Spotlight: Art by Sam Kieth

Mage by Matt Wagner and Sam Kieth
Sam Kieth inked Mage #7, the first comic book we ever bought.

One of my favorite artists is Sam Kieth. He was actually one of the very first comic book creators I stumbled upon when I was introduced to comics in college. Sam was the inker on Mage: The Hero Discovered by Matt Wagner, the first comic book I bought for myself after reading a bunch out of a box that a friend had. There’s a night and day difference between Matt’s own inks and Sam Kieth’s contribution that started in issue #6. Matt’s artwork is more primitive with his own inks, but Sam adds a layer of unusual shadowing and fine brushstrokes that makes the art pop.

The Maxx by Sam KiethAmong his many credits, Sam Kieth is also the creator and artist for the Maxx character from Image, several DC and Marvel stories (including artwork for Sandman stories by Niel Gaiman)m, and the artist on the Batman: Secrets mini-series published in 2006 (which we’re highlighting here). An anthology of his artwork was released earlier this year by IDW and he is currently the artist on The Hollows, a post apocalyptic story set in near-future Japan. By the way, take a look at the black and white statuette based on Sam’s characterization of the Batman.

The Hollows, art by Sam Kieth
The latest artwork by Sam Kieth

Sam Kieth: Batman Secrets

Batman: Secrets is a 5 issue mini-series that tells the tale of a brutal altercation between Batman and The Joker all under the frenzied eye of the media. The Joker knows a secret from Batman’s past and is threatening to expose it. The fourth estate (or maybe fifth column) goes viciously after The Batman decrying his behavior and Joker plays upon that … etc. Go buy the compendium or the individual issues. It’s worth it if you love Sam’s art.

Batman and Joker by Sam Kieth

Batman: Secrets internal artwork

Batman: Secrets by Sam Kieth, artwork for #3

Batman: Secrets, Sam Kieth artwork #1

Sam Kieth, panting of The Batman

Sam was the cover and interior artist on the fantastic Wolverine/Cyber story in Marvel Comics Presents (issues #85-92, written by Peter David). Just like his characterization of Batman, Sam’s version of Wolverine is one of the craziest I’ve ever seen.

Marvel Comics Presents #85: alt= Marvel Comics Presents #86: Blood Hungry art by Sam Kieth
Marvel Comics Presents #87: alt= Marvel Comics Presents #88: Blood Hungry art by Sam Kieth
Marvel Comics Presents #89: alt= Marvel Comics Presents #90: Blood Hungry art by Sam Kieth
Marvel Comics Presents #87: alt= Marvel Comics Presents #92: Blood Hungry art by Sam Kieth

Here’s are two versions of issue #100 by Sam Kieth featuring Wolverine and Ghost Rider on a funny cover. One version was on each side of the flip comic book. Which is your favorite?

Marvel Comics Presents #100, version #1 Marvel Comics Presents #100, version 2

OK, now go visit Sam Kieth’s blog for more fantastic art and information about the crazy mind that creates these concoctions.

Sam Kieth, artist

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