Sam Kieth's surreal '90s comics masterpiece The Maxx is making a return in 2021, as a crowdfunded, oversized calendar featuring some of the series' striking and unmistakable art. The series had been out of print for more than a decade when it came to IDW for reprint editions in 2017, and since then has been a frequent presence in the comic shop, even having a Batman crossover at one point. Around this time last year, rumors hit the internet that Channing Tatum was looking to develop the property as a feature film. Now, Kieth is apparently looking to have it be a more everyday part of fans' lives. (Get it?)
Exploring the strange relationship between two realities, The Maxx follows the dual identities of a man caught between the real world (where he's a homeless person) and a heroic fantasy realm called The Outback (where he's an odd-looking, purple-colored hero). In The Outback, The Maxx is protector of the Jungle Queen. The Jungle Queen exists in the real world as Julie Winters, a social worker who often bails Maxx out of jail—and while Maxx is aware of the Outback, Julie is not, though the alternate realm is essential to both of their stories.
The Maxx, like many early Image Comics titles, was visually arresting, featured a big-name artist, and sold like gangbusters. It was adapted into an animated series on MTV's Oddities. You can still buy The Maxx on DVD.
"I'm thankful, and surprised, that people still enjoy The Maxx" Kieth said in a statement. "I hope this calendar will provide some strange color onto their walls as we count the days go by."
Clover Press is heading to Kickstarter to crowdfund Sam Kieth’s 2021 The Maxx Calendar, with two different collectable calendars, each one featuring a different calendar cover with an all new illustration of The Maxx. The full-color, 11" x 17", wire-bound, 2021 calendar contains months from January 2021 to December 2021, with each month featuring a different, dynamic piece of The Maxx cover art.
Image’s publication of The Maxx lasted for 35 seminal issues, with Sam Kieth sometimes sharing co-writing credits with legendary writers Alan Moore and Bill Messner-Loebs. The comics were republished in 2013 by IDW Publishing with new covers by Kieth and new colors by Ronda Pattison.
The Maxx campaign has multiple tiers, with pledge rewards including a set of THE MAXX postcards and a Sam Kieth variant cover of Juggernaut #1 signed by the artist. For updates, follow Clover Press on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can check out the campaign here, and see what Kieth is working on at his blog.