Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"The Maxx" - (Mtv Oddities 1995) and the Maxximum Sound comic soundtrack (Animated Alligator 1993)

Sam Kieth rose to prominence as a comic book artist in the mid/late 1980s, most notably co-creating The Sandman with Neil Gaiman.  His intensely detailed and anatomically warped drawings made him a fan favorite, but by 1993 he bailed on mainstream comics and joined the independent creator-owned Image Comics, where he created The Maxx, one of the era's most original books.  In 1995,  The Maxx was adapted into thirteen 11-minute animated episodes for Mtv Oddities.  Kieth's idiosyncratic art style, right down to the panel layouts of the book,  and surrealistic story was almost perfectly captured.  The Maxx could quite possibly be the most faithful comic book-to-animation-or-film translation ever.  The series was released on VHS in the late 90s, and finally showed up in 2009 on dvd, but only as an Amazon "made on demand" dvd-r of poor quality.  Apparently, Amazon has now made a better quality dvd available, with full episode commentaries and interviews with Sam Kieth (get it HERE).

It is worth noting that The Maxx animated series was preceded in 1993 by The Maxx: Maxximum Sound soundtrack cassette, an audio dramatization meant to be listened to while reading along with the first three issues of the comic series.  Produced and directed by Stephen Romano of Animated Alligator, Maxximum Sound was made available with a coupon in The Maxx #4.  This production acted as a demo of sorts that helped convince Mtv to bring the animated series to life.

here are the first five episodes of The Maxx,  as well as the Maxximum Sound soundtrack HERE.  all are here for scholarly review only, of course.

Recently, IDW has published The Maxx: Maxximized, the entire reissued, remastered comic series, as well as The Maxx: Artist Edition. 

HERE is an interview with Sam Kieth about the reissues and what's in the future for The Maxx.

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