RIP to the Queen πŸ’”


Hey fam,

Last week was one of those that had bad news and good news. 
  • Two Master Actresses Gone- The biggest news of the week for me was the passing of Cicely Tyson (this week's cover feature), but I was already reeling about the death of Cloris Leachman.
  • Weirdo Creative Summit 2021- I was on the panel at a cool virtual event centered around overcoming Comparanoia (compare + Paranoia) by being your authentic self.  It was great!
  • NEXT LEVEL Freelancing Class- I am having a good time teaching my class on freelancing.
  • BiGS #4 is back from the printer!
  • Comic Strip News- A familiar client reached out to me for a new Valentine's Day strip.

Two Master Actresses Gone

Cloris Leachman (1927-2021)
"I love everybody. That's what's killing me."
-Evelyn Wright (Cloris Leachman, Spanglish)

Cloris Leachman is one of those actors that can convince you to watch a movie you are on the fence about, just by being in the trailer. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1971 drama "The Last Picture Show", and has more Emmy nominations than any other television actress, and is tied for the most wins.

To be fair, she cheated by being in the game for more than 70 years.

She played Phyllis Lindstrom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and won a Golden Globe playing the character on a short-lived spinoff "Phyllis."
Leachman played in tons of movies and tv shows from "Young Frankenstein" to "The Facts of Life" to "American Gods", and as far as I can tell, she was always amazing.
read more on my movie review blog|

Cloris died on a Wednesday. I found out about it Thursday morning. 

I was moved to write about it, and by the time I shared my post on social media, news reached me that the venerated actress Cicely Tyson passed too.
QUEEN CICIELIA © 2021+ Samax Amen
QUEEN CECILIA ©2021+ Samax Amen

After expending so much emotional energy writing about Cloris, I was stunned stupid by Cicely Tyson's passing. 

I was at a loss for words.

If there was a more dignified human being to ever walk the Earth, I don't know who it could be.

I am not one of those artists that runs to the drawing board when a celebrity dies. 

Not usually anyways.  But in this case I drew this piece just to get out the energy.  

I made the drawing available on printed stuff in my Teepublic shop and sent an email out to the subscribers who are into that stuff.  I still don't have a lot to say about it.  

I have nothing but her own words:

"Whatever good I have accomplished as an actress I believe came in direct proportion to my efforts to portray Black women who have made positive contributions to my heritage." 
   -Cicely Tyson 

(from her brand new memoir Just As I Am)

Weirdo Creative Summit 2021 Now Streaming

Sunday of last week, I was on the panel at a cool virtual event called Weirdo Creative Summit, hosted by my client and fellow creative multi-passionate Jen Sulak. 
The Summit centered around overcoming Comparanoia (compare + Paranoia) by being your authentic self.  It was great!
Are you looking to embrace what makes YOU unique in the creative world? 
Are you spending more time looking at others' work instead of creating your own? 
Has this journey taken you down the emotional spiral? 
Do you just need ENCOURAGEMENT as well as INSPIRATION?

Our panel of speakers address Identity, and help you UNLOCK where you might be stuck. 

The biggest take aways you will leave with: 
-How to deal with comparanoia
-inspiration to run with your own ideas & creations
-walking into 2021 with a brighter sense of HOPE!

Creating is life-giving and sometimes we need permission to just BE and CREATE.  I put together the Weirdo Creative Summit to support a WONDERFUL cause (an amazing human) and I would love for you to be a part and create community with each other!
Contact Jen for Access to the Summit!

My Class is chugging along...

This most recent class was about the benefits of Values-Based Selling, and how to do it.

* The talk wasn't about value -- the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
*It was about values -- a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.
Matching values with premium clients via Values-Based Selling is what it's all about.

This week is Crafting Offers That Sell.  We'll be talking about
  1. What it means (and doesn't mean) if your offer flops.
  2. The Anatomy of a successful offer.
  3. WHY an offer isn't working and WHAT to do about it.
You can join the NEXT LEVEL Freelancing Group to access this class and lots of other benefits I offer.

BiGS #4 is On Sale Now!

Last week I got an email from Upchuck Comics letting me know that the latest issue of BiGS (wherein a segment of the population has a genetic mutation that causes them to grow to heights of 10-15 feet tall) is available in their online store. 

Check out this black and white artwork from one of the pages I drew for the issue, followed by the fully colored and lettered page! 
But before we peep the finished page, here's a little (spoiler-free) backstory: 

In BiGS, the giants are an underclass subjected to poor diets, abysmal living conditions, slave wages, and more.  Over-medicated and brainwashed, the "bigs" are generally docile and resigned to their role as second-class citizens dependent on and subservient to regular humans ("regs")
That is, until the emergence of Nate, a big who appears to be in perfect health, despite refusing to take the "dailies", a mandatory cocktail of meds that bigs take to correct the list health complications that come with their massive size.

Far from suffering any ill effects of neglecting the dailies, Nate has developed amazing strength, speed, and mental quickness that have made him a viral sensation... And a target of corporate and cultural interests that reap the benefits of keeping the bigs in thrall to the dailies.
BiGS is the brainchild of Bronte Erwin. 

The first two issues were drawn my friend Khalid Robertson, and I was asked to help out by drawing #3 and the second half of #4.

Speaking of which, here's the finished page  I promised you, with color by Fabio De Silva and letters by Frank Cvetkovic:
Dope, right?

You can click the button below to buy any of the first four issues in print or digital format via the BiGS website.
Shop BiGS Comics!
I'm happy to report I received a request for a new strip from J.R. LeMar of, just in time for Valentine's Day!  I won't give anything away, but here's one of our previous strips, to tide you over: 
For those who are not subscribed to my Daily Sketches or Making Comics email series, here's a strip I did for fun a while back and reshared on the GhettoManga blog last week.
If you're interested in making your own comic strips for fun or to promote your business, I have tools and services that can help. Click here to schedule a free Discovery Call and we'll talk about how I can help.
That's all I got for now, fam!

I gotta get back to work, but feel free to reach out if you have questions about anything, respond to this message by email, schedule a chat, or comment on Facebook here.

Have a great week!
-Samax ("some AX") Amen
Sunday Comics is brought to you by:
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