Archive for Sam Kieth

The Maxx Action Figure

Posted in Comic Books, Memories, Toys with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by Jason

I believe that this is a series 3 figure from the early days of McFarlane Toys.  This was in the days before McFarlane started making figures of sports stars and video games.  In the early days, McFarlane toys made a lot of(if not entirely), Image Comics characters, mostly from Spawn(McFarlane’s creation).  I bought him around 1999-2000, from a small comic book store in the Bronx(when I lived down there).  The store owner wanted $40 for it, mint-in-box.  I chatted with him as he rang me up, and he thought that I was crazy to buy it and open it.  Sam Kieth is my favorite artist of all time, and buying his creation in plastic form was a no-brainer.

His accessories were the headdress that he wears in “The Outback”, and an Isz.  The most common is the white one(which is the one I got, but did not photograph…oops!).  There were also black ones, and an exclusive that had 2 white and 2 black.  There was also a “Bag of Iszs”(which I believe were a McFarlane club exclusive), the bag contained a bunch of white, black and red iszs(I would love to locate a bag of these guys).

Anyway, this is yet another of my favorite figures(top 5).

Wizard #37, September 1994

Posted in Comic Books, Memories, Trading cards with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by Jason

I scored this for a buck at the Albany Comic-Con.

I’m sure most of you know what Wizard magazine consisted of, but for those of you that don’t know…let me give you a brief explanation.

This was the self-proclaimed “Guide to Comics”(the last issue was for March 2011, and is now a web-only publication).  It’s first issue debuted in July of 1991, and quickly became almost like a bible for comic books.  The early issues were jam-packed with anything you wanted to know about any comic.  And those were my favorite issues.  Basically every hot artist at the time did covers for Wizard.  Like Todd McFarlane, Sam Kieth and Rob Liefeld(I’m not a fan of his work).  A lot of the older issues came with premiums as well(trading cards, comics, special offers).  These earlier issues were also about 3-4 times thicker than the later issues.  In any event, it was fit to be called the “Guide to Comics”.

Now, I’m not going to review every freakin’ page of this magazine.  But I will show five of my favorite pages from the magazine(this could lead to future installments, as I have a few other early issues in my collection).

(1.

Envelope art is awesome!  I’ve sent my fair share of mail with drawins on the envelope, but nothing of this quality.  These envelopes took time and talent!  This was a feature I looked forward to every month during the magazines early days.

 

(2.

Mortal Kombat II was such a bad-ass game when it came to the arcade(or deli or pizza place).  This was the advertisement for it’s home console/portable release.  The Super Nintendo version would be my choice…for sentimental reasons.

This issue was not short on video game ads.

 

(3.

Homemade Heroes was another regular feature that I looked forward to.  It’s really cool to see custom action figures from almost 20 years ago.   I’m no fan of Mystery Science Theater, but it’s cool to see custom figures from the show.

 

(4.

I like Spawn, and was a huge fan back in the day.  But this was not the main reason that I selected this as one of my favorite pages from this magazine.  The word “almost”, is why I chose it.  Back in the early years of Image Comics, they were known to have delays and erratic schedules for a lot of their titles.  In my opinion, this is suitable for framing.

 

(5.

The top 100 list.  This would give you some insight to which were the hottest books at the time.  For every issue  you may have read at the time, there were a lot others that you may have had no prior interest in, but got them because of this list.  When trades for books on this list went down, we always used the price guide in the back of the mag to see what would be a fai trade.  The price guide was reduced to a mere few pages in later issues.

 

It sucks that you can no longer find Wizard on the racks, but it’s a great trip to look at these older issues.  Does anyone have any memories from this great magazine?

And since I made it a point to mention the premiums, and showed the magazine in the bag stating what the promos are, here’s what was within the polybagged offering.

I couldn’t make out the name, and didn’t feel like searching online for it.  So I guessed that it is called Brute Babe Infinity(but I could be wrong).   The issue number is the infinity symbol, so that’s different, but the comic itself doesn’t do anything for me.

Now these promos are worth talking about.  Here we have a four card spread(I don’t want to call it an uncut sheet, as there’s an ad for the series onthe back, instead of the usual card backs), and a chromium-foil Gen 13 card.  I have a few other foil promo cards from other issues, but I must say that I was disappointed when these stopped coming with the magazine.  Sure, they had some promo cards(non-foil or gimmicky), in future issues, but they just weren’t the same.

My Favorite Comic Book Covers #3

Posted in Comic Books, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by Jason

In my last post, I said that I would leave tonight’s post up to you.  Colin was the first to respond, and he said that he wanted to see some more comic book covers.  So that’s what we’re here for.

I really wanted to put this one on my last comic cover post(The #1s).  But there are so many #1 comics out there, and only so many can be put on a single post(plus everyone’s opinion varies).  This is a now classic cover from Todd McFarlane.  Back in the early nineties, Marvel had a huge selection of the best comic talent working for them.  This cover is the reason that I think McFarlane’s representation of Spider-Man is among the best that I’ve seen.

This cover has two things going for it.  First it’s done by Sam Kieth(my favorite comic book artist), and secondly, it’s a Batman comic!  Batman is huge and looks pissed, and the Joker looks psychotic!  Not all of Kieth’s work is the same, but it all has his touch(look at Four Women for example).  Many of you will know Kieth as the creator of The Maxx.  And if you’re my age, you’ll remember that he did a slew of Marvel Comics Presents covers back in the early nineties(and these were double covered comics, with one on the front and one on the back).  This is one of favorite Sam Kieth covers ever!

How can you not like this cover?!  It works so well!  I started reading this title around issue #34, and while my interest started to wane after 10 or so issues, the covers that continued to come out, gave me a reason to buy them anyway(I still read them).

My favorite incarnation of the Turtles, will always be the original old-school comic look.  I’d say the first four issues have the best cover art, but this is my favorite “Tales” cover.  Just looking at this cover has me wanting to re-read the series and fill the holes in my collection.

Jim Lee is an amazing artist, and his run with Batman had some really nice cover art.  It’s the top 2 guys on the DC roster, but they don’t look so friendly.  It could be assumed that this scenario(Batman being human and Super-Man being a powerful alien) would be the likely one, but I’m pretty sure Batman has Kryptonite in his utility belt(I really need to start re-reading my comics).

BONUS

A short while back, Open the Toy wrote a post about Eric Draven(The Crow).  In the comments I stated that I had a hand drawn sketch from none other, than J. O’Barr himself(creator of The Crow).  LEon, who runs that site asked if I would share the sketch with everyone.  Well, I figured with tonight’s subject matter, it would be fitting.  So LEon, this one’s for you.

My Favorite Comic Book Covers #2 (The #1s)

Posted in Comic Books, Memories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2011 by Jason

Okay.  I had fun doing the last comic book cover entry, so I will continue to write posts about them.  The title of this post refers to the first issue of a comic.  This installment will feature six comics!  It was hard to narrow it down, but I could always write a part 2.  Let’s get to it!

X-Men Vol.2 #1

This was a huge deal when it hit shops in 1991.  Jim Lee was just starting to get huge, and with 3 or 4 variant covers, this was a hot item.  Of all of the covers for this issue, this is the only one I own.  This one folds out to reveal a larger picture(maybe I’ll dig it out at a later date and show you).  This cover stands out, because it takes up the whole canvas.  There’s no borders, or pricing, or artists and writers names on the cover, just a small Marvel Comics logo.  I love the logo and Jim Lee was definitely at the top of his game when he drew this!  I got this(along with a handful of other comics with covers done by Jim Lee), signed at one of he few Big Apple Comic-Con’s I attended around 2001-2002.  There was no limit set,and I waited behind people with stacks of books.  I also ended up getting him to sketch Logan for me(eventually you’ll get to see that too).  A really awesome cover from a really awesome guy!

The Maxx #1

That first shot is the glow-in-the-dark cover of the first issue for The Maxx.  The one below it is the more common one(I also have the 3-D version but the cover isn’t all that different and it’s not in 3-D).  Sam Kieth is my all-time favorite artist.  He has done some pretty weird stuff, and this is no exception.  I own all 35 1/2 issues, and the story combined with Kieth’s artwork is mind blowing.  And while the show on Mtv was pretty good, just as with books, the comics are better.  I was pretty bummed out that he had to cancel his appearance at a convention that I went to, but Sergio Aragones was there, so it wasn’t a total loss(more on that at another time).  In the future we’ll see his renditions of Batman, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, The Hulk and many more, all in his trademark style.

The Punisher #1 (mini-series)

When I started collecting comics, The Punisher quickly became my favorite.  This is the first issue of the 4 part(really 5 part) mini-series.  While Mike Zeck was the penciler for the interior art (issues 1-4), he and Phil Zimelman painted the covers.  These books have a certain style that’s just incredible.  I remember looking at the price guides and seeing these issues going for like 40-50 dollars.  This was years before graded comics were even heard of, so prices for ungraded copies are now considerably lower.  I had always wanted this mini-series, and I effectively hunted every issue down during my early twenties.  To this day, they remain some of the most unique renditions of The Punisher that I have ever seen.

The Savage Dragon #1

When Image Comics formed in 1992, they had a lot of hype going for them.  Here was a company that was formed by some of the top artists in comics.  The Savage Dragon here, is the creation of Erik Larsen.  You could guarantee that everyone in my age group at the time was buying up every issue of every new comic they released.  Back in those days, I was a sucker for the first issue of any comic.  I guess I was thinking if it was a number 1, it would be worth big bucks in the future.  While these books aren’t rare or expensive, I have great memories of the times they were first released, and that means more to me than the value of a comic.  The guy is a human dragon hybrid with a fin on his head…what’s not to like?

Beetlejuice #1

Now while this isn’t the copy I had then, I can still remember where I picked up this issue first.  I believe we were visiting my step mom’s mother in the hospital, and my brother and I were allowed to get an item from the gift shop(probably just to shut us up and keep us occupied).  Obviously, the comic above was my choice.  This is based on the Beetlejuice animated series, and like others before it, the quirky style called to me.  I can remember pouring over this series trying to draw what I was seeing.  Please give it a read before you turn your nose up at me.  🙂

Stupid #1

This was supposed to be a series that actually made fun of Image properties.  Sadly, there were no further issues after this initial release.  Hilary Barta was the artist for this series, and I love his style.  Barta worked as an inker( a tracer[that was a joke, sorry Hilary]), and penciler for quite a few titles in the 80s.  Here we see how he exaggerated Spawn’s cape.  A few pages in, his cape is actually stapled to the page, it’s quite funny.  Barta’s style compliments the comedy contained within.  Here is the “Where’s Aldo” work he did at the end of this comic.

I absolutely love it!  There is so much going on, and again his style is intriguing.  I wish they went along with further issues, because look at what would have been next.