Sam Kieth
Born (1963-01-11) January 11, 1963 (age 61)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Area(s)Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker
Notable works
The Maxx
Zero Girl
AwardsInkpot Award 2013
RelativesDavid Feiss (cousin)

Sam Kieth (born January 11, 1963)[1] is an American comics artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Maxx and Zero Girl.



Kieth's first published work was "a story in the back of a Comico comic" when he was "about seventeen"; it was "about a killer rabbit named Max the Hare".[2] He came to prominence in 1984 as the inker of Matt Wagner's Mage,[3] and a year later as the inker of Fish Police.[4] In 1989, he penciled the first five issues (the "Preludes & Nocturnes" story arc)[5] of writer Neil Gaiman's celebrated series The Sandman[6][7] and collaborated with Alan Grant on a Penguin story in Secret Origins Special #1.[8] He illustrated two volumes of writer William Messner-Loebs' Epicurus the Sage, drew an Aliens miniseries for Dark Horse Comics, and drew The Incredible Hulk #368,[4] which led to drawing numerous covers for Marvel Comics Presents.

In 1993, Kieth left Marvel to create the original series The Maxx for fledgling publisher Image Comics. The Maxx ran 35 issues, all of which were plotted and illustrated by Kieth. William Messner-Loebs scripted #1–15 and Alan Moore wrote #21.[4] In 1995, The Maxx was adapted as part of MTV's short-lived animation series MTV's Oddities.[9]

After taking a break from comics to pursue other interests, Kieth created the series Zero Girl for DC Comics' Wildstorm imprint in 2001.[10] He followed that with the drama Four Women later that year[11] and Zero Girl: Full Circle in 2003.[12] In August 2004, he launched the Scratch series featuring a teenage werewolf.[13]

Kieth then wrote and drew the five-issue series Batman: Secrets, featuring the Joker, and Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious, a two-issue miniseries starting in August 2007. This was followed by 2009's Lobo: Highway to Hell, written by Scott Ian of the band Anthrax, and the painted story "Ghosts", which appeared in Batman Confidential #40–43. In 2010, Kieth wrote and illustrated the original hardcover graphic novel Arkham Asylum: Madness, which spent two weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, reaching number five in the category of "Hardcover Graphic Books".[14]

Ojo comprises the first, and My Inner Bimbo the second, in a cycle of original limited series or graphic novels published by Oni Press, which he dubbed "The Trout-a-Verse". The cycle concerned the intertwined lives of Annie (Ojo),[15] Lo (My Inner Bimbo),[4] Dana, Nola, Otto, and others all connected by an encounter with an urban legend known as the Magic Trout.[16]

In the UK, he has contributed to 2000 AD's Judge Dredd and provided several covers for the Nemesis the Warlock reprint title. In 2011, Kieth began drawing IDW Publishing's 30 Days of Night series.[4] IDW released the 48-page The Sam Kieth Sketchbooks: Vol. 1, followed by a second volume in August 2010.[17]

Other media

In addition to co-producing The Maxx animated series for MTV, Kieth co-wrote "No Smoking", the pilot to Cow and Chicken (created by his cousin, David Feiss),[18] and directed the film Take It to the Limit (2000) for Roger Corman's Concorde-New Horizons.[19]


Sam Kieth received an Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2013.[20]


AfterShock Comics

Comico Comics

Dark Horse Comics

DC Comics

Piranha Press[edit]


  • Epicurus the Sage TPB (2003)
  • Four Women #1–5 (writer/artist) (2001–2002)
  • Zero Girl #1–5 (writer/artist) (2001)
  • Zero Girl: Full Circle #1–5 (writer/artist) (2003)

Eclipse Comics

Fantagraphics Books

Fishwrap Productions

Image Comics

Marvel Comics

Oni Press


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Wizard: The Guide to Comics #2, October 1991; "Future Stars"; p. 121
  3. ^ "Sam Kieth". Lambiek Comiclopedia. December 21, 2006. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sam Kieth at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Burgas, Greg (January 7, 2013). "Comics You Should Own – Sandman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. New York, New York: DC Comics. p. 37. ISBN 978-1563894657.
  7. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. The Sandman saw a variety of artists grace its pages. Sam Kieth drew the first few issues, followed by Mike Dringenberg, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran, and Shawn McManus, among others. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1980s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 179. ISBN 978-1465424563. Writer Alan Grant and artist Sam Kieth tackled the Penguin's origin. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 568. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  10. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 299: "Writer and artist Sam Kieth's tale of teenage alienation was both surreal and touching."
  11. ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 301: "Writer/artist Sam Kieth's work had always been slightly edgier than most...This was especially true on Four Women."
  12. ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 308: "The follow-up to writer and artist Sam Kieth's cult classic was set fifteen years after the events of the 2001 series."
  13. ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 313: "Writer and artist Sam Kieth presented a new hero for the DC Universe in the form of Scratch, a misunderstood teenage werewolf."
  14. ^ "Best Sellers - Hardcover Graphic Books". The New York Times. July 18, 2010. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Ojo #1". August 19, 2004. Archived from the original on July 19, 2013.
  16. ^ "Artist of the Month: Sam Kieth Part 1". June 5, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  17. ^ Kieth, Sam (2010). The Sam Kieth Sketchbooks. Vol. 2. San Diego, California: IDW Publishing. ISBN 978-1600106811.
  18. ^ Erickson 2005, p. 218.
  19. ^ Worley, Rob (September 13, 2000). "Comics2film". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. First up is a movie called Take it to the Limit. Kieth directed this rock-climbing movie for Roger Corman's Concorde company.
  20. ^ "Comic-Con International's Newest Inkpot Award Winners!". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2013. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015.
Preceded byn/a The Sandman penciller 1989 Succeeded byMike Dringenberg