by Aysha
From the January 2006 issue of Prick Magazine.

Gris Grimly reading Grimericks to the monsters of Netherworld Haunted House.

Gris Grimly is an illustrator, author and self-proclaimed "Mad Creator" who has a macabre variety of wares to offer. Hailing from some unknown nether region of the Midwest, Mr. Grimly has illustrated several books and is working on a film to be completed in 2006. He is also a painter and sculptor and much of his work can be viewed on his Web site. Mr. Grimly is an outright Renaissance man with a penchant for tweed suits.

Many of you may be familiar with Mr. Grimly's illustrated books such as Monster Museum, Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness and the most recently published Grimericks. In Grimericks, the reader is introduced to a handful of wild-eyed characters some of which spend their time eating boys or human beans. Miss Ghoul, who passes out grades, has a hunch on her back the size of Texas and one witch has a nose so long it threatens to throw her of her broomstick.

Mr. Grimly's work can easily be compared to Tim Burton's or Dr. Seuss', but a closer examination of his ink and watercolor paintings reveals statements on social issues or explorations of the self.

If you are looking for Gris Grimly's work at your local bookstore haunt, you might find yourself in the children's literature section. But Mr. Grimly doesn't write with tots in mind. His audience tends to consist of teenagers and older. Still, you could end up sitting through story hour while waiting to get your book signed by Mr. Grimly.

"The people I recognize that come to my signings, they're older people like heavy metal guys," he says. "I did this event at a Barnes & Noble and they had a guy reading [my book] to the children. He changed his voice and was all wacky up there. I look out into the audience [and] I'm sure there are some kids there for story hour, but then there [were] all these guys that were like tattoos and heavy metal T-shirts and they were just sitting there ... just waiting to get their book autographed and meet me."

Gris Grimly reading Grimericks to the
monsters of Netherworld Haunted House.
Gris Grimly and his new best friend.

Mr. Grimly may not be illustrating for the kids (even with his current project, Wicked Nursery Rhymes II ), but his target audience is apparent in the title of his upcoming film debut, Cannibal Corpse Riot. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, Mr. Grimly wrote this script about two ghouls who set about their ritual of finding a corpse to eat in a cemetery, of course.

"It's not really a horror film, as much as a comedy for people who like horror films," he says. "Most of the movie and the intrigue and where it takes you is in their dialogue and things that they say."

Ray Harryhausen's work on Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans inspired the stop-motion monster featured in Cannibal Corpse Riot.

"It'll have that King Kong look where we're not trying to make smooth animation," he says. "The whole film is black and white and grainy and it's supposed to look like an old '50s film."

Gris Grimly and his books.
Cannibal Corpse Riot movie poster.

When the short film is complete next year, you will be able to download it and burn it to DVD from the Web site.

When Mr. Grimly isn't pondering the appropriate retribution for a heathen ghoul, he finds time to personalize his own tattoos. Originally, he planned to have a dichotomy between good and evil.

"I'm really into Catholic art so I started to [tattoo] half my body with Catholic art [with] the other half [being] darker, more sinister images," he says. "I'm running out of Catholic art to put on my arms so I think that the good versus evil isn't going to last too much longer. My good side is going to start having monsters on it."

While he has been asked to design tattoos for other people in the past, Mr. Grimly has shied away from getting tattoos of his own artwork.

"I design my tattoos but I don't illustrate the art that I put on my body," he says. "I feel if I was putting my own artwork on my body it would be like putting a photograph of myself on my body ... I'd rather illustrate my tattoos to look like another style, which is what I do. Most of my stuff looks like traditional sailor tattoos."

It appears that all things evil cast a shadow over the good in Gris Grimly's world, from the monsters he dreams up for his art to the ghouls he's cooked up for his film. If you prefer to let the bedbugs bite, curl up with some of Gris Grimly's work tonight.

For more info on Gris Grimly, go to

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