Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's been a slower start than usual getting Frankenstein put together. One of these reasons is that I have been playing around with technique. I thought it might be interesting to do all the illustrations for the book on dark paper. The papers would range from shades of brown, gray and black. Rather than adding darkness to the paper, the technique would rely on adding the highlights (bringing light out of the darkness). My theory was that it would give the illustrations a darker and grittier feel.

In exercising this test, I came to the conclusion that I prefer my original technique of painting darker colors onto white paper. Although the illustration on the dark brown paper has a darker tone, the technique displays a lack of grit and actually looks more modeled and slick, yet uncontrolled. I was frustrated with the difficulty it was translating the image in my head onto the paper using this technique. Accurate shapes and style are much easier to accomplish when working from white paper.

So there you have it. Two different approaches to the same illustration are displayed side by side so you can see their differences. I have decided to continue with my signature style, like the one on the left.

More to come soon.
Be Grim!
Gris Grimly

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Maybe it's just a bony finger twitch or the flutter of the eyelid, but my creation is starting to show signs of life. I have finished the first painting for the book. This painting will accompany a quote from "Paradise Lost" in the front. It is a little more abstract than the other paintings for the book. But I felt that it is fitting for the purpose. Here is the quote:

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould Me man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?-

Paradise Lost

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I know this quote hits a personal chord with me. Maybe not so much now, but at least in my angsty years of youth I've felt animosity for being brought into this world.

Earlier today I spoke on the phone with my editor, Jordan. We went through all the omissions and notes from the first volume of Frankenstein (there are 3 volumes to the book). All the abridgments have been made and approved to the first volume. I have decided rather than go through and complete the last two volumes, to proceed with thumbnails and paintings on this volume. Getting my hands bloody will help keep me sane.

So you can all expect posts from here on out to be exhilarating.

Be Grim!
Gris Grimly

Sunday, November 8, 2009


It's been a long and busy Halloween Season. Starting with the final days of September, I've found myself wrapped up in my new book release and other festive happenings that required my involvement. I've done a number of signings to promote my latest book, Tales of Death and Dementia, a heavily illustrated collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories. Along with my California signings, I traveled to Richmond Virginia for the east coast book launch at the Poe Museum. I also traveled to Baltimore for the bi-centennial celebration of Poe in conjunction with the Poe House there. I also hosted a multi-talent entertainment show at the Magic Castle during the three days of Halloween weekend called Cabaret Macabre. These events will be documented and posted on my Gris Grimly Blog.

Now all of that is behind me and I can again indulge in the Frankenstein project. Obviously, I wasn't posting anything on Frankenstein over the past month and a half because there has been no progress. But now that my elbows are deep into the rotting flesh again, I will be back to posting weekly or more.

In late September, I received an email from the editor Jordan Brown. Attached with the email was his notes on my abridgment of the text. In a way to help you feel more a part of the project, I will explain our work process with this stage. I took a word document and highlighted in red all the text I thought should be cut and sent it to Jordan. He then sent it back with his notes. The parts that we agree on remains in red. Then he highlighted in blue additional text he thought should be cut and highlighted in purple the text he thought I cut that should remain in the book.

Are you following me so far? Good.

Now the manuscript is back in my hands and I have to go over his suggestions and make the changes that I agree with. I will also highlight in green any additional text that I think the both of us missed. This should take me a few days and then I will send it back.

This is not the most thrilling part of the project by any means. But it is the foundation which will support the stylized-Gothic cathedral I plan to design and build on top. So it is one of the most important stages.

More to come...

Be Grim!
Gris Grimly