Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the creations that this story influenced, have been an inspiration on me since I was a kid. Early exposure includes Herman Munster, Groovie Goolies, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Young Frankenstein. As I got older, I was exposed to the Universal Classic directed by James Whale, Bernie Wrightson’s illustrated version and eventually, I made my way through the classic Victorian novel. In college I found myself absorbing even more alternative adaptations by Andy Warhol, Hammer films and the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
This influence is evident in my own work from the detail of stitches on everything, laboratory mad scientists (after all, I named my company Mad Creator Productions in 1998), and the theme of societal rejection. I have painted numerous images of Frankenstein and Frankenstein inspired characters, but it was a nightmare-come-true when I was given the opportunity to illustrate Frankenstein for Harper Collins. It was a great experience working with my favorite material, an incredible editor who shared a common brain, and a master artisan of a Art Director. I took artistic liberties to visually tell the story in a fantastical world and time period. While this choice was not received favorably by everyone, I don’t regret this decision for a minute. I have always felt that Frankenstein doesn’t need another historically accurate adaptation. The quintessential version has already been done by Bernie Wrightson. The only way I was going to tackle the story would be to do something new. All of this can be read about in depth on the Frankenstein Blog I kept throughout the three plus years working on the book.
When I heard about 2018 marking the bicentennial for Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, I wanted to be involved in some capacity. But fathering a newborn and rearing a toddler has made it difficult to fulfill all my aspirations this year. For now, I am offering both the book and the baseball tee (while supplies last) at a discount price throughout the rest of the year. You can buy them here. I will also be throwing in free Frankenstein pin sets with every order of either. I have a couple events and group shows in the works, along with new Frankenstein affiliated merchandise. These will be announced as the time gets closer.
Happy Birthday *Frankenstein!
*A huge debate throughout time has been in regards to the name of the creation. I call him Frankenstein for two reasons. First and foremost, that is the name everybody knows him as. Nobody questions what you are talking about when you name him Frankenstein. Secondly, there is a logical reason to call him Frankenstein. I went through a period where I followed the path of others who rejected naming the creation Frankenstein because he is never called that in the book (that is the name of the creator). These folk use names like “The Monster”, “The Creature”, “Frankenstein’s Monster”…etc. But this becomes more arduous than it’s worth. Then I came to the conclusion that it would be logical to call the creation Frankenstein because in essence he is the son of Frankenstein, who brought him into existence (or beget). Therefore, as it is a long English custom of referring to a man by his surname, it seems perfectly logical to call the son of Victor Frankenstein by…Frankenstein. Which brings be back to my first reason; it’s the universal name of the monster that everyone identifies with, so why fight it.
My new print, “Cry For Deliverance” is now available for Pre-Order. The painting, which features a Bride of Frankenstein character, symbolizes a desire to reach “the light”, to rise up from the darkness that you are tied down to. This could be spiritually, emotionally, creatively; it could be wanting to escape an abusive situation, or personally just wanting to be a better person. While my reasons for painting the piece are personal, the theme is universal. The print measures 10.25″ x 17″ on archival museum quality paper. Each print is signed and numbered in an edition of 50 and comes with a signed/numbered Certificate of Authenticity. You can Pre-Order your copy at the MCP store. Along with offering this image as a limited edition print, I will be premiering the print for sale at Monsterpalooza this weekend April 13th-15th in Pasadena, CA.
Monsterpalooza is coming up in April, and I’ll be there for my third year. I will be bringing some artwork, but like last year, I’ll be mostly focusing on prints. I will also have some nicely priced monster studies available both in watercolor ($600) and graphite ($250). A majority of my book catalogue will be available including the newest edition, Old MacDonald Had A Farm. I’m working on a couple of new items that will be available for sale as well. Be sure to follow me on any of my social networks to stay up-to-date.
MONSTERPALOOZA April 13th-15th
Pasadena Convention Center
300 Green St. Pasadena, CA 91101
MCP Booth 235
My newest print “Beautiful Frankenstein” is available for sale. The print measures 10 x 16.75 inches and is strictly limited to a signed and numbered edition of 50. The original was a small watercolor study produced in 2017 and released for sale at Monsterpalooza. It was quickly snatched up and I discovered it to be a favorite, which is what lead me to create this small run for others who want to own this wretched romantic. Go to the store to buy yours today before they sell out.
Happy New Year!
2017 was a very different year for me. My focus and time was devoted almost entirely to family. With the birth of a daughter in July, I spent much of the first half of the year preparing for her arrival and the second half in a sleep deprived time warp. While she is considerably much easier in many ways than my son was at this age, the conflict lies in the dividing of attention required by two children, opposed to one. We had anticipated this tug-of-war, and in preparation we enrolled our son into a Co-Op preschool. This too brought it’s own set of challenges. To say the least, I found it very difficult to find time for my work. Now that it is the new year and our daughter is a little older, I have faith a balance can be upheld that will nurture both my home and career.
With that said, there were still some very exciting projects, releases, and landmarks that occurred in 2017. Two picture books were released. The first was my very own cautionary tale, Wicked Nursery Rhymes III, which is the third installment to the Wicked Nursery Rhymes trilogy published by Baby Tattoo Books. This was accompanied by the reprinting of the first two (long out-of-print) volumes. The second was Old MacDonald Had A Farm published by Scholastic. I consider Old MacDonald the first children’s book that I illustrated for children, inspired by my newborn son. I wrote and illustrated a story for an Over The Garden Wall comic book anthology. This would be my first venture into the professional comic book world. In January, I began working on artwork for The Masque of the Red Death board game, illustrating every component to the game (board, box cover, character designs, clock). MotRD will be released in May of 2018, with sneak peaks scheduled to hit social media between now and then. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for these updates.
Here’s what 2018 shall bring. I started a job illustrating a young adult chapter book and will be starting on the paintings soon. I will be able to announce and share more on this project in the months to come. I’m also contracted with Scholastic to deliver a second picture book. We have all agreed on the book and I’m really elated with the outcome and potential. I will hopefully be able to announce this book soon as well. Other than that, there are a few other things in the hopper which will get announced when the time is right.
I want to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm. It’s not said enough, but it is because of you that I am able to do what I do. Ring out the old year and may all your devils exit with it. Ring in the new year and may prosperity and happiness follow. Me. I’ll just be grim.
In 2016 I was asked to be a part of a shortly lived project called Cartoon Network Collective. I created a watercolor piece inspired by the Over The Garden Wall episode “Hard Times At The Huskin’ Bee” to be produced as licensed prints. Although the Cartoon Network Collective project was shut down, I was able to acquire a small amount of my Cartoon Network approved prints. This print is now available in my store as a signed limited edition of 20. All prints sold before January 1st will receive a remarque (small pencil sketch of Greg in the bottom righthand corner). I am also offering the original artwork for sale. Email me at grisgrimly(at)madcreator.com if you are interested.
In the beginning of October, I announced an ambitious project I titled 31 October Portraits. The concept was to produce one watercolor study/exercise every day in October featuring a horror icon. Each piece would be an exploration in painting technic and realistic lighting. These exercises are important to me because I make a living as a cartoonist drawing and painting what is in my head. It is beneficial and necessary for my growth as an artist to put the cartoons aside and focus on realism. I had the month of October completely open and thought this goal was plausible, even with a 3-month-old baby. But as I was exploring reality in my art, reality smacked me in the face. October not only is the month of Halloween, but also the birthdays of my wife and myself. Then, my wife took on a design job visualizing a compelling retail space which involved me making this vision a reality, helping with construction, renovation, painting and set dressing. Halfway through the month I fell behind on my portraits and even worked myself to the point of illness that befell on my the morning of Halloween.
I had planned on releasing all 31 portraits for sale on November 1st. But the deadline arrived and I only had fifteen pieces done. It was a good attempt, but when it comes down to it, our bodies are only machines, not avatars, and inevitably we do break down. I had so much fun producing these studies that I’m going to carry on and try to finish the 31 portraits by the end of November. I will be releasing these paintings for sale weekly, on every Friday starting next week. In the meantime, the first fifteen are currently available for sale on my webstore until the end of November.
In April 2017, while hovering around my booth at Monsterpalooza, I was approached by a couple editors from Kaboom! comics. They asked me if I would be interested in contributing to an Over the Garden Wall comic book special. I was most likely reserved in my reply but on the inside I was elated. I’m a huge fan of the series by Pat McHale and the world in which he created for animation is the world in which my head lives daily.
In the months to follow, I conceived of an idea inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson and the Devil at the crossroads. For research and inspiration, I read tales of diabolical dealings like Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benét, and The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving. I researched old folk songs like The Devil and the Ploughman, Sold It to the Devil, and Old Lady and the Devil. I dug deep into the German legend of Faust, the diabolical speculations around Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini, and other folklore found in A History of the Devil by William Woods, Magic, Supernaturalism and Religion by Kurt Seligmann, and The History of Hell by Alice K. Turner. But it was in discovering an eleventh century sermon titled On False Gods, where Archbishop Wulfstan II warns of encounters with Mercury (or Odin) at the crossroads, that I was led into Norse Mythology and the stories involving Odin.
Thus, Odin’s Bargain was bore into existence.
“Odin’s Bargain presents a seamless combination of Over the Garden Wall and Grimly’s own work, such that things that shouldn’t seem to work on the surface end up working perfectly”
Over the Garden Wall 2017 Special was released Sept 20th, 2017. Currently, I am offering the book for sale at my webstore. All books ordered come signed on the cover.
I’m super excited to announce my new book, Old MacDonald Had A Farm will hit stores October first. I will be starting pre-orders on my site soon, with early-bird incentives and freebees. More info coming soon…
In July of 2007, I released my short film Cannibal Flesh Riot! as a collector’s edition DVD with an accompanying CD of music inspired by the film. Ten years later, this creature feature is still enjoyed by fans who snagged up a copy. I look back at this film with fond memories. A group of friends with ambition and vision came together to make an eclectic film inspired by old black and white monster flicks, trashy exploitation, and Rock ‘N’ Roll. In commemoration of the Decennial, this same two-disc set is available for $10 for everyone to enjoy! I will be exhuming some old posters and postcards to throw into every order while supplies last. While looking for these items I will also be gathering up other out-of-print merchandise, as well as new items, to release on the site throughout the rest of the year
Go to the curios page to pick up a copy of Cannibal Flesh Riot! today and look for new items in the months to come.