Sam Kieth is an American comic book writer and illustrator, best known as the creator of The Maxx and Zero Girl. Kieth first came to prominence in 1984 as the inker of Matt Wagner's Mage, and a year later as the inker of Fish Police. In 1989, he penciled the first five issues (the "Preludes & Nocturnes" story arc) of Neil Gaiman's celebrated series The Sandman and collaborated with Alan Grant on a Penguin story in Secret Origins Special #1. In 1993 Kieth created 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. In 1995, The Maxx was adapted as part of MTV's short-lived animation series MTV's Oddities. After taking a break from comics to pursue other interests, Kieth created the series Zero Girl for DC Comics' Wildstorm imprint in 2001. He followed that with the drama Four Women later that year and Zero Girl: Full Circle in 2003. 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."