Kieth, Sam 1963-

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KIETH, Sam 1963-

PERSONAL:

Born 1963; married.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Albert Moy Original Art, 36-07 162nd St. Flushing, NY 11358.

CAREER:

Film director and comic book author and artist. Marvel Comics, artist for "Wolverine/Hulk" series; Image Comics, creator of "The Maxx" series, 1993-98; D.C. Comics, New York, NY, creator of "Zero Girl" comics and "Four Women." Director of film Take It to the Limit, New Horizons Home Video, 2000.

WRITINGS:

(Illustrator) William Messner-Loebs, Epicurus the Sage, Volume One: Visiting Hades, Volume Two: The Many Loves of Zeus, Piranha Press, 1989-1991, expanded and published in one volume, 2003.

(And illustrator) Zero Girl, D.C. Comics (La Jolla, CA), 2001.

Four Women (graphic novel; collection of comic-book series), D.C. Comics/Homage (New York, NY), 2002.

The Maxx, Book One (collection of numbers 1-6), Cliffhanger, 2003.

The Art of Sam Kieth, IDW Publishing (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Contributor to comic book series, including the artwork for Neil Gaiman's "Sandman," numbers 1-5, 1987, and to "Venom," "Wolverine/Hulk," and "Peter Parker"; author and artist for comic book series "Zero Girl," "Warlock," and "The Critters."

ADAPTATIONS:

Kieth's "The Maxx" comic book series was adapted as a cartoon series on MTV; trading cards, toys, and figurines were adapted from his artwork.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sam Kieth is a comic-book author and artist who has contributed to a number of strips in addition to creating several of his own. While freelancing for D.C. Comics in the late 1980s, he contributed artwork to author Neil Gaiman's popular "Sandman" strip, and also created several strips of his own. His popular "The Maxx" series, which was published from 1993 to 1998, features a down-and-out vagrant who soon suspects that his supposed amnesia actually is a sign that he is from an alien land. When his dreams of mysterious creatures begin to meld with a series of brutal murders near the cityscape he inhabits, Kieth's antihero teams with a social worker friend to solve the crimes. "The Maxx" was adapted as a television series that aired on MTV in the summer of 1995. Kieth, who has also directed several films, has had his artwork collected in the retrospective volume The Art of Sam Kieth, published in 2003.

Kieth began to draw comics as a boy, and after graduating from high school in the early 1980s began penning black-and-white strips and subsequently freelancing for Marvel and D.C., illustrating book series and comic book covers. "The Maxx," his first solo comic-book effort, captured a large following, and subsequent series, such as "Zero Girl" and "Four Women" have proved equally popular, showing Kieth to be an engaging, if offbeat, storyteller as well as a talented graphic artist. In 2002 Marvel began publishing Kieth's "Wolverine/Hulk" comic book mini-series, a unique project for Kieth because he was able to use two of his favorite comic-book characters in stories of his own creation. As a way of supporting his colleagues in the comic-book industry, Kieth donated the monies gained from the sale of his original artwork for the "Wolverine/Hulk" books to the Comic Book Legal Defense fund and ACTOR—A Commitment to Our Roots, an organization that supports retired comic-book creators in need.

Kieth's comic book miniseries "Four Women" begins as Donna sits with her psychologist, trying to fill in some blank spots in her recent past. As memories are unlocked, Donna recalls a harrowing night when she and three of her friends were assaulted by two men after their car stalled, then exacted a brutal revenge on their attackers. "Kieth makes the grim tale gripping throughout," noted Booklist contributor Ray Olson. Noting that author/illustrator Kieth's sometimes "photorealistic" technique balances with his more stylized renderings to effectively delineate Donna's memories from her present situation and provide the strip with "dramatic composition," Olson praised the book-length publication of all four installments in "Four Women" as "the graphic-novel equivalent of an outstanding Twilight Zone episode."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 2002, Ray Olson, review of Four Women, p. 375.

ONLINE

4-Color Review,http://figma.com/4cr/ (March 27, 2002), "Sam Kieth Donates Wolverine/Hulk Art to ACTOR."

Comicon.com,http://www.commicon.com (May 15, 2003), Matt Brady, "Sam Kieth on Zero Girl, 4 Women, and Hulk/Wolvie" (interview).

Sam Kieth Web site,http://www.samkieth.com (April 21, 2003).*