The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

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ShadowTuga
Chapa Zero in Portuguese translated to English would be Chapa Zero.
Chapa Zero in Portuguese translated to English would be Chapa Zero.
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The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

"With Orion's sword
The Hunter arose
And conquered the World
With Fury and grace.

In Him was I born
In Him shall I die
In Him shall I lose
Name, station and face.

Death over weakness
Death over despair
Death over personal gain.

Death over dishonor
Death over undeath
Death over fire with no flame.

All this I pledge thee
O Grendel, great Khan
To serve and protect
Over death's endless tide,

With your word in my heart
Your eyes in my face
And your tooth in my hand
By my side."


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So, a couple of you may have noticed that I'm really all-over-bananas-crazy abot this comic that I first read like 3 weeks ago 8-) . Have been rereading and rereading (some of it, 4/5 times) these comics again and again, because it is the comic that I needed at my age and with my current taste for fiction. Also, I am zen-like-patiently waiting for the original comics to arrive at my doorstep, courtesy of the Khan himself- that's GrendelJD for you- and I will not move forward in the story, even if I just rented the first 2 Omnibus from my library. The experience of reading these comics in singles should not be underestimated- it is beautiful comic book stuff. And I love reading the letters section of this series, its like the cool kids club of comics. Thoughtful questions and very thoughtful answers by legend Diana Schutz, the lady that edited most of the best Dark Horse comics ever. Sin City and Usagi, for example. She was the Grendel ed. at Comico before they went broke, continued her job when Wagner moved to DH also.

Its an adult "story/saga", with some stuff that is downright creepy and uncomfortable to watch- but you can't help yourself to want to see the whole picture. It is the type of art (yeah, art) that makes you question your own set of values, but if you're on the lazy/dumb side of the scale, there's plenty of stuff to be amazed anyway. :D The art alone is outstanding, not only Wagner's (and boy, there's some *SQUEE* amazing looking comics from the man) but all of his partners, like the Pander Brothers or Patrick McEown.
If one would take the philosophical aspect out of Grendel, you'd still have a collection of magnific artwork and entertaining stories. It's really and unashamedly "Thinking Man" comics. NOT for children, and NOT for some adults, really. Even if you are mature enough to understand the underlines, you might come out of it thinking "I don't want to read these". It's again, NOT FOR EVERYONE.
And that makes it even more special. Being a Grendel fan now, I feel smarter as areader and certainly much more demanding of quality in the comics I read from now on. I don't want to read monthly DC or anything like that, right now (but of course, this fever will pass and I'll be able to enjoy... just comics :| ). Me. A Batman sicko. This is how good Grendel is. How smart and beautiful and gut-wrenching at points. So many things to enjoy here.

This is a kick a** book, with a lot to enjoy on the surface alone. Artwise, like I said, it's fantastic. And the stories are by itself just great, great comic books.

But Grendel is way more than this. It has become something I never expected to find in this medium. A serious (but still fun), intelligent (but not pretentious) take on what are the real-world, lasting consequences of violence*. All wrapped in beautiful artwork and engaging mythology and yeah, lots of cool s*it like mythical wolf-people, cool af costumes and crazy-awesome weapons. 8-) This is, indeed, a very special thing. It grabs my inner kid with all of its visuals, intrigues me with its sophistication.

*It is my personal take on it, don't take my subjective point of view as canon. But Wagner talked about it as being a study on aggression, so my POV is not that far. Like I said, this comic makes you question yourself and what you find enjoyable in art. Am I a creep? That sort of stuff. :hm: :|

I am just now discovering this amazing world, and was baffled that we did not have a thread specific to this character/concept here. This ends tonight, "on the roof"!!!! :P
I am going to post my thoughts on everything I am reading later in the week, but most of all I just really want to hear from other members who are fans what they think of this series. And, of course, try to convince open-minde, hard-stomach people to give this book a chance. I bet you won't regret it.

I ask just one thing:
Please, PLEASE don't post anything Spoilery without the correct forum black tape on top of it. I am still at the very beginning of the Comico series, and there's a LOT that I still have to find out. I will also try to keep my not-reviews as spoiler free as possible. :thumb:

Ok, the comics:

Hunter Rose

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Grendel Beta (Grendel Archives HC, includes the Comico Primer #2 comic -1st Grendel story- and the short-lived 3 issue B&W Grendel series that was cancelled due to Comico's financial problems. Wagner later reworked this story as a backup feature in "Mage" 6-14, eventually released as a tpb collection titled "Devil by the Deed)
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This is something I expected to read later down the road, but my library had this and I brought it home, of freaking course. It's really "cute", given that you know how this was reworked and the Masterpiece that it became. It's a fun read (and the best part, imo- it expands on Argent's origin which is very, very cool)
You might want to read this, AFTER you read ...Deed but its more of a bonus book, with stuff that its great for fans of Matt Wagner's evolution as a creator. I loved it. :thumb:


01. Devil By the Deed (by MW; collects the backup stories from Mage 6-14, recolored by DH for this 1993 reprint. Original TPB might be hard to find, I have no idea. Available as a Hardcover and as part of the 1st Omnibus by Dark Horse, BUT it is again recolored in these 2 releases, both in Black, White & Red)
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Oh, boy. What can I possibly say that doesn't sound over-enthusiastic and kinda obsessed. But I said this in another thread "this is a game-changer in my life as a comic book fan. And this is not even a proper comic. Its an exercise in graphic novel format, no people speaking in balloons, nothing like that. Its pages of amazing looking art that illustrate the words of the narrator, with a lot of symbolism and this art deco feel to it. Its, so far, my favourite book/chapter, but that does not mean that the rest is bad in comparison- it's ABSOLUTELY NOT, but the originality in the execution of this comic really puts it just the tiniest bit above everything else.
For you guys to get the idea, when Comico relaunched Grendel with another character, people were writing hate mail complaining about the fact that such a Masterpiece was now stained by a regular comic book series. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Boy, were these people wrong. But I agree on one thing: if Matt Wagner's Grendel was just this book, it would still be one of those cases where the art in comics really takes the front seat. And a mandatory read for any fan of the 9th art. I already put this book along my top 5 favourite stories, easy-peasy. And, again, read it about 6 times in 3 weeks or so, by now. Its on my coffee table for weeks (along with the War Child TPB), like a new CD you've just got into and can't get enough. Granted, it reads fast, but like a good, smartly written story, there's always something "new" that I get from each read.

Way more than reccomended as definitely the VERY first thing you should read!!!!!

02. Grendel: Devil Tales (by MW; originally issues 16-19 of the Comico series; later recolored and reprinted by Dark Horse as the 2-issue "Devil Classics" mini and collected as the TPB "Devil Tales"; currently available in the 2nd volume of the Omnibus collection)
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Chronologically speaking, these are the 3rd and 4th "Hunter Rose" stories published after Devil by the Deed (there was Devil's Vagary before these). They were done midway of the original series and do not feature Hunter as the main character. He's the "shadow" (on that, look at the cover for the TPB 8-) ).

Some might say these are not MUST READ material. After all, the plot from the previous 15 books barely moves. AND on top of that, Wagner was kinda experimenting here- there are no other Grendel books (to my knowledge) that are told in the way these 2 tales are. They look dense and hard to read, at first. They are not reader-friendly, if you like... Spawn or some s*it like that. :P It is Different. Not "hey, look at Hunter Rose just looking cool" books. This is f*cking Grendel, this is not a Superhero book. You want easy-to-look awesome Hunter Rose stuff, there's a ton of artwork out there. :thumb: But I guess that if anyone sticks with the series after #15, you are not in this for pretty comics and an easy-to-turn-off escapism.

I loved these stories. Both are sort of comedic- a cop mystery in one case, and a dayfew months in the (low)life hilarious in another. I laughed out loud reading these. The bonus-reward for "sticking with it" even surpasses the "this guy's awesome" feels that you get when Hunter finally appears in the stories.

03. Grendel: Black, White & Red (coming soon)
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04. Grendel: Red, White & Black (coming soon)
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05. Grendel: Behold the Devil (coming soon)
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06. Batman/Gendel I (by MW; Devil's Masque and Devil's Riddle, published by DC in 1993, after Comico went to hell; currently available in HC format, along with the sequel with Grendel Prime)
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Coming into this book, I was a tiny little apprehensive about it: crossovers are generally a "comics" thing, and while Batman is my fav fictional creation, I am reading Grendel because of Grendel, nothing else. Grendel is not just "comics".
With that mindset, I read these 2 beautiful looking books, kinda not expecting to be awed at all, but most definitely entertained. After all, I know Wagner from Batman, first and foremost. He gets Bats. And he can draw the guy awesomely.
Well, it payed off, BIG. I was surprised that MW could tell a story with 4 (!) main characters, keeping it interesting, "real" and mysteriously fantastical at the same time.
It's a great chapter in Grendel's story and by far, the best written Batman inter-company crossover I've read (I am not a huge fan of this sort of thing, only ones I cared about were the recent TMNT ones); it reads as an adult tale, but when its time to show Wagner's skills as an action scene artist, mindfreakingblown.
Both characters come out of it looking cooler, both are tremendously well written, and the consequences that affect the other 2 "secondary" characters are really "human", and ground you in raw reality, of sorts. Its not just about 2 cool looking "supers" battling each other.
It's a great story- Wagner is a Batman fan and you can tell he had a blast doing this.

07. Silverback (story by MW and William Messner-Loebs, art by Messner-Loebs and John Peck; originally a 3 issue miniseries, never reprinted in any other format- due to problems with the original source material, which has deteriorated over time, it is unlikely that this will ever be collected or reprinted in any way, according to MW (source: wikipedia)
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The whole story about the origin of Argent; I still have to pick this in its entirety, only have one of the issues. Coming soon...

Christine Spar (if you come to this series beginning with Devil by the Deed, this is a bit of a spoiler but you kinda expect it. Either way...)

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01. Devil's Legacy (story by MW, art by the Pander Brothers & Jay Geldhof; originally issues 1-12 of the Comico series - who also released it as a TPB - later recolored and reprinted by Dark Horse as a 12 part limited series and collected in TPB; currently available in the 2nd volume of the Omnibus collection)
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This is where Grendel finally became an ongoing comic, after Comico bothered Wagner to come back to the character. Since Hunter Roses's fate is already a known fact, MW decided to make his character a "legacy" one. And what started here, is the stuff of legends.

I absolutely adore this story, and Christine Spar is, so far, the one Grendel that I most relate to, being a dad and all that. Her motives to pick the mask and fork are relatable, on Grendel world and on ours. That said, girl's a freaking psycho, or becomes one. And its really sad in the end.

The art here might come as a shock if you just read Hunter Rose or Prime stories. It's loud, colorful (boy!), flamboyant, unashamed of its "futuristic 80s" setting- and the genius of it, it looks like a comic that could be drawn today. It has that timeless coolness of being a product of its time that was light-years ahead of it. Yes, there are people with stupidly high hair, shoulder pads are Huuuuuuuuge, basically everyone sort of looks straight out of an episode of Miami Vice. But at the same time, flying cars. The setting looks familiar yet new.
As for the story within these issues, its awesome. Awesome.
It's a sophisticated, dynamic, heartbeat raising, at times freaking creepy (damn...) tale of how the Grendel entity just can't be tamed.You feel for these characters. Lots of tragedy here, in ways that are not directly presented. I was thinking about these issues (the first 7) for days after I read them. That f*cking Tujiro dude is... disgusting. I mean, from the first pages I saw this POS, nausea was what I felt. It is an awesome character, damn twisted and - honestly, even for a sort-of-jaded 40 yo horror fan - creepy. The eyes, the eyes...

The finale is everything I wanted, everything. Poetic. Raw violence in your face, and then- consequences. :(
On the way, there's a silent issue that answers the question "what would be like if a daredevil/batman character-type went insane with rage and decided to stalk a cop all night, tortured him with all sorts of near-death scares, and then just killed the dude? I felt a bit bad for rooting for Chris this way - "just go and fork him like a little b*tch- he's a pig who beat an innocent dude almost to death. Die!!!!!!" :lol:


Brian Li Sung (his identity is ALSO spoiler material if you start from the beginning, so...) :thumb:

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01. The Devil Inside
(story by MW, art by Bernie Mireault w/colors by Wagner, Mireault & Joe Matt; originally issues 13-15 of the Comico series - who also released it as a TPB- later reprinted by Dark Horse as a 3-issue mini series and collected in TPB; currently available in the 2nd volume of the Omnibus collection)
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I am still just getting to know this world, and already seen so much amazing, fantastic stuff. Feels a bit weird to be amazed in completely different ways as the story progresses. JD, I will owe you 4 life for showing this comic to me. Again, a heartfelt huge Thank You, man.

Dudes, read this. And if you don't like it, never speak to me again. :D

Reading this was like reading the finest of the finest Lovecraftian tales, but it is not a Lovecraftian story, at all. If you read and reread HPL stuff like this one dork, you are well aware of the "writer goes insane, insane, ins-whahaxazgordyunfgc-Ia!Ia!Shub-*NOOGIES*!!!!!!! or something along those lines trick.

Here, it kinda goes there, but it is a story that truly uses the comic book medium's possibilities in ways I never saw done. The art is perfect, just perfect, weird, "cold" (it's Winter after all :P ) and depressing. I am floored by this tale, its only 3 issues and already feels more memorable than hundreds of multi-issue stories we usually get from the biz. It is simply- Genius. Its a word I use a lot on these lines, but its Matt Wagner we're talking about. Genius.


The Incubation Years...aka The Seriously Weird S*it (story by Matt Wagner, art by Hannibal King - 20, 21, 22, only- & Tim Sale; originally issues 20-23 of the Comico series, NEVER reprinted by Dark Horse - except #23- until the Omnibus collection, Vol. 3)

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... and we are finally in batsh*t-crazy land, and this is got to be the most weird/strange part of the saga- it is to me, so far. :lol:
These 4 individual tales deal with how the Grendel... thing goes from being a force possessing one particular individual at the time, to a worldwide accepted "Satan" role. Pop culture loves Grendel, the Church not so much. We see the G going from ruining Wiggins' life, to causing nuclear war, inspiring post nuclear-earth clans and then becoming some sort of drug that went wrong. Its a doozy. Lots of material for reread here.
The storytelling devices used in these 4 comics alone are another proof of just how freaking amazing Matt Wagner can be. This is again, art! True art!



Eppy Thatcher

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01.God And The Devil (story by Matt Wagner, art by Jay Geldhof, John K. Snyder III & & Bernie Miereault; originally issues 24-33 of the Comico series, later recolored and reprinted by Dark Horse as the maxi-series "God and The Devil" who also reprinted the Comico #23 issue as the #0 of this arc; currently available in the 3rd volume of the Omnibus collection)
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This is what happens when Grendel goes Eppy(c), for a terrible pun. But it is an operatic, bigger-than-life story and something that wasn't yet done in this series and once it is done, you feel that it could only be done once. It is a thick, text-full read- but with lots of visual stuff to be amazed at, as always. The artwork is magnificent, nothing new here. The mechanism of storytelling is divided among the different character's POV and - SURPRISE - Grendel is not actually the main character; unlike the previous stories in the ongoing series, where you get to see Grendel "occupying the hosts", this incarnation of the entity is Grendel-ready and actually more like a background for us to follow the other main character and future Grendel himself, Orion Assante.
Not like anything before, really. It feels fresh and new just like every arc in this book. I LOVE Grendel.

Story: Ok, so we follow 3 new characters and one... well, read the whole saga, because the return of a certain Joe about 500 years later in a completely, and i do mean completely, different role, will blow your mind. This revelation was actually spoiled for me very early in my Grendel readings, but it did not make any difference when it came to enjoy this tale. It's just a "oh, s*it!!! THIS GUY?! :o Read it, my friends. 8-)

So these 3 (or 4) people are the central characters of the saga (saga is really the right word here), each one as interesting as the other.

The C.O.P supercop and bada** extraordinaire, Pellon mudafugging Cross is one of my favourites, and he's not the good guy or the real bad guy. His setpiece when he is going for the stuff that makes DeLoreans go back in time, wow. LOVED THAT SEQUENCE!!!! :clap:

Eppy Thatcher, our Grendel, is a crazy, racist, childkiller of a protagonist. In his first appearance as the Devil (for context, Grendel became like Hitler long before 2512- the time when this story occurs- as Matt Wagner puts it in the intro, a symbol for Satan, Satan himself, or just a loony depending on who you ask) he slits a child's throat for the world to see. Yes, it is a monstrous act, but Wagner makes you somehow root for this crazy, crazy, I says CRAZY dude. Character faults aside :lol: , he's the most entertaining of the Grendels I have so far read. Entertaining as in this guy is bananas (HA, BANANAS!!!!!) and his antics against the Church (the main villain here) are the stuff to make you laugh out loud. A powerful emetic as replacement for the host, acid in the holy water, pidgeons s*itting all over the church, that kind of stuff. And his TV interruptions are again, :banana: (did I mention that this story is bananas? :P ). I love his looks, he's actually my favourite design of Grendel. Love me some hoods and capes. But, again, not the Grendel you would want as your bud, if that was an option. :lol:

Orion Assante, the main character in my opinion, is the guy who is taking the fight to the excesses of the Church as a serious, life-threatening business. He is determined and you can easily see why he would become the Khan. Dude's charisma is off the charts, and he is as cunning as Grendel, just not so given to spetacular optics. Until he is. :D

In short, this story is about the power that religion holds over people and how corrupt and sinful the ways the organised religions can be AND the two individuals who can't take it anymore: one is bats*it insane, the other a perfect example of an intelligent, cunning man.

Plus, that sister who is responsible for the inquisition is one terrifying crazy lady. :bigeyes:
And this song! lol, I had to go and play this while reading that particular scene, its awesome! :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm8d_OBImXI

(JUMP IN TIME, WILL GET TO THE IN-BETWEEN BOOKS WHEN I AM DONE WITH THEM :P )

Grendel Prime (aka The Paladin, Warrior)

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01. Grendel: War Child (Story by MW; art by Patrick McEown, colors by Bernie Mireault & Kathryn Delaney; originally released by Dark Horse as the 10 issue limited series "War Child", later collected in TPB; currently available in the 4th volume of the Omnibus collection)
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The pinnacle of all that makes one a true, honorable, loyal Grendel is Prime. In this story we are introduced to the future of the world post-Orion Assante, and it is indeed a f'ed up earth, this one. After several reads, and without the benefit of reading the genesis of the Grendel order as of now, I now get why the Khan did what he did. I get that this bad, bad, world is probably one day going to return to the Dark Ages, and most of the human race will be surviving instead of living. Wars and wars and wars. A cycle that can't be stopped by diplomacy- most of mankind is "on my own and screw thy neighbour" mentality by the 27th century.
The idea of such a messed up, dog-eat-dog world makes me sympathetic to the idea of having a force-imposed unifying, peaceful regime to rule these basterds, we humans are. Sometimes, we only understand force- 20th century Europe, anyone?
We see weakness in our leaders, we s*it on them, immediately.


But, yeah, about this comic :lol: : its a superultrafunastheycome comic, with amazing, dynamic and just "COOOOOL" artwork. I love this 10 ish series, so much happens in each one and it still reads in less than an hour. Then you reread it over and over, because this "world" is awesome to visit. And the art is to die for. It really is one of the best illustrated Grendel tales- high freaking praise, this whole "series" has nothing but out-of-the-box and innovative visuals, but this more comic/manga approach (lots of silent pages, with amazing action) works so, so well. How could I see myself as a somewhat knowledgeable comic fan without ever having seen the crocodiles sequence in War Child? Or that fight with the Gorilla that has a crazy f*cking soul, mon! :clap: :clap: :clap:
I love this, and if you want to read Grendel Tales, you HAVE TO read this series first. Without it, you won't get a LOT of what happens in the next series set on this world.

02. Grendel: Devil Quest (by MW; published as a backup feature in the following Grendel Tales comics: Devil's Hammer (1-3), The Devil in Our Midst (1-5), Devil's & Deaths (1-2), Homecoming (1-3) and issue #1 of Devil's Choices - 1994/1995; later released as a single book called Devil Quest; currently available in the 4th volume of the Omnibus collection)
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Happens104 years after War Child, and it is above all, a stunning, stunning, gosh darn it, I SAYS BEAUTIFUL-to-look-at book. Wagner painting here, not pencilling and inking- painting (or you know, color pencilling- either way, not your average looking comic). What a feast for the eyes, for real. :cloud9:
The story followsPrime's search for a special item :wink:, and other brand new characters (a really unforgetable crew) searching for Prime. Feels a bit more like an intro to the Batman/Prime crossover, than a self-contained story, but make no mistake, you don't have to read the crossover AT ALL, unless you want to know what happened when Prime disappeared by ways of crazy-horrible :bigeyes: machine

It was pointed here in this thread, this gets graphic and by graphic I mean, before reading it, look around to see if you won't get the stink eye by a family member who might see what you're doing.
And of course, keep it the hell away from your kids. :lol:

03. Batman/Grendel II (by MW; coming soon)
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NON-WAGNER BOOKS:

Grendel: Past Prime (novel by Greg Rucka w/ illustrations by MW; coming soon)
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Grendel Tales (series of mini-series by different creators, set in the post-War Child Grendel...verse :? ?; available in 2 Omnibus titled, duh, Grendel Tales Vols. 1 & 2)

Grendel Tales Vol. 01
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First things first: DON'T read these on a binge or something like I did. While I was hungry for more of this, each and every tale in here deserves your attention, big time, exclusively. Read them one per night, if possible. I want to reread these asap in that relaxed non-canon hungry mood. That said, I had an awesome time this week! :lol:
I will get to each tale, since every one deserves a line or two. Or in some cases, way more.

01. Devil's Worship (Story by Steven T. Seagle, Art by Ho Che Anderson)
Coming soon, this was in issue #40 of the original series, which I don't currently own.

02. Four Devils, One Hell (Story by James Robinson, Art by Teddy Kristiansen)
A huge, globetrotting story that includes a bunch of super cool characters united by one very cool goal (no spoilers here, read this!! :thumb: ). Artwise, I mentioned it earlier it is unforgetable, different from anything I ever saw before. Amazing in every aspect. Its weird that Kristiansen is not a real famous-as-Alex-Ross superstar, this book is out-of-this-world good-looking.

03. Devil's Hammer (Story & Art by Rob Walton)
Oh, boy... there are some pieces of fiction scattered around the world that are destined to meet you and f*ck you up, in a good way of course.
THIS tale is definitely, the most "possibly used as an example of comics corrupting youths" by some church loony, that I ever, ever read. It has imagery that is really, and I do mean REALLY messed up, and let's leave it at that. It is offensive to some a lot of people, no doubt, but like true Art, it makes you think. Not only on the story, but what you actually think of as "entertainment". It is very brainy, when it ends. Some will HATE IT, HATE IT , HATE IT. Others will find this a true stretching of the limits on what is acceptable in a commercial book. And others, like me, will be intrigued and left feeling a little soul-raped by this damn story. So damn awesome.
The art has that real indie/ugly looking people feel to it, nothing that was seen before here in Grendel...verse? :? And dongs. There are lots of male genitalia almost trolling your reading of the panels "Get that d*ck of my sight, I can't read!!!!!" came to my mind, many times. :lol:
But even then, there are also a lot of really cool looking stuff, like Grendel Bill's no-face body-expression and those Devil's spirit images. Damn, those were real cool!

04. Devil in Our Midst (Story by Steven T. Seagle & Art by Paul Grist w/ colors by Mireault and Delaney, again)
This might be my least favourite of the whole series, but it is (I repeat myself all over again) NOT a bad comic. I have to read this again, because I remember being very sleepy att of my firstie. I liked the main character, seemed really sympathetic, and the artwork is coooool. Cartoony af, but still feels "serious" particularly the main female character, which has the most "face time". Colors -yet again - by the War Child/Devil's Hammer team, Bernie Mireault & Kathryn Delaney, kicking tons of frozen a**! :D

05/06. Devils & Deaths/ Devil's Choices* (Story by Darko Macan, Art by Edvin Biukovic)
I had a hype cloud over this tale. That hype is well, and more than well deserved. BEST Grendel Tales story, together with its 4-issue sequel, "Devil's Choices". MUST READ!
When you see the art of the gone-too-damn-young Edvin, you'll wonder how this dude, who suddenly left this realm as a young man of 30 yo, would dominate comics for the next decades. His work is well-influenced by the very best of European BD (man, those trees and shadows, and sound fx reeeeally take me to my BD readings as a kiddo) but it has also a Manga bit to it, with very poignant panels, all devoted to a character's feelings. And the action stuff, I can't... I can't even find the right words in English, its just an original-as-they-come looking comic. And the story. Oh, the story. :cry:
I have experienced many things reading Grendel so far, but one was so far lacking (did not even cross my mind until I read this): the "feels" (aka manly tears :lol: ). This 6 issue tale is so damn bitter, and being written by 2 young men who at the time lived in a war-ridden country... it feels like nothing else I read before dealing with how war affects the normal lives and those once-normal lives are f'd up forever. Even if this tale had nothing to do with Matt Wagner's creation, you'd have a superb war story, a human, beautiful portrait at the worst that we do to each other. And - BONUS - I finally got to see in an american comic something that actually resembles my (european) "culture": the beautiful game as an actual, big social event, that makes the 99% forget "the bad".

*Devil's Choices is collected in Vol. 2, but since its a sequel to this story, I just put them together here. Cuz i'm lazy.

Grendel Tales Vol. 02
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07. Homecoming (Story by Patrick McEown; Art by McEown and Dave Cooper)
If you read War Child - and again, that is the book you REALLY, REALLY need to read first before Tales - you'll remember the green mohawk bodyguard, er, Susan Verhagen. This tale is about the Grendel warrior coming back home to a place that has no place for her. She's a bada**, lots of cool action, but there's a personal relationship subplot that's awesomely done.Great freaking book, one of the best in the series.

08. The Devil May Care (Story by Terry LaBan, Art by Peter Doherty)
6 issue mini that really puts a different spin on the Grendel thing. This is a love tale (or rather, and quoting "not love, (but) love's revenge on a world that worships hate" - this line is just delicious writing, my oh my), and like all things G, it ends as a tragedy. The last pages are so damn great, with that gunshot just echoing on the reader's mind. The Chief and Dana were such well written characters, you really get the real world pain of being in a forbidden love situation. Ok, now I'm being a romantic dum dum. Apologies.

09. The Devil's Apprentice (Story by Jeffery Lang, Art by Steve Lieber)
Set way after War Child (iirc, 28th century, and there's a new Khan line?! :? ), this, honestly, did not do much for me. Art is cool, has an old western comics feel (more like the italian fumetti Tex, actually), and it should, because its a old west scenario, but you know, in the far future. I liked the main female character, but Aaron Crow's story did not engage me. Not boring or bad or a bit of a drag, it's just a good comic, with one or two cool moments (Aaron giving in to his Vampire urges), but easily forgettable.


Grendel: Devil Child (story by Diana Schutz, Art by Tim Sale; released as a 2 part mini, later collected in HC; currently available in the 2nd volume of the Omnibus collection)
Image

A story by long-time Grendel Ed. Diana Schutz, dealing with Stacy Palumbo's life, how the Grendel thing ruined it, and how she only has some semblance of reality when she is seething about the Beast and what it did to her and her Uncles...yeah, read it! :thumb:. This is for really adult readers, and a very specific group on that: this has to be the most real-world depressing and damn uncomfortable of all the Grendel stories. If you know what happened to Stacy after she was institutionalised... well, here's the whole tale, and it is horrible. This has rape, suicide, madness, but never cheapens the subject or the characters.Its a well-deserved expansion on what was once just a footnote on Grendel's history. Poor woman. :(
If you are able to read a story that "goes there", its a must. You will never forget it, I'm sure.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Cyberstrike »

If you haven't read the 2 Grendel/Batman crossovers then you are really missing out on a pair of great Grendel and Batman stories plus they both are kind of set in the Grendel universe or maybe it's the Pre-New 52 DCU, it's hard to tell.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by WrathOfArmstrong »

I'll be joining you shortly. Your enthusiasm (here and the other thread) has finally convinced me to give the whole series a look. I'd previously only held interest and a few issues from long ago from Tim Sale's involvement. But recently, I read Wagner's THE DEMON run and his MADAME XANADU series and I'm convinced Grendel is going to be as amazing as you advertise.

How are the omnibus paperbacks? Smaller than normal books always irk my shelf OCD, but they look like the best bargain to get started...

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Keith »

Ahhhh... Grendel. One of those series I aspire to read start to finish someday. Comixology has a series of collected editions that gather everything together, though I'm not certain if that is in any chronological order.

I was first introduced to it back in the mid 80s. A friend in high school was reading Devil's Legacy that both intrigued me in it's premise and maturity level, but slightly repulsed me due to a long-seated and irrational fear of vampires.

I started reading the series myself right as God and the Devil was starting (love the storyline), and took it through Devil's Reign. Dropped off after that, though I did get some of the issues of War Child.

My ambitions for Grendel also apply to Wagner's other seminal work, Mage, which I believe he is close to actually completing after years and years of waiting.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by geocarr »

WrathOfArmstrong wrote:How are the omnibus paperbacks? Smaller than normal books always irk my shelf OCD, but they look like the best bargain to get started...
I have the omnibi and give them a big :thumb: endorsement! Get to readin'! Viva la Grendel!
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

In creating this thread, the pupil has exceeded the master! :lol:

As I've said before, so glad you're digging this comic this much, man. I can't wait for you to get to the rest of the Comico stuff!

Of all the thousands of comics I have read over a few decades worth of time, this one became my number one all-time favourite upon discovering it 25+ years ago, and has remained so ever since (Planetary & Lazarus round out my all-time top 3 series).

It really has something for everyone - you can enjoy it at a surface level for the action, horror, sci-fi elements & cool factor, or dig deeper & enjoy the subtext & philosophy behind it all. Just an epic creation.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

geocarr wrote:
WrathOfArmstrong wrote:How are the omnibus paperbacks? Smaller than normal books always irk my shelf OCD, but they look like the best bargain to get started...
I have the omnibi and give them a big :thumb: endorsement! Get to readin'! Viva la Grendel!
Vivat Grendel! :wink:

I do not have those Omnibi, and I have heard that much of the Comico era stuff had been recoloured for them. Not sure if that's true or not?

The best thing about this series is that if you're patient, you can find the vast majority of it for super cheap, other than the early black & white Comico comics. Those are more of a collector thing to chase though - my understanding is that Matt made the Devil By The Deed 1-shot as a summary/reworking of the earliest material in the Comico Primer & 1st mini-series.

I've actually never read the b&w stuff... my LCS currently has a copy of the Primer (1st appearance of Grendel) for $275. That comic is one of the the top-most valuable indie b&w comics after TMNT #1, from what I've read. I have been tempted to buy it, but honestly for me it's less about the collecting of Grendel stuff as it is about enjoying the concept & stories of the setting.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

Keith wrote:Ahhhh... Grendel. One of those series I aspire to read start to finish someday. Comixology has a series of collected editions that gather everything together, though I'm not certain if that is in any chronological order.

I was first introduced to it back in the mid 80s. A friend in high school was reading Devil's Legacy that both intrigued me in it's premise and maturity level, but slightly repulsed me due to a long-seated and irrational fear of vampires.

I started reading the series myself right as God and the Devil was starting (love the storyline), and took it through Devil's Reign. Dropped off after that, though I did get some of the issues of War Child.

My ambitions for Grendel also apply to Wagner's other seminal work, Mage, which I believe he is close to actually completing after years and years of waiting.
It's become a bit convoluted to read the stories about Hunter Rose, but all the rest of it flows really well sequentially. There was barely anything written about Hunter Rose before the story moved on to Christine Spar in the 1st issue of the Comico run of 40 issues. It has only been over the years since War Child & the Grendel Tales comics ended that Matt & others have gone back to revisit Hunter Rose.

I think it's almost a mistake to read anything about Hunter other than Devil By The Deed first, then the rest of the saga, then going back to Hunter. It's a bit like the original trilogy of Star Wars IV-VI... you should always watch those 1st before the newer "prequel" trilogy. It just ruins something about the mythos to read it any other way.

MAGE is pretty awesome too, and yes, it will be a completed story once the current 15-issue chapter is completed - and on that note, I just got a letter & a sketch I did printed in the lettercolumn of the latest current issue of Mage! (#7) 8-)
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

This is the one Grendel collectible I don't have that I do really think about trying to acquire. So damn cool looking:

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

Just gonna re-post this here from another thread, since I got on the subject of the Grendel Prime statue:
grendeljd wrote:
geocarr wrote:
grendeljd wrote:The one & only Bowen statue I have always coveted is the Grendel Prime one. Not that I don't like Bowen's statues or anything, I'm just not a statue collector. But dang, that Grendel Prime full figure looks so good.

It's a shame to hear he has had a rough go lately.
I agree that Grendel Prime is a beauty and I am a big Grendel fan. I still have the first Hunter Rose statue I pre-ordered and bought brand new when it was first released in the 1990's.
That's awesome dude! The Hunter one is pretty cool too! There are three statues in total from that time, aren't there? I seem to recall seeing a Christine Spar statue as well.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Alright, alright, alright!!!! We have an entire Klan, here!!! :lol:

Oh, if anyone is having trouble on where to start or if you just want to read a newb's take on this saga, check the first post for updates with my thoughts on each "chapter"
grendeljd wrote:I think it's almost a mistake to read anything about Hunter other than Devil By The Deed first, then the rest of the saga, then going back to Hunter. It's a bit like the original trilogy of Star Wars IV-VI... you should always watch those 1st before the newer "prequel" trilogy. It just ruins something about the mythos to read it any other way.
Damn, this is so true. I was going to try read the series in chronological order at first, but when I started reading Christine's story, that was over. Reading it as they came out (real world publishing order), gives you an insight on how the concept changed with time.
I want to read everything of course, and the Hunter Rose minis (Black, White & Red, the sequel Red, White & Black and Behold the Devil) are priority material, but that will only happen when I'm done with the entirety of the Comico run (reprinted by Dark Horse as the series Devil's Legacy, The Devil Inside, God and the Devil, Devil's Reign) and everything that came before these.

I already read War Child, of course, and I already know that somehow,over the centuries, a rebel assassin (Ninja? :P ) dude's journal is the inspiration for what becomes a military order not that different from the Samurai of old.

The only stuff I read that is waaaaaay ahead of the books I still have to read besides War Child were the Grendel Tales series by other writers and artists. This has been a real doozy, I'll post a sort of review of sorts when I'm finished with the books that comprise the 1st Tales Omnibus. All I can say is, my fears of reading a watered-down version of the concept were put at ease, right from the first 3 pages of "Four Devils, One Hell". The artwork on this series (by one Teddy Kristiansen) is absolutely, insanely beautiful, gorgeous, unforgettable. And then the next tale (Devil's Hammer) is something completely different, 180º turn.
I was super-suprised by how great these non-Wagner stories could be. Again, Diana Schutz working her voodoo.
But make no mistakes, the original saga is da sh*t. These tales are great freaking comics, but nothing can top what I've read so far from Wagner.

JD, about the recoloring matter:
Dark Horse indeed recolored all of the OG run, as soon as they started reprinting it. Not only for the Omni, the previous releases were already redone- I do think that Matt Wagner himself actually recolored some of them. But I might be wrong. :?

I saw a preview for the omni online and the pages looked awful, when compared to the OG stuff. Then I rented it and was actually relieved that I must have seen a low-resolution/altered image. That preview had a sort of pink-tone all over, really uninspired. But the omni looks great, and even if it's not the same thing (there are panels in the original books that I really take my time with, because that amazing color work makes them so freaking "alive") it's NOT bad, by any means. But the Comico visuals are nothing short of genius, I have no idea why they went and recolored these issues, unless it was a technical problem, or something.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Cyberstrike »

ShadowTuga wrote:I saw a preview for the omni online and the pages looked awful, when compared to the OG stuff. Then I rented it and was actually relieved that I must have seen a low-resolution/altered image. That preview had a sort of pink-tone all over, really uninspired. But the omni looks great, and even if it's not the same thing (there are panels in the original books that I really take my time with, because that amazing color work makes them so freaking "alive") it's NOT bad, by any means. But the Comico visuals are nothing short of genius, I have no idea why they went and recolored these issues, unless it was a technical problem, or something.

As I understand it when Comico went bankrupt that the original color proofs that Comico used to print the original series were either lost, destroyed, or in real bad shape by the time the dust was settled and because digital coloring and high-resolution scanning was still new and sort of expensive in 90s that is why Dark Horse didn't reprint much of the original series (even though there was a high demand for it by the time War Child hit the stands) until digital coloring became cheaper along with cheaper and better high-resolution scanning which made re-coloring Grendel easier and better. Another problem was the original artwork was in black and white artwork and many of the artists had sold and/or maybe even in some cases thrown away the original artwork so even if they did have all the original artwork DH would still have to re-color the entire series.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

Cyberstrike wrote:
ShadowTuga wrote:I saw a preview for the omni online and the pages looked awful, when compared to the OG stuff. Then I rented it and was actually relieved that I must have seen a low-resolution/altered image. That preview had a sort of pink-tone all over, really uninspired. But the omni looks great, and even if it's not the same thing (there are panels in the original books that I really take my time with, because that amazing color work makes them so freaking "alive") it's NOT bad, by any means. But the Comico visuals are nothing short of genius, I have no idea why they went and recolored these issues, unless it was a technical problem, or something.

As I understand it when Comico went bankrupt that the original color proofs that Comico used to print the original series were either lost, destroyed, or in real bad shape by the time the dust was settled and because digital coloring and high-resolution scanning was still new and sort of expensive in 90s that is why Dark Horse didn't reprint much of the original series (even though there was a high demand for it by the time War Child hit the stands) until digital coloring became cheaper along with cheaper and better high-resolution scanning which made re-coloring Grendel easier and better. Another problem was the original artwork was in black and white artwork and many of the artists had sold and/or maybe even in some cases thrown away the original artwork so even if they did have all the original artwork DH would still have to re-color the entire series.
Many Thanks for the info! :thumb: I also read about some floods or something, but I might be wrong.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Cyberstrike »

Be sure to check out the second Batman/Grendel crossover where Batman fights Grendel Prime for Hunter Rose's skull it's really creepy and the way Wagner writes Grendel Prime is more like akin to the Terminator (which is understandable since Wagner drew one of the best Terminator comics that DH did written I think by James Robinson) he's unstoppable weapon with a mission that he will accomplish no matter what.

There also a prequel book (I can't remember the name of it) showing the decadence of the ancestors of Orion and how the world has changed over the decades (or centuries) after the events of War Child, how and why Grendel Prime travels back through time. The prequel book has some very explicit and graphic sex scenes so don't say I didn't warn you.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

Cyberstrike wrote:Be sure to check out the second Batman/Grendel crossover where Batman fights Grendel Prime for Hunter Rose's skull it's really creepy and the way Wagner writes Grendel Prime is more like akin to the Terminator (which is understandable since Wagner drew one of the best Terminator comics that DH did written I think by James Robinson) he's unstoppable weapon with a mission that he will accomplish no matter what.

There also a prequel book (I can't remember the name of it) showing the decadence of the ancestors of Orion and how the world has changed over the decades (or centuries) after the events of War Child, how and why Grendel Prime travels back through time. The prequel book has some very explicit and graphic sex scenes so don't say I didn't warn you.
I actually just topped a whole week of delving into ALL of the Grendel Tales books (32 comics, *SQUEE* it! facepalm ), my wife has been on a new class 3 nights per week and Tuga got some down time for comics. Lots of 'em, I jumped on a ebay deal that got me ALL of the Tales series plus other stuff, like the singles for War Child (I have spent an insane amount of time just drooling over the Bisley covers, can't get enoug of them. Already looking for posters! :D

But this to say that I finished this week's readings with the prequel you mentioned, Devil Quest- for those who don't know, it was a backup feature on Grendel Tales and later released as a single volume that serves, as you mentioned, as the prelude for the second Batman crossover. CS, you don't have to warn me, man :thumb: , as soon as I saw the first 3 pages, I knew what I was getting. The story is great, a couple of new reeeeealy creepy characters are introduced and Prime looks like a freaking badass, as always. LOOOOOOVE those "oh, so 90s" spikes/wings. :lol: As graphic as Quest got (and there's graphic straight and gay sex right out of the gate, IN YOUR FACE style! :lol: ) I still have to read a comic in this series that made me feel as uncomfortable as I did during Devil's Hammer. That. Was. Messed up.

I had much fun reading it (the painted work by Wagner, my god, is well, just perfection) and can't wait to get a copy of that Batman crossover since, well, while Quest was super fun, it does read like an intro of sorts. With, you know, crazy stuff like creepy blue dude with a boner for hot weather. :lol:

EDIT - Updated first post w/ more not-reviews. :high-five:
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

I have been contemplating getting some Grendel tattoos done lately.


That is all.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

ShadowTuga wrote:
Cyberstrike wrote:
ShadowTuga wrote:I saw a preview for the omni online and the pages looked awful, when compared to the OG stuff. Then I rented it and was actually relieved that I must have seen a low-resolution/altered image. That preview had a sort of pink-tone all over, really uninspired. But the omni looks great, and even if it's not the same thing (there are panels in the original books that I really take my time with, because that amazing color work makes them so freaking "alive") it's NOT bad, by any means. But the Comico visuals are nothing short of genius, I have no idea why they went and recolored these issues, unless it was a technical problem, or something.

As I understand it when Comico went bankrupt that the original color proofs that Comico used to print the original series were either lost, destroyed, or in real bad shape by the time the dust was settled and because digital coloring and high-resolution scanning was still new and sort of expensive in 90s that is why Dark Horse didn't reprint much of the original series (even though there was a high demand for it by the time War Child hit the stands) until digital coloring became cheaper along with cheaper and better high-resolution scanning which made re-coloring Grendel easier and better. Another problem was the original artwork was in black and white artwork and many of the artists had sold and/or maybe even in some cases thrown away the original artwork so even if they did have all the original artwork DH would still have to re-color the entire series.
Many Thanks for the info! :thumb: I also read about some floods or something, but I might be wrong.
EDIT - Updated first post, reviews that are spoiler free. :high-five:
That was my basic understanding of the reasoning behind the re-coloured versions as well - no original colour sep's to work from for reprinting. Whether that was due to flooding or some other complication from the Comico bankruptcy, I'm not certain. I recall reading that Matt had a hell of a time trying to wrest control of his Grendel creator rights away from the courts during that whole bankruptcy fiasco . We're kind of lucky we even saw the 1st Batman/Grendel crossover get published.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

Cyberstrike wrote:Be sure to check out the second Batman/Grendel crossover where Batman fights Grendel Prime for Hunter Rose's skull it's really creepy and the way Wagner writes Grendel Prime is more like akin to the Terminator (which is understandable since Wagner drew one of the best Terminator comics that DH did written I think by James Robinson) he's unstoppable weapon with a mission that he will accomplish no matter what.

There also a prequel book (I can't remember the name of it) showing the decadence of the ancestors of Orion and how the world has changed over the decades (or centuries) after the events of War Child, how and why Grendel Prime travels back through time. The prequel book has some very explicit and graphic sex scenes so don't say I didn't warn you.
You might be referring to Behold The Devil, an 8-issue miniseries that came out back in 2009. It is a really cool story about a section of Hunter Rose's journal that was torn out before Christine Spar inherited it. The details of a specific point in Hunter's life are revealed in it, but it especially should not be read before reading the entire Comico run + War Child, Devil Quest & Batman/Grendel II, at least in my humble opinion.
I like to draw stuff... http://grendeljd.deviantart.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My wife likes to draw stuff too, and she is better than me! [I'm very proud of her]... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sara-Dec ... ref=stream" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

No time to respond in further detail right now, but I just wanted to say that I am loving the big review post you're putting together at the top of this thread, 'Tuga!

And also, your thoughts on most of the Grendel Tales echo my sentiments too. I'll get into discussing them further when I can - for now, I agree that The Devils Apprentice & Devil In Our Midst are the two weakest stories in this anthology series, but there are elements of each one that have merit.

Devils Hammer for sure is the weirdest one, almost too weird even for me.

Devils & Deaths/Devil's Choices is the supreme series of them all [glad you enjoyed it so much].

Homecoming rocked, Devil May Care was very good, & Four Devils, One Hell round out my favourites in that order. Love Teddy Kristiansen's art!!
I like to draw stuff... http://grendeljd.deviantart.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My wife likes to draw stuff too, and she is better than me! [I'm very proud of her]... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sara-Dec ... ref=stream" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

grendeljd wrote:I have been contemplating getting some Grendel tattoos done lately.


That is all.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

That is AWESOME!!!!!!!! You planning on using MW's artwork (or someone from the series) or are you going to draw your version?
There was a reader of Tales who sent a pic of the fox-like spirit Grendel from ...Hammer and it looked f'ing cool.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by grendeljd »

ShadowTuga wrote:
grendeljd wrote:I have been contemplating getting some Grendel tattoos done lately.


That is all.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

That is AWESOME!!!!!!!! You planning on using MW's artwork (or someone from the series) or are you going to draw your version?
There was a reader of Tales who sent a pic of the fox-like spirit Grendel from ...Hammer and it looked f'ing cool.
I would probably draw up my own design, however I have also considered getting this piece done as a tattoo;

Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I like to draw stuff... http://grendeljd.deviantart.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My wife likes to draw stuff too, and she is better than me! [I'm very proud of her]... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sara-Dec ... ref=stream" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by ShadowTuga »

grendeljd wrote:
ShadowTuga wrote:
grendeljd wrote:I have been contemplating getting some Grendel tattoos done lately.


That is all.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

That is AWESOME!!!!!!!! You planning on using MW's artwork (or someone from the series) or are you going to draw your version?
There was a reader of Tales who sent a pic of the fox-like spirit Grendel from ...Hammer and it looked f'ing cool.
I would probably draw up my own design, however I have also considered getting this piece done as a tattoo;

Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That is one of the best Prime illustrations around. Looks painful (and i'm inked)- that thing might take some 8/10 hours, no? - but Prime knows no pain, after all. :lol: :wink:

I updated the 1st post with some more stuff. Thanks! :thumb:
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Cyberstrike »

I was looking on Amazon and found Grendel/The Shadow graphic novel by Wagner published by Dynamite the outline didn't sound all that good Hunter Rose is somehow sent backwards into time and winds up in the late 30s or early 40s and tries to take over the underworld of the past and this of course puts him into direct conflict with the Shadow who is trying to stop him.

I haven't read it and to be fair Hunter Rose works best IMHO in very small doses the more I read and know about him the less interesting he becomes to me. I really didn't care much Grendel: Behold the Devil for that very reason and why I generally prefer both of the Grendel: Black, White, and Red mini-series over it. They worked because they are essentially short stories about Rose but show what how effects the world and those around him in all kinds of ways, but never give you more than at best a very rough idea of who is and why he does the things he does.

I also have a signed and numbered limited hardcover of Grendel: Devil's Legacy (signed by Wagner and the Pander Brothers) that was published by D.E. it's one my most treasured hardcovers.
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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by Chiclo »

Vivat Grendel! I am a long-time Grendel fan too. My avatar on my company's internal website is the Devil's Eyes. Nobody has asked about it yet but one co-worker said that in thumbnail it looked like a bra. My small town has a vibrant community of local knife-makers and I have talked on and off with a couple about making a Grendel fork.

On our honeymoon, we went to a convention and Matt Wagner was one of the big comic book guests. That was pretty cool, getting to talk to him and we kept running into him around the hotel and such. The first time we got to talk to him, there was one guy in line in front of us and Matt Wagner was signing nearly a short box worth of books for this guy, mostly the Comico run. I told him my favourite Grendel was Orion Assante and he said "no sh*t" and sketched him for me. I don't know where the sketch is now, we used to have it framed on the wall (next to a Wolverine that Hobo drew). I have a long term, on and off project where I get different artists to draw Grendel. I probably have a dozen or so drawings and the absolute best is by this guy named Stewart Sayger. I have at least one Grendel statue, a couple of the Hunter Rose Grendel action figures (have yet to run across a Christine Spar for cheap) and the Grendel mask. I have most of the TPBs, several of the hard covers and leapt at the chance to pre-order the Omnibuses (Omnibi? Omniboi? Since it is accusative plural 2nd declension masculine, does that make it Omnibous?), most especially the Grendel Tales omnibous. For a while, I was toying with the idea of hording Comico Primer 2 and I have three copies, the best of which probably is about an 8.0. I think I am missing one issue from the first volume, maybe #2?, and I have pretty much everything else. I have even read the novel, Past Prime. That was an interesting exploration of some of the more remote corners of the Earth post-Assante.

I used to say that Matt Wagner was one of those guys who, when I saw his name on the book, I knew for sure that I was going to like it, kind of like Josh Dysart. I can't recommend Wagner's Madam Xanadu run enough. He really likes writing like 30s noir books, and both Sandman Mystery Theatre and his Green Hornet work with Dynamite really fit that mold well. Eventually I did buy some Matt Wagner comics that I didn't really enjoy that much - it was a limited series he did for Legendary comics and it felt like it was an abandoned movie script that ended up as a comic. That comics was called the Tower Chronicles. I like Mage too, just not as much as Grendel.

Matt Wagner is probably the second name that comes to mind when I think of my favourite comic writers, after Jim Starlin.

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Re: The Devil's Thread: Matt Wagner's Grendel

Post by geocarr »

Chiclo wrote:Vivat Grendel! I can't recommend Wagner's Madam Xanadu run enough. He really likes writing like 30s noir books, and both Sandman Mystery Theatre...
I also highly recommend Madame Xanadu and Sandman Mystery Theatre. I think Matt Wagner is a brilliant writer.
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