Words and pictures by Sam

Edited by Scott Dunbier


Design by Sam Kieth and Robbie Robbins

Special thanks to Ted, Robbie and Scott

Ted Adams, CEO & Publisher Greg Goldstein, President & COO Robbie Robbins, EVP/Sr. Graphic Artist Chris Ryall, Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief Matthew Ruzicka, CPA, Chief Financial Officer Alan Payne, VP of Sales Dirk Wood, VP of Marketing Lorelei Bunjes, VP of Digital Services

ISBN: 978-1-60010-492-2 16 15 14 13 1 2 3 4
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www.I DWPU B LI S H I NG.com
THE WORLDS OF SAM KIETH, VOLUME ONE. FIRST PRINTING. JULY 2013. Entire contents © 2013 Sam Kieth. Published by IDW IDW Publishing, a division of Idea and Design Works, LLC. Editorial offices: 5080 Santa Fe St., San Diego, CA 92109. Any similarities to persons living or dead are purely coincidental. With the exception of artwork used for review purposes, none of the contents of this publication may be reprinted without the permission of Idea and Design Works, LLC. Printed in Korea. IDW Publishing does not read or accept unsolicited submissions of ideas, stories, or artwork.

Samplings and Dabblings retrospective book, I realized something very important: I talk too much. Worse yet, as I age, like an old fart, I tend to repeat the same old stories over and over, ad nauseum, about "breaking in" to comics, about Sandman, Marvel Comics Presents covers, The Maxx, Zero Girl, Trout stuff, etc… I poured over that museum book interview and was proud that, after lots of pruning, yes, I did manage to say a few new things. But otherwise, I promised myself that the "introspective interview" phase of my life would be over. So what you're holding in your hand here seems to contradict that promise. Yeah, it's mainly an art book, full of (hopefully) pretty pictures, full of sketches from the last ten years. But I tried to make it more than just a rehash of old projects. It breaks my life into thirds, and I dug into old photos, found notes I'd written to myself while I was working on older projects, looking for something… determined to

After the interview I gave for the Cartoon Art Museum's

share things I'd not said before, peel back a little deeper. I reduced the pages talking about personal issues and drew them on the brown sketch paper with black colored pencil, omitting detail to keep them "honest" and keep the focus off detail or orientation. If I was gonna take one last walk into the past, I wanted to keep the flashbacks brief and to the point. These little islands of key moments in my life are surrounded by oceans of various paintings in various stages of aborting or decay, unfinished or alternate versions. What this book is not is a pretty picture book. It's not chock-full of Maxx pages or Marvel Comics Presents covers, either. The focus here are the sketchbooks I keep, which are "mind maps," a visual flow chart of development, only in reverse. Instead of mapping out which-image-goeswhere, first come the images, sketched in random order on random pages. Then my mind cuts, steals, abducts and reorders them into a Chinese dragon. Thus Bimbo wasn't

conceived with a happy ending at first, or any ending, because I didn't have an ending when I started it. Instead, it was a way out of the depression I felt at the time. Maxx (which is covered more in book two) didn't start with my knowing that Maxx the bum sought a fantasy Outback to escape being hit by a car and having his life turned upside down. The sketchbooks were less plot, and always start as a roadmap out of some conflict inside my life or heart. But I'm often not aware of it until years later… or that the stories, paintings or even just doodles scribbled in margins are a kind of therapy on paper. Trying to unravel them inadvertently creates a plot, which is backwards from the right brain/plot first method. But this is the only way I know. Peppered with (hopefully brief) personal tidbit pages along the way, the goal here was to give all of you a new look into my "process." My wife (who copy-edited the first draft) and editor/friend Scott Dunbier are the only one's who've seen and read it

all so far. They both expressed astonishment at the worlds I seem so obsessed with, or were struck by how what seems chaotic from outside is in reality a meticulously organized universe—at least in my own head! And they both expressed being touched by my mom's recollections from my childhood, which I've tried not to edit and just let stand for themselves. Mostly it's a book of pretty (and ugly) pictures, which is what I was trying like hell for it NOT to be. But hopefully it also serves as a last walk through my mind, a peek into my imagination and "creative construction" process. I wanted to revisit my past, present and future with at least a smidge of honesty. So it's a little bit autobiographical. A little bit allegorical. A LOT of selfindulgence… but then, what Sam Kieth work isn't? Sam Kieth May 1st 2013

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