx'! 'The Maxx' was different than everything else going on at Image. 'Spawn' was a true comic book comic... it felt like Spiderman or something classic. 'Savage Dragon' had all the elements of Batman., a great detective book. 'Wild C.A.T.S'. & 'Youngblood' were team books modeled after The Avengers & the X-Men. But 'The Maxx'... yeah, that was something different....

Read more after the jump...

Image was founded on the concept that each creator would own their character & comic and that the company would not control the copyright for the characters they published. It was also established that none of the other owner/creators at Image would ever interfere with the content of another creators book. So when they excepted Keith and his insane plan for 'The Maxx' book, they were taking one hell of a step... and what a ride it was! The story of Dave the Homeless Guy, aka The Maxx, and his trips to the "Outback" (his subconscious) where he became a superhero charged with protecting The Jungle Queen (who was really a social worked named Julie). The book was trippy as shit, bounced back in forth between the real and subconscious world, and would have made Hunter S Thompson sit down and say "What The Fuck Is Happening Here???". To put it lightly, the book was revolutionary and extremely important in the growth of the comic book industry...

The Maxx by my homie Sean Harrter... R.I.P. brother!!!
Keith pulled 35 issues of 'The Maxx' out of his ass, and all of them were quite good. It was also turned into a 12 episode TV show for MTV, which brought the acid trip world of Keith to life... and did it extreme justice. After that Keith bowed his creation out, and he bounced around doing some great work for the big boys (Batman & Lobo books for DC, Hulk & Marvel Comic's Presents for Marvel). But now he is going back to his Indie roots, and bringing back 'The Maxx' under the IDW imprint.

IDW plans to reprint all 32 issues of 'The Maxx' with brand new covers painted by Keith as well as updated re-mastered interior art done by Keith. They will also release comprehensive hardcover over sized editions of the book for the first time ever... something Image never did with the character. I can't wait to see Keith's art given the over sized & re-mastered treatment. It is going to be beautiful! The deal with IDW also includes a three volume art book deal entitled 'The Worlds of Sam Keith', which will probably include tons of Maxx & the Outbacks inhabitants done up in Keith's signature style. If the books are successful, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a re-release of 'The Maxx' TV Show on Blu-Ray. That would be great... I would love to see the purple and gold mammoth beating the snot our of people in high def. But the new reprinted issues and hardcovers are certainly a good start.

How is that for cosplay
The first volume of 'The World of Sam Keith' premiered at this years San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago, and we shall see the re-release of the original series later this year. I will be the first one in line... believe that!!!      

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. I so remember when the first Maxx comics came out in the wake of all the crap that Image put out in the beginning. I didn't get it at first (as happens with Gaiman sometimes too) but I loved the art and the MTV show which refused to over explain things like the comic never tried to do. It's what real ART is and something that Leifeld could never do on his best days put together. Sorry, I just hate that guy.