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.
Also, Wicked Nursery Rhymes 1 and 2 have been reprinted and are also available where ever fine books are sold.
Only a few days away from Monsterpalooza, which is creeping up on us this weekend April 7th-9th. My biggest announcement for the show is the release of new classic monster originals that will premiere at the show. These pieces include watercolor studies and pencil renderings ranging in price from $250-$600. I will not be doing event commissions at this time, so snatch one of these pieces up instead. I will also be exhibiting a few other originals, but mostly focusing on showcasing prints. I am still ever-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of the three newly published Wicked Nursery Rhymes books to come in (which should be any day now). I’m crossing my fingers that they arrive in time for the show. I will have the first four WNR prints available, but I’m also bringing a limited quantity of the next six WNR prints that will be released within the next few months. In addition, you can expect a library of my classic titles, new toddler shirts, and the Society of Grave Robbers garments. I will announce on social media any other items that I might stumble across worthy of bringing. I will be joined by musician/colleague/friend Curtis RX of Creature Feature, who will be gracing the MCP booth with his presence and his own diabolical creations. I hope to see you there.
Monsterpalooza is coming up in April, and I’m getting geared up to be there. This is the second year Mad Creator Productions will have a booth. I rarely do conventions anymore, but this is one of my favorites to be a guest at as well as attend. I will be bringing some artwork, but mostly focusing on prints this year. A majority of my book catalogue will be available along with Society of Grave Robbers T-shirts and Hoodies. Unless there is a mishap, I will have all three Wicked Nursery Rhymes books fresh off the boat, along with WNR affiliated merchandise. I WILL NOT be doing any more convention sketches at this time. But I plan on having something new to satisfy the art collector. Be sure to follow me on any of my social networks to stay up-to-date.
MONSTERPALOOZA April 7th-9th
Pasadena Convention Center
300 Green St. Pasadena, CA 91101
MCP Booth 235
I am delighted to announce that an excitingly wicked time draws near. The release of Wicked Nursery Rhymes III, along with reprints of Wicked Nursery Rhymes I and Wicked Nursery Rhymes II, is scheduled for this Spring (March/April). It has been many harvest moons since both WNR1 and WNR2 have gone out of print and WNR3 was originally planned to be released in 2009. But due to acts of misfortune, untimely distraction, and evil curses, this happening was drawn out for eight grueling years. Other than by an act of God, I feel fairly confident that within a month, I will have the trilogy in hand.
I will be releasing merchandise to coincide with the books. Starting at the end of February, I will be releasing sticker packs and two new prints. In March, I will begin preorders on the books (with a limited trilogy bundle price) along with two new prints and t-shirts for toddlers, kids and women. I will be releasing a total of thirteen WNR prints throughout the rest of the year. I also plan on releasing more shirts and other WNR affiliated goodies.
If you are not already following me on instagram, I have been posting the history of WNR, going back to 2001 when these characters first appeared on shirts sold in Hot Topic stores. The posts include final artwork, sketches, scribbles, notes, ramblings, shirt designs, press news, and everything else that I can think of that centers around the WNR universe over the past fifteen years. Go check it out if this kind of thing interests you.
It will be a very wicked year indeed.